Between 1898 and 1918, many American states introduced the initiative, referendum, and recall--known collectively as direct democracy. Most interpreters have seen the motives for these reform measures as purely political, but Thomas Goebel demonstrates that the call for direct democracy was deeply rooted in antimonopoly sentiment. Frustrated with the governmental corruption and favoritism that facilitated the rise of monopolies, advocates of direct democracy aimed to check the influence of legislative bodies and directly empower the people to pass laws and abolish trusts. But direct democracy failed to achieve its promises: corporations and trusts continued to flourish, voter turnout rates did not increase, and interest groups grew stronger. By the 1930s, it was clear that direct democracy favored large organizations with the financial and organizational resources to fund increasingly expensive campaigns. Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of direct democracy, particularly in California, where ballot questions and propositions have addressed such volatile issues as gay rights and affirmative action. In this context, Goebel's analysis of direct democracy's history, evolution, and ultimate unsuitability as a grassroots tool is particularly timely.
by the people
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With the Vice President's recent death and President DeWitt's health worsening by the day, the precarious balance of power between the Democratic President and a Republican-controlled Congress has moved to the right. Albert Wantner, the politically shrewd Speaker of the House, will ascend to the Presidency if the ill and elderly President dies before a new "veep" is appointed. For this reason, Wantner plans to delay Congressional approval of any candidate, and the President realizes that he must choose a person so politically pure that the public will clamor for his confirmation and punish Wantner for any delay. Enter Roberto Huerta, a disillusioned first-term, Democtratic congressman from Texas, who recently became American's newest celebrity by rescuing a woman from an assault by Washington street thugs. After some soul searching, Huerta accepts the President's offer, and a bitter - but ultimately successful - bid for Congressional approval takes place. Soon after Huerta is sworn in, the President drops a bombshell in a speech to a joint session of Congress, leaving a frightened and somewhat astonished Huerta struggling to establish a Capra-esque executive branch that is truly directed ..".by the people...."
This study is part of a research program undertaken by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales concerning the access to justice and legal needs of disadvantaged people in New South Wales. The specific aims were to investigate: (1) how law reform in New South Wales occurs; (2) what opportunities and constraints there are for public participation in law reform, directly and through representative bodies; (3) what particular constraints there are for the participation of disadvantaged people in law reform and; (4) the implications of these findings for law reform in New South Wales. Particular attention is paid throughout the report to the participation needs of disadvantaged people and civil society organisations (CSOs).
'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' Churchill had more reason than most to rue the power of democracy, having been thrown out of office after leading Britain to victory in 1945. Democracy, when viewed from above, has always been a fickle master; from below it is a powerful but fragile friend. Most books on democracy focus on political theory and analysis, in a futile attempt to define democracy. Of The People, By The People takes the opposite approach, telling the stories of the different democracies that have come into existence during the past two and half millennia. From Athens to Rhaetia, Jamestown to Delhi, and Putney to Pretoria, the book shows how democratic systems are always a reflection of the culture and history of their birthplaces, and come about through seizing fleeting opportunities. Democracy can only be understood through the fascinating and inspiring stories of the peoples who fought to bring it about.
We have developed a wealth of project resources and solutions-at home and abroad-that are OF THE PEOPLE. The implementation of a national K-12 service learning initiative, BY THE PEOPLE, would take us to the next level, creating a better and safer world FOR THE PEOPLE on a global scale. From our beginnings, Americans have been innovative pioneers. A national K-12 service initiative is immediately actionable, embraces existing systems of support, has short- and long-term outcomes, and is sustainable for the long haul worldwide. It gives people something practical to do in their communities, reviving the American spirit and awakening a true sense of community with our children at the helm. A national K-12 initiative would create: - A national service learning curriculum - Sustained local, national, and global outreach - Leadership roles for our youngest - A common heritage of civic engagement
This book, along with its companion volume, Democracy as the Political Empowerment of the Citizen, relates the democratic potential of the latest electronic technologies to the idea of direct-participatory democracy. Taking a critical look at the past and present theories of democracy, this volume clarifies the original meaning of the idea of democracy and explains the distortions it has suffered throughout its long history.
In this book, primary source documents, including Constitutional provisions, federal and state laws, and U.S. court decisions, explain our voting rights and show how the law governs disputed elections and electoral reforms. * Provides substantial commentary as well as supporting tables, charts, and graphs * Accessible sidebar material extends and complements the text * Includes interesting and informative photos and editorial cartoons
Designed especially for persons seeking to become citizens of the U.S. Can be used to help the reader prepare for the naturalization exams. The main focus is on understanding the heritage and development of the U.S. and its system of government. Contains learning objectives, a glossary and review questions. Illustrated.
Report by the Little Hoover Commission on how the state of California, which employs more than 150,000 civil servants assigned to executive branch agencies, can rethink how it puts people to work doing the public's business. Sections: executive vision; cooperative problem-solving; coordinated infrastructure; unified management; productive bargaining; effective compensation; flexible classification; coordinated recruiting; accurate selection; supportive training; fair, efficient discipline; and conclusion. 22 sidebars and 8 charts and graphics.