Data

Links
http://www.iandrinstitute.org/
http://www.iri-europe.org/
Facilitation
No
Decision Methods
Voting
Scope of Implementation
Regional
Level of Polarization This Method Can Handle
name:level_polarization-key:moderate_polarization

METHOD

Initiative Process

First Submitted By Vicnin

Most Recent Changes By Scott Fletcher, Participedia Team

Links
http://www.iandrinstitute.org/
http://www.iri-europe.org/
Facilitation
No
Decision Methods
Voting
Scope of Implementation
Regional
Level of Polarization This Method Can Handle
name:level_polarization-key:moderate_polarization

The initiative process is a form of direct democracy where citizens can propose legislation which is then put to popular referendum. There are two types of initiative: direct (citizens'/popular) and indirect (agenda/agenda-setting).

Problems and Purpose

The initiative process is a form of democratic participation through which citizens propose a legislative bill or constitutional amendment via a petition.[1] There are two kinds of initiatives: direct or ‘citizens’’ initiatives (also known as popular initiatives) and indirect or ‘agenda’ initiatives (also known as agenda-setting initiatives). Direct initiatives end in a referendum or public vote on the proposed legislation while indirect initiatives leave final decision-making up to elected officials. In both cases, the proposal must gain sufficient public support (signatures or endorsements) before it can be submitted for consideration by the legislature.[2] 

Unlike elections, the initiative process is open to citizens at any time, giving citizens a direct channel of democratic voice, action, and influence. In theory, it was developed to allow for free and unfettered self-expression and participation as "partners" in the decision-making and legislative procedure.[3] Proponents of the initiative process see it as a way to give citizens the resources and skills to influence what government does (internal efficacy), and to better align government action with citizen opinion or demand (external efficacy).[4] 

Where the citizens’ initiative has been implemented, if the government acts in a manner inconsistent with most citizens’ preferences or declines to implement a policy that most citizens prefer, citizens may then bypass the government and directly enact the laws they prefer. Where the agenda initiative has been implemented, citizens may compel an unresponsive government to consider a law or policy that enjoys strong popular support. In both cases, it is assumed that voters are informed about public policy issues and want to make decisions based on informed reason rather party ideology.[5]

Origins and Development

While direct democracy by vote of the people dates back to pre-modern times,[6] the initiative process as an institution of democratic governance originated in Switzerland. Kris William Kobach tracing its development back to the 1798 constitutional system which “laid the foundation for direct democracy at the national level,” containing, as it did, provisions for constitutional referendums and the ability for “assemblies primaires” to submit amendments or revisions. Indeed, the next constitution, in 1802, was submitted to the people for approval via referendum.[7] Beginning in 1830, ‘cantons’ (regions) introduced the ‘optional legislative referendum’ “which allowed citizens to challenge routine laws by petition, thereby bringing the questions before the electorate.” By 1891, the initiative process was institutionalized at both the canton and federal (national) level.[8] 

In America, most states in the western half of the country include some form of direct democracy - initiative or popular referendum - while most states on the eastern and southern regions include few or none of these forms. States that joined the United States after the Civil War are more likely to have direct democracy, possibly due to the influence of Progressives - supporters of increased citizen involvement in government - during the late 1800s and early 1900s.[9] The first state to adopt the citizens’ initiative was South Dakota in 1898. As of 2016, 24 states have some type of initiative process. 16 states allow for direct initiatives and 2 states allow for indirect initiatives on constitutional amendments. 14 states allow for direct initiatives and 9 states allow for indirect initiatives on state statutes.[10] 

The following country statistics are from IDEA International’s Direct Democracy Database[11]: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1J5H4GuirgluPTfs8_hfk5o8k3Sg3h6NY

Participant Recruitment and Selection

Generally speaking, anyone living under the jurisdiction of an authority which allows for citizens’ to propose legislation through direct or indirect initiative may do so. Laws and restrictions regarding eligibility vary depending on the political entity involved. In the United States, citizens’ initiatives (ballot initiatives) have increased in popularity since the early 1990s, causing many state legislatures to heighten the barriers to participation. For example, some states have increased the number of signatures that must be collected before a proposal can make the ballot which increases the cost associated with organizing an initiative.[12] The European Citizens’ Initiative provides a free online platform to collect signatures which decreases the cost of participation somewhat since an initiative must have over 1 million signatures to be considered.[13] The advent of the internet and online channels of communication has, arguably, lowered the costs associated with organizing an initiative: locating supporters, gathering signatures, coordinating promotional events, discussing next steps, and sharing ideas.[14]

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

The first step in both the direct and indirect initiative process is the drafting of a legislative proposal. This is done by any member of the public, either individually or as a group or organization. Petitioners must then seek public support for their proposal in the form of signatures. The required number of signatures depends on the political entity involved. Larger municipalities and provinces in Europe generally require 3% of the population while smaller jurisdictions may require as high as 15%.[15] After receiving the minimum number of signatures required by the legislative body whom they are petitioning, the proposal is then submitted and accepted by governing authorities. This is the point at which the direct and indirect versions of the initiative process diverge. 

Direct Initiative

Once accepted by authorities, the draft proposal is put to popular vote through a ‘ballot measure’ (in the United States) or referendum.[16] Some citizens’ initiative processes allow the government to make a counter-proposal to the measure which is included on the public ballot or referendum. As well, some regions in the United States allow for a Citizens’ Initiative Review: a citizens’ jury held to consider the initiative before it goes to public vote via a ‘ballot measure’. The Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review is one example of this process but it has been replicated in other states. The outcome of the review is then published as a voters’ guide before the public ballot measure is held.[17] 

In the absence of a formal deliberative process, citizens rely on several different sources of information to gather information before voting on the initiative. In many jurisdictions, the government distributes non-partisan information booklets called a voters’ guide or voters’ pamphlets.[18] Depending on jurisdictional regulations, advocates supporting or opposing an initiative may distribute information and arguments about initiatives through unofficial voters’ guides, political campaigns, and various forms of advertising and other promotional materials including op-ed articles in news media, Internet marketing, social media marketing, media appearances, and public events.[19] In some cases, news or civil society organizations may hold public forums – online or in-person -- for citizens to learn more about the initiative and hear advocates’ arguments for-and-against.[20] 

The following is an overview of the kinds and sources of information available to California as reported by the non-partisan Center for Governmental Studies[21]: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HZAnMLMJxFSi_hrHaDdgpEyrtqYyQeUT

Indirect Initiative

The indirect initiative (agenda initiative or agenda-setting initiative) is also submitted to the relevant governing authorities once it gains enough signatures. However, the final decision over the proposed legislation is left up to the relevant authorities.[22] While a public vote on the initiative is not mandatory, as in the case of the direct or citizens’ initiative, some agenda-initiative processes nevertheless invite citizens to participate through deliberative consultation or referendum after the measure has been submitted and considered by the legislature. An example of this kind of initiative is the European Citizens' Initiative, the first transnational direct democratic tool in history which allows a group of citizens, with the support of one million others from across Europe, to request changes in European law. Because it is an indirect initiative process, the ECI is not a referendum right and does not initiate a popular vote. While the European Commission retains the right to initiate legislation, an ECI does force a consideration if it successfully completes the steps along the way.[23]

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

In the United States, citizens’ initiatives have been used to successfully press for the adoption of state statutes and constitutional amendments altering affirmative action, reproductive rights, gay rights, bilingual education, public health, immigration, environmental protection, taxes, spending, education, and welfare policy.[24] Legislation has been passed via citizens’ initiative on women’s suffrage, the removal of poll taxes, the establishment of presidential primaries, and the construction of so-called ‘sunshine laws’ which ensure public meetings are open and transparent in their transcription.[25] As well, the citizens’ initiative in the United States has led to institutional reforms “capping campaign finance contributions, providing for the public financing of candidates, limiting the terms of elected officials, opening “closed” primaries, enacting mail voting, and restricting legislatures’ ability to tax and spend.”[26]

In their assessment of the citizens’ initiative process in the United States, political scientists Caroline Tolbert, John Grummel, and Danial Smith note the following ‘indirect’ outcomes:

  • An alteration of the democratic process to mandate candidates and their state and national parties debate divisive issues during political campaigns 
  • An elevation of the stature of political consultants in state elections due to the large amounts of money spent on some measures 
  • A possible increase in voter turnout through increased motivation to participate due to a heightened sense of civic duty and political efficacy[27]

Some scholars and public commentators have claimed that citizens can become more informed, knowledgeable and aware if granted a greater stake in their democracy through, for example, a direct channel of participation such as the citizens’ initiative. First, ballot measures may enhance citizens’ sense of political efficacy by giving them a stronger sense of their ability to affect policy. This will motivate them to better understand political topics. Second, initiatives may increase media coverage of politics, thereby providing people with non-costly information and in turn increasing their knowledge. Writing in the London School of Economic Blog, political scientists Nicholas R. Seabrook, Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr. note that, while it is possible that direct democracy may help increase citizens’ levels of knowledge about policy-specific issues, especially those that may be under consideration on the ballot in a given election, there is no evidence that the use of direct democracy has any positive effect on citizens’ overall levels of political knowledge outside of this limited context. Their study, published in the journal Political Behavior, found that, of those elections studied, none of the measures of ballot initiative usage or exposure were associated with a significant positive effect on general political knowledge.[28] 

In a 2004 study, Lupia and Matsusaka found that, in the United States, “over the past four decades, the initiative has tended to bring about more fiscally and socially conservative policies at the state level than would occur otherwise.”[29] However, In his review of the use of the initiative process in the United States, Thomas Cronin found that "voters have been cautious and have almost always rejected extreme proposals."[30] Indeed, research suggests that, at least in some circumstances, initiative processes have led to the enactment of legislation that benefits most citizens but which are inconsistent with the interests of incumbent legislators. For example, initiatives that create new and effective governmental bodies or that impose taxation caps or term limits.[31] Research also shows that initiative processes may benefit citizens by increasing citizens’ participation in politics as well as citizens' sense of empowerment[32] although this is contested.[33] As well, the direct initiative process has been popular in the United States with approximately 80 percent of Americans supporting "a national referendum system in which all citizens voted on proposals that deal with major national issues."[34]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

Academic Studies and Suggested Improvements

Research suggests that voters often receive inadequate information about initiatives.[35] Some surveys show that voters have low levels of awareness and knowledge of initiatives. In the U.S. initiatives are frequently invalidated by courts on the grounds that the initiatives conflict with constitutional or other law; this suggests that voters often receive inadequate information about the legal aspects of initiatives.[36] Further, the language of initiatives and voters’ guides frequently exceeds the reading ability of most voters, and campaign advertisements about initiatives often contain false or misleading claims.[37] This evidence suggests the initiative processes in many jurisdictions could be improved by increasing the quality of information citizens receive about initiatives before a vote is held.[38]

As well, the language of the ballot question itself can be confusing. John Gastil, Justin Reedy, and Chris Wells note that, “the counterintuitive nature of the ballot question, which often seek[s] to repeal or overturn existing laws or regulations, set[s] up a situation in which a “Yes” vote is a vote against a policy, and vice-versa for a “No” vote.[39] The authors go on to advocate for a deliberative step in the initiative process which would fulfill Robert Dahl’s argument for “improve[ments to] citizens’ capacities to engage intelligently in political life [through] older institutions [being] enhanced [with] new means for civic education, political participation, information, and deliberation that draw creatively on the array of techniques and technologies available in the twenty-first century.” The Citizens’ Initiative Review’s use of a deliberative mini-public to review and debate the initiative and to issue a non-partisan voters’ guide before the ballot measure is, according to the authors, a potential remedy to the downsides of the generic citizens’ initiative process where “voter information is inadequate, where deliberation suffers, and where public policy outcomes are suboptimal as a result.”[40]

A 2015 study which found no correlation between ballot initiative usage or exposure and general political knowledge should, according to political scholars Nicholas R. Seabrook, Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr., be sobering for advocates of participatory theory and direct democracy who have argued that direct democracy is at least a partial cure for voter apathy, as well as for scholars who have offered more favorable overall assessments of the ballot initiative process generally. And for Europeans hearing claims that adoption of direct democracies in their own countries would help to invigorate citizen political engagement, their advice was “be suspicious.”[41]

Influence of Wealth & Special Interest Groups

A common charge leveled at direct democracy is that they subvert the policy process, allowing for wealthy, well-organized interest groups to push for legislation in the interest of the few, not the many.[42] However, a 2004 study, Lupia and Matsusaka conclude that accusation to be largely unfounded (at least in the United States). From their analysis, the authors reach two conclusions regarding the effect of wealth and influence on the initiative process: “First, the deep pockets of business groups do not allow them to “buy” favorable policy, but they do provide leverage in fighting off measures the groups oppose. Second, citizen groups do appear to be able to use their wealth to gain approval for measures. Thus, it seems that money matters, but in a nuanced way. The spending evidence also suggests why the initiative process does not lead to policies contrary to the wishes of the majority (see below): Without preexisting public support, the financial resources of business groups are ineffective in changing the status quo, and the financial resources of most citizen groups are too scarce to bring about much change.”[43]

Daniel Lowenstein performed a detailed comparison of spending and election outcomes in twenty-five California ballot propositions from 1968 to 1980. His study was intended to confirm or deny the observed pattern “indicating that one-sided spending has been ineffective when it is in support of the proposition but have been almost invariable successful when it is in opposition.”[44] He found no direct, easy answer to the question. Although six out of the nine propositions with big opposition spenders “would have had excellent chances of passing if the campaign spending had been more equal,” Lowenstein contends that “the fact that as many as four initiatives were approved in the face of disparate opposition spending is sufficiently surprising” and pushes back against the case for campaign finance reform.[45] Indeed, money and big spending did work in some cases, but in others they were self-defeating. For example, mismanagement of a campaign could lead to a defeat regardless of money invested.[46] Money spent on “crude” advertisements “attracted adverse media comment” leading to defeat.[47] Messaging was also important, with persuasive supporters able to defeat opponents that outspent them $288,277 to $3,097 in the case of an initiative on utility rates.[48]

The Initiative ‘Elite’ & the High Rate of Initiative Nullification

In an attempt to understand the high rate of initiative nullification by legislatures in the United States, Matthew Manwell attempted to characterize the types of ‘elite’ players in the initiative process - those who organize a petition, bring it before a legislature, and prepare to defend it in court if challenged. Manweller identified 6 dominant types - the zealot, the amateur, the lawyer, the professional, the politician, and the victim - with many of them overlapping or carrying one or more characteristics of the other types.[49] The typology is based on two criteria: first, how willing the participant was to “subjugate their values and how willing they were to limit the scope of their legislation in exchange for actual success,” and, second, “why they were opting to use the initiative system at all.” On the first criteria, zealots “would not compromise their policy values at all to ensure political and judicial victory. Given the choice between scaling back a policy preference or increasing the likelihood of judicial nullification, a zealot would choose the latter.” Lawyers and politicians, on the other hand, “were more willing to scale back goals, and compromise their values to protect their initiative from judicial nullification.” Professionals, “who have the resources to be repeat players,” often adopted a strategy of “incremental steps to achieve their ultimate policy goals.” Victims were the most extreme, adopting an ‘all-or-nothing approach’ in response to “feeling they only had one shot at making a difference to ‘protect’ society from the same events they had experienced.”[50] Amateurs apparently don’t put much consideration into the potential need for compromises since they “fail to understand that initiatives may be challenged along procedural as well as content grounds.”[51]

On the second criteria - why the individual was using the initiative process in the first place - Manweller found that, across the board, all types of ‘initiative elite’ used the initiative system “because the more traditional legislative system does not offer access - either they cannot get elected or they cannot get the legislature to consider their policy ideas.” Professionals tend to lean libertarian while zealots “have ideas so far outside the mainstream that powerful interest groups can prevent their ideas from ever making it out of committee.” Lawyers tended to be involved at the ‘fringe’ of traditional politics and politicians using the initiative process were often doing so out of frustration “over the ability of committees and governors to influence, change, and block their legislation.” Amateurs opted for the initiative process because they perceive it as “offering immediate and easy access to politics” while victims see it as a kind of ‘last resort’.[52]

Manwell notes that this typology does not suggest a causal relationship between the type of organizer and the rate of initiative success or failure. Rather, “the typology suggests that different types of initiative elites have their measures struck down by the courts for different reasons,” and that, “by offering a glimpse into the mindset of various initiative elites, one can see the various reasons why they suffer such high rates of judicial nullification.”[53]

Lessons from the ECI: the Largest Indirect Initiative Process

There has been considerable analysis of the European Citizens’ Initiative, the largest implementation of indirect initiative process. Writing in 2012, Sean Deel of the London School of Economics and Political Science noted that the first iteration – ECI 1.0 – has a number of nearly fatal flaws, and more are becoming apparent as groups across Europe register ECIs. The European Citizens’ Initiative Campaign (ECIC), a group that campaigned for the inclusion of the ECI in the EU constitution and now closely monitors its use, has enumerated several of these weaknesses, including the need to simplify the signature gathering process (currently each of the 27 member states can set different rules on what information must be collected, including ID numbers); the need for more support for ECI organisers from the Commission; the need to extend the period for signature collection from 12 to 18 or 24 months; and, crucially, the need to allow ECIs which propose treaty amendments to be admissible.[54]

See Also

European Citizens' Initiative 

Oregon Citizens' Initiative Review 

References

[1] John Gastil, By Popular Demand: Revitalizing Representative Democracy through Deliberative Elections, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 70. Retrieved from https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=kt596nc7dp;query=;brand=ucpress

[2] IDEA International, “Direct Democracy Database Glossary,” November 7, 2016. https://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/direct-democracy.

[3] Petrescu, Oana - Mariuca. (2014). THE EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE: A USEFUL INSTRUMENT FOR SOCIETY AND FOR CITIZENS?. Revista chilena de derecho, 41(3), 993-1015. https://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-34372014000300009

[4] Shaun Bowler and Todd Donovan. (2002). Democracy, Institutions, and Attitudes about Citizen Influence on Government. British Journal of Political Science, 32, 372. https://cedar.wwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=politicalscience_facpubs

[5] “Direct Democracy,” in American Government. Authored by: OpenStax. Provided by: OpenStax; Rice University. Located at: https://cnx.org/contents/[email protected]:[email protected]/Direct-Democracy 

[6] California Commission on Campaign Financing, Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California’s Fourth Branch of Government, (Los Angeles, CA: Center for Responsive Government), 1. http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/215 

[7] Kris W. Kobach. (1993). The Referendum: Direct Democracy in Switzerland. Aldershot, UK: Dartmouth. http://www.ditext.com/kobach/referendum.html 

[8] Kobach, The Referendum: Direct Democracy in Switzerland, http://www.ditext.com/kobach/referendum.html 

[9] “Direct Democracy,” in American Government. Authored by: OpenStax. Provided by: OpenStax; Rice University. Located at: https://cnx.org/contents/[email protected]:[email protected]/Direct-Democracy 

[10] “State-by-State List of Initiative and Referendum Provisions,” Initiative & Referendum Institute, March 17, 2016, http://www.iandrinstitute.org/states.cfm.

[11] IDEA International, “Direct Democracy Database Glossary,” November 7, 2016. https://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/direct-democracy. 

[12] Kerri Milita, “Restrictive Ballot Access Laws Reduce the Technical Complexity of Initiatives and Make Them More Likely to Pass,” London School of Economics USAPP Blog, April 15, 2015, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2015/04/15/restrictive-ballot-access-laws-reduce-the-technical-complexity-of-initiatives-and-make-them-more-likely-to-pass/. 

[13] Maja Troedsson, “Fraternité 2020: A European Citizens’ Initiative,” OpenDemocracy, December 18, 2012, https://opendemocracy.net/maja-troedsson/fraternit%C3%A9-2020-european-citizens-initiative. 

[14] Troedsson, “Fraternité 2020: A European Citizens’ Initiative.”

[15] Norbert Kersting. (2009). Direct Democracy in Southern and East Africa: Referendums and Initiatives. Journal of African Elections, 8(2), 4. https://www.eisa.org.za/pdf/JAE8.2Kersting.pdf.

[16] IDEA International, “Direct Democracy Database Glossary,” November 7, 2016. https://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/direct-democracy. 

[17] John Gastil, “Evidence from Oregon Shows That Citizens’ Initiative Reviews Can Improve Voters’ Decision-Making about Ballot Measures,” London School of Economics USAPP Blog, December 13, 2017, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2017/12/13/evidence-from-oregon-shows-that-citizens-initiative-reviews-can-improve-voters-decision-making-about-ballot-measures/. 

[18] Peter Brien. (2002). “Voter Pamphlets: The Next Best Step in Election Reform,” Journal of Legislation, 28, 88-89. https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1164&context=jleg 

[19] David S. Broder. (2000). Democracy Derailed: Initiative Campaigns and the Power of Money. New York: Harcourt.

Brien, “Voter Pamphlets,” 89-90. 

[20] See, for example:

“Montana 2018 Ballot Initiatives Public Forum,” Bozeman Magazine, last updated September 26, 2018, http://bozemanmagazine.com/events/2018/09/26/66709_montana_2018_ballot_initiatives_public_forum.

Evie Hemphill, “Inform Your Vote: Understanding Missouri’s 2018 Ballot Measures,” St. Louis Public Radio, October 30, 2018, https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/inform-your-vote-understanding-missouris-2018-ballot-measures#stream/0. 

[21] California Commission on Campaign Financing, Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California’s Fourth Branch of Government, (Los Angeles, CA: Center for Responsive Government, 2008), 231, http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/215. 

[22] IDEA International, “Direct Democracy Database Glossary,” November 7, 2016. https://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/direct-democracy. 

[23] Sean Deel, “The European Citizens Initiative: A Tool of Its Time?,” OpenDemocracy, October 9, 2012, https://www.opendemocracy.net/sean-deel/european-citizens-initiative-tool-of-its-time. 

[24] Caroline J. Tolbert, John A. Grummel, and Daniel A. Smith. (2001). The Effects of Ballot Initiatives on Voter Turnout in the American States. American Political Research, 29, 627. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.525.7827&rep=rep1&type=pdf 

[25] Gastil, By Popular Demand, 71. 

[26] Tolbert, Grummel, and Smith, “The Effects of Ballot Initiatives,” 627-628. 

[27] Tolbert, Grummel, and Smith, “The Effects of Ballot Initiatives,” 628. 

[28] Nicholas R. Seabrook, Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr., “The Ballot Initiative Process Does Not Make People More Generally Knowledgeable about Politics,” London School of Economic USAPP Blog, August 14, 2015, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2015/08/14/the-ballot-initiative-process-does-not-make-people-more-generally-knowledgeable-about-politics/. 

[29] Lupia and Matsusaka. (2004). Direct Democracy: New Approaches to Old Questions. 474. http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~matsusak/Papers/Lupia_Matsusaka_Annual_Review.pdf. 

[30] Thomas E. Cronin, Direct Democracy: The Politics of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989), 197. 

[31] Tolbert, Grummel, and Smith, “The Effects of Ballot Initiatives,” 628. 

[32] Tolbert, Grummel, and Smith, “The Effects of Ballot Initiatives,” 628. 

[33] Seabrook, Dyck and Lascher, Jr., “The Ballot Initiative Process Does Not Make People More Generally Knowledgeable about Politics,” https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2015/08/14/the-ballot-initiative-process-does-not-make-people-more-generally-knowledgeable-about-politics/

[34] Gastil, By Popular Demand, 71.

[35] Gastil, By Popular Demand, 71. 

[36] Brien, “Voter Pamphlets,” 104.

[37] John Gastil, Justin Reedy, and Chris Wells. (2007). When Good Voters Make Bad Policies: Assessing and Improving the Deliberative Quality of Initiative Elections. University of Colorado Law Review, 78, 1446-1447. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2756708

[38] Brien, “Voter Pamphlets,” 110. 

[39] Gastil, Reedy, and Wells. (2007). “When Good Voters Make Bad Policies,” 1442. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2756708

[40] Gastil, Reedy, and Wells. (2007). “When Good Voters Make Bad Policies,” 1466. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2756708

[41] Seabrook, Dyck and Lascher, Jr., “The Ballot Initiative Process Does Not Make People More Generally Knowledgeable about Politics,” https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/usappblog/2015/08/14/the-ballot-initiative-process-does-not-make-people-more-generally-knowledgeable-about-politics/ 

[42] Arthur Lupia and John G. Matsusaka. (2004). Direct Democracy: New Approaches to Old Questions. Annual Review of Political Science, 7, 470. http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~matsusak/Papers/Lupia_Matsusaka_Annual_Review.pdf. 

[43] Lupia and Matsusaka, “Direct Democracy: New Approaches to Old Questions,” 472. http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~matsusak/Papers/Lupia_Matsusaka_Annual_Review.pdf. 

[44] Daniel H. Lowenstein. (1982). Campaign Spending and Ballot Propositions: Recent Experience, Public Choice Theory and the First Amendment. UCLA Law Review, 29, 511.

[45] Lowenstein, “Campaign Spending and Ballot Propositions,” 639.

[46] Lowenstein, “Campaign Spending and Ballot Propositions,” 640.

[47] Lowenstein, “Campaign Spending and Ballot Propositions,” 640. 

[48] Lowenstein, “Campaign Spending and Ballot Propositions,” 640. 

[49] Matthew Manweller. (2005). The People Versus the Courts: Judicial Review and Direct Democracy in the American Legal System. Bethesda, MD: Academica Press. https://books.google.ca/books?id=IfsNhpD15SgC&pg=PA37&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false 

[50] Manwell, The People Versus the Courts, 39-40. 

[51] Manwel, The People Versus the Courts, 47. 

[52] Manwell, The People Versus the Courts, 40. 

[53] Manwell, The People Versus the Courts, 56. 

[54] Sean Deel, “The European Citizens Initiative: A Tool of Its Time?,” OpenDemocracy, October 9, 2012, https://www.opendemocracy.net/sean-deel/european-citizens-initiative-tool-of-its-time. 

External Links

Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California: IRI, http://www.iandrinstitute.org/

Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe: IRI-Europe, http://www.iri-europe.org/

All Statewide Initiatives from 1904-2000 http://www.iandrinstitute.org/docs/Statewide-Initiatives-1904-2000.pdf

Shaun Bowler and Todd Donovan. (2002). Democracy, Institutions, and Attitudes about Citizen Influence on Government. British Journal of Political Science, 32, 371–390. https://cedar.wwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=politicalscience_facpubs

Bruno Kaufmann, Rolf Buchi, and Nadja Braun. (2010). Guidebook to Direct Democracy in Switzerland and Beyond: IRI Guidebook to Direct Democracy. 2010 edition. Marburg: Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe. http://www.scribd.com/doc/64317996/Guidebook-Direct-Democracy-2010

Print Resources

Thomas E. Cronin. (1989). Direct Democracy: The Politics of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Philip L. Dubois and Floyd Feeney. (1998). Lawmaking by Initiative: Issues, Options, and Comparisons. New York: Agathon Press.

Elizabeth R. Gerber et al. (2001). Stealing the Initiative: How State Government Responds to Direct Democracy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Bruno Kaufmann and M. Dane Waters. (2004). Direct Democracy in Europe: A Comprehensive Reference Guide to the Initiative and Referendum Process in Europe. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. 

David B. Magleby. (1984). Direct Legislation: Voting on Ballot Propositions in the United States. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

John G. Matsusaka. (2004). For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kenneth P. Miller. (2009). Direct Democracy and the Courts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

M. Dane Waters (Ed.). (2001). The Battle over Citizen Lawmaking: A Collection of Essays. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Betty H. Zisk. (1987). Money, Media, and the Grass Roots. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Notes

Lead image: Elia Kaitavuori & Rolf Buechi | Activating Democracy, https://goo.gl/rNXAmX

Secondary image: Elia Kaitavuori & Rolf Buechi | Activating Democracy, https://goo.gl/zEdmfn