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Holding power to account
Author: Matt Qvortrup

Voters can be sophisticated. In 2018, a majority of the voters in Florida voted for a conservative governor, but they also voted to give prisoners the right to vote, something the Republican Governor had opposed. The voters showed that they were able to distinguish measures from men. Politics is not just about tribal partisanship. Voters demand more choice. And they are able to exercise their judgement. Florida is not unique. This is a global trend. A large majority of voters all over the world – according to opinion polls – want more referendums. But are they capable of making decisions on complex issues? And aren’t such votes an invitation to ill-considered populism? This book answers these questions and shows what the effect of referendums have on public policy, on welfare and well-being, and outlines how some of the criticisms of referendums and initiatives can be remedied.

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Jeffrey Richards

any city I visited, told me they liked those Monday evenings and my ‘greetings’ and ‘goodnights’. It cost me very much more than $100,000 a year when a letter came to me in 1944, telling me that I could no longer conduct the Lux Radio Theatre. 2 What happened was that in 1944 the American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) decided to fight Proposition 12 which was due to appear on the Californian Election Ballot. Proposition 12 allowed every

in Cinema and radio in Britain and America, 1920–60
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Bringing it all back home
Matt Qvortrup

A people having sovereign power should do for itself all it can do well, and what it cannot do well, it must do through its representatives. Montesquieu, De L’Esprit des Lois 1 Referendums and ballot propositions can be good for

in Democracy on demand
Can one have too much democracy?
Marcel H. Van Herpen

in the last election for statutes, and 8 percent for constitutional amendments). So instead of the process being open to everyone, it is open mostly to those organized interests that can pay the entrance fee. 33 The commercialization also led to a spamming effect , due to the overload of ballot propositions. In 2016 another analyst called the California ballot for this reason “an epic joke.” 34 “I’m talking about the California November voter guide,” he wrote, “which this year clocks in at 224 pages, thanks to 17 statewide ballot propositions – the longest

in The end of populism
Matt Qvortrup

.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/may/02/no-­to-­av-­vote-­tory-­party-­funding (accessed 6 May 2011). 52 Butler and Kitzinger, The 1975 Referendum. 53 Elizabeth Gerber (1999) The Populist Paradox: Interest Group Influence and the Promise of Direct Democracy, Princeton, Princeton University Press, p. 110. 54 D. Lowenstein (1982) ‘Campaign Spending and Ballot Propositions: Recent Experience, Public Choice Theory and the First Amendment’, UCLA Law Review, Vol. 29, 505. 48 49 124 Direct democracy The defeat of the ‘yes’ campaign was in large measure the result of a failure to use

in Direct democracy
Matt Qvortrup

) ‘Constitutional Regulation of Legislative Choice: The Political Consequences of Judicial Deference to Legislatures’, Virginia Law Review, Vol. 74, 74. 37 Eule, ‘Judicial Review of Direct Democracy’, 1545. 32 33 138 Direct democracy Implications The refutation of Pak’s case for a stricter judicial review of ballot propositions does not, of course, render judicial review impermissible. It is the duty of the courts ‘to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void’.38 But there is nothing inherent in initiatives which justifies that they almost

in Direct democracy
Campaign spending
Matt Qvortrup

David B. Magleby , Direct Legislation: Voting on Ballot Propositions in the United States (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press , 1984 ), p. 150 . 29 Shaun

in Democracy on demand
An empirical assessment
Matt Qvortrup

. Researchers also found that citizens were more knowledgeable, interested and engaged in politics when there are propositions on the ballot 41 . An analysis of the 2006 midterm elections found higher turnout in states where voters had the opportunity to vote for citizen-initiated ballot propositions. Average turnout for the 18 states with initiatives was 45.1 per cent while the 32

in Democracy on demand