If you live in one of the 18 states that have the direct initiative and referendum, then on the days you can vote you have democracy."

Happily, I live in one of those states. California. 

If you live in one of the other 32 states you are a victim of the people you elect to state legislatures.

I’ve heard that some folks in Wisconsin are working to get the direct initiative and referendum added to their Constitution.

If  you live in one of these states, do you know if people there are working to do that?

We who live in the United States of America are victims of the people we elect to Congress. Some of those people, especially those in leadership positions, are predators.

I want better than that.

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We don't have direct initiative or referendum in South Carolina.  We're entirely at the mercy of our elected representatives and "elected" here means Republican, usually the most far right Republican, but they decide that among themselves because the votes of rare Democrats don't mean a thing here.

In this political atmosphere it would be good to have some voice in individual issues because sometimes they aren't defined in strict right/left terms.  Instead we have low-resolution politics and a choice between the incumbent Republican and various challenging Republicans or a throw-away vote for the occasional Quixotic Democrat who never gets past the primaries.

}}}}

Interesting framing, Ted, "low-resolution politics." 

In general, Australia does not have direct initiative and referendum. Yes, we have just had a vote for same sex marriage but how many years ago has it been since we had a referendum? It doesn't happen often enough - maybe because the last one cost us $120M!!!

In ancient Athens, the people were much more connected with democracy and voted on and decided the fate of the city state pretty much on a daily basis.

What passes as democracy in modern times would not be recognised as such by an ancient Athenian.

One can only hope that the modern world can become more democratic one day especially with the technological ability allowing us to all vote and have our say instantaneously.

I vaguely remember some SF story where politicians, celebrities, and public figures of all kinds received immediate feedback, "sayback", through the ubiquitous TVs with two-way communications features. The head of the (galactic?) government could even be removed if enough people disapproved of something they did.

And the Athenians had a similar system where they could put the names of officials they thought were corrupt in a bowl and vote them out. In fact, their punishment was exile for a certain period of time.

Vangelis, weren’t the free males the only ancient Athenians who voted?

As I recall, the enslaved males and females didn’t vote.

Hoping won’t make the modern world more democratic. i 

That's true. In some ways they were more democratic in others, less. But let's not get on our high horse just yet. It was only 1920 that women got the vote in America. That's still less than 100 years ago.

Could you explain what the Direct Initiative and Referendum are in your post? It would be helpful for those who aren't familiar with them so that they can understand what they're missing out on. Or, at the minimum, provide a link to the exact thing you're discussing. Wikipedia has multiple explanations for these things.

Easton, I checked ‘direct initiative’ in Wikipedia and found the  description brief but clear.  If you looked for ‘initiative’ you would have seen multiple explanations on the disambiguation page.

Can you describe the specific info you want?

Thank you for your reply, Tom.

I will take a look again at the Wikipedia entry for Direct Initiative, since you say it represents what you mean by Direct Initiative.

The second part, Referendum, can mean different things depending on the country. It can be a change to policy done directly by the people; it can be like a Plebiscite, which merely serves the purpose of gauging public opinion; or, it can serve the same purpose as what we call a Constitutional Amendment. Those are few of the things a Referendum can mean. In the USA, it can mean all three of those things.

The specific thing I am looking for is the definition of the two items you are asking about. Or links to the two items explaining those things you are asking about.

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