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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Direct democracy?

Direct democracy or pure democracy is a form of democracy in which people decide on policy initiatives directly. This differs from the majority of currently established democracies, which are representative democracies. 

What are initiatives referendums and recalls?

Initiative, Referendum and Recall are three powers reserved to the voters to enable them, by petition, to propose or repeal legislation or to remove an elected official from office.

What is a referendum?

A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct and universal vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal and can have nationwide or local forms. This may result in the adoption of a new policy or specific law. 

What is the difference between initiative and referendum?

 The process is termed INITIATIVE because the electorate can initiate legislation. ... The referendum also permits the Legislature itself to refer proposed legislation to the electorate for approval or rejection. The initiative and referendum processes guarantee Washington's electorate the right to legislate.

What is a initiative in government?

An initiative (also known as a popular or citizens' initiative) is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a government to choose to either enact a law

What is Direct initiative?

A direct initiative is when an initiative measure, either an initiated state statute or initiated constitutional amendment, is placed directly on the ballot for voters to reject or pass. The measure is not first submitted to the legislature.

What is Indirect initiative?

 An indirect initiative refers to a process where after sufficient signatures are collected, the measure is voted on by a parliament.

Who rules in a direct democracy?

In indirect, or representative democracy, citizens elect representatives to make laws on their behalf. This is what most modern countries have today. Direct democracy makes decisions by majority rule.Add an answer here.

What is direct democracy and indirect democracy?

What is direct democracy and indirect democracy? Indirect democracy, or representative democracy, is when citizens elect representatives to make laws for them. ... Direct democracy is where citizens themselves vote for or against specific proposals or laws. Some city states in Ancient Greece had this system.

What is the most important feature of a democracy?

No consensus exists on how to define democracy, but legal equality, political freedom and rule of law have been identified as important characteristics. These principles are reflected in all eligible citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to legislative processes.

How does direct democracy balance majority rule versus minority rights?

Democracy therefore requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule. Indeed, as democracy is understood today, the minority's rights must be protected no matter how alienated a minority is from the majority society; otherwise, the majority's rights lose their meaning.

How are minority rights protected in a democracy?

The First Amendment gives all citizens basic rights. It is through these rights that the minority stays protected. The right to free speech and the right to assemble allow the minority to be heard, which gives them the opportunity to grow and become the majority.

Why is direct democracy important?

It allows the electorate to express their opinion on decisions taken by the federal parliament and to propose amendments to the Federal Constitution.

What is majority rule and minority protection?

Majority rule helps to protect minority rights, at least in settings in which deliberation occurs. ... Furthermore, if a minority wishes to overturn a decision, it needs to form a coalition with only enough of the group members to ensure that more than half approves of the new proposal.

Why is democracy not considered simply a rule of majority?

Democracy is not simply the rule of majority because in democracy it is considered that the views of the minority are not dominated by the majority. Further, ... Rule by majority means that in case of every decision and election, different persons and groups may and can form a majority.

What is an example of minority rights?

Example the rights of persons belonging to minorities to enjoy their own. culture, profess and practise their own religion and use their own language. […]. Such rights are permanent rights, recognized as such in human rights. instruments, including those adopted in the context of the United Nations.

What is it called when the minority rules the majority?

Minoritarianism may be contrasted with majoritarianism, but with legislative power being held or controlled by a minority group rather than the majority.

Who created direct democracy?

The earliest known direct democracy is said to be the Athenian democracy in the 5th century BC, although it was not an inclusive democracy: it excluded women, foreigners, and slaves. What is another word for majority rule?

What are the pros and cons of direct democracy?

Pros of direct democracy include the fact that it makes government more responsive to the people's wishes and creates more political participation. Cons include the fact that it's time consuming and difficult for citizens to be fully informed about every issue. With the advances in technology today the cons virtually eliminated.

What rights do citizens have in a direct democracy?

This is the most common form of direct legislation. A popular referendum empowers citizens to make a petition that calls existing legislation to a vote by the citizens. ... This form of direct democracy effectively grants the voting public a veto on laws adopted by the elected legislature, as in Switzerland.

About us

A national organization dedicated to the belief that citizens should be in charge of their government. One of the best tools that citizens have for enacting change is the initiative and referendum process. Our organization is made up of activists, legislators, financial supporters, opinion leaders, and most importantly — citizens — who come together to protect and defend this process where it exists, and extend it to where it does not. But no matter our background, we all recognize that additional checks on state legislatures are to be encouraged.

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