Direct democracy
Overview
 
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy". Depending on the particular system in use, it might entail passing executive decisions, making law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

s, directly electing or dismissing officials and conducting trial
Trial
A trial is, in the most general sense, a test, usually a test to see whether something does or does not meet a given standard.It may refer to:*Trial , the presentation of information in a formal setting, usually a court...

s.

Many countries that are representative democracies allow for three forms of political action that provide limited direct democracy: referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 (plebiscite), initiative
Initiative
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote...

, and recall
Recall election
A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended...

.
Encyclopedia
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy". Depending on the particular system in use, it might entail passing executive decisions, making law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

s, directly electing or dismissing officials and conducting trial
Trial
A trial is, in the most general sense, a test, usually a test to see whether something does or does not meet a given standard.It may refer to:*Trial , the presentation of information in a formal setting, usually a court...

s.

Many countries that are representative democracies allow for three forms of political action that provide limited direct democracy: referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 (plebiscite), initiative
Initiative
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote...

, and recall
Recall election
A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended...

. Referendums can include the ability to hold a binding vote on whether a given law should be rejected. This effectively grants the populace which holds suffrage a veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 on a law adopted by the elected legislature. (One nation to use this system is Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

). Initiatives, usually put forward by members of the general public, compel the consideration of laws (usually in a subsequent referendum) without the consent of the elected representatives, or even against their expressed opposition. Recalls give public the power to remove elected officials from office before the end of their term, although this is very rare in modern democracies. Direct democracy is opposed to a strong central authority. Some of the most important modern thinkers who were inspired by the concept of direct democracy are: Cornelius Castoriadis
Cornelius Castoriadis
Cornelius Castoriadis was a Greek philosopher, social critic, economist, psychoanalyst, author of The Imaginary Institution of Society, and co-founder of the Socialisme ou Barbarie group.-Early life in Athens:...

, Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact...

, and Pierre Clastres
Pierre Clastres
Pierre Clastres, , was a French anthropologist and ethnographer. He is best known for his fieldwork among the Guayaki in Paraguay and his theory on stateless societies.-Theories:...

.

History

The earliest known direct democracy is said to be the Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 508 BC. Athens is one of the first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an Athenian model,...

 in the 5th century BC. Although it may be argued that it was not a liberal democracy because women, foreigners and slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 were excluded from it. The main bodies in the Athenian democracy were the assembly
Popular assembly
A popular or people's assembly is a gathering called to address issues of importance to participants. Assemblies tend to be freely open to participation and operate by direct democracy...

, composed by male citizens, the boule
Boule (Ancient Greece)
In cities of ancient Greece, the boule meaning to will ) was a council of citizens appointed to run daily affairs of the city...

, composed by 500 citizens chosen annually by lot
Sortition
In politics, sortition is the selection of decision makers by lottery. The decision-makers are chosen as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates....

, and the law courts composed by a massive number of juries chosen by lot, with no judges. Out of the male population of 30,000, several thousand citizens were politically active every year and many of them quite regularly for years on end. The Athenian democracy was not only direct in the sense that decisions were made by the assembled people, but also in the sense that the people through the assembly, boule and law courts controlled the entire political process and a large proportion of citizens were involved constantly in the public business. Modern democracies do not use institutions that resemble the Athenian system of rule.

Also relevant is the history of Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 republic beginning circa 449 BC. The ancient Roman Republic's "citizen lawmaking" – citizen formulation and passage of law, as well as citizen veto of legislature-made law – began about 449 BC and lasted the approximately 400 years to the death of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 in 44 BC. Many historians mark the end of the Republic on the passage of a law named the Lex Titia
Lex Titia
The Lex Titia was a Roman law passed on November 27, 43 BC, that legalized the Second Triumvirate of Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus...

, 27 November 43 BC.

Modern-era citizen lawmaking began in the towns of Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 in the 13th century. In 1847, the Swiss added the "statute referendum" to their national constitution. They soon discovered that merely having the power to veto Parliament's laws was not enough. In 1891, they added the "constitutional amendment initiative". The Swiss political battles since 1891 have given the world a valuable experience base with the national-level constitutional amendment initiative (Kobach, 1993). In the past 120 years, more than 240 initiatives have been put to referendum. The populace has been conservative, approving only about 10% of these initiatives; in addition, they have often opted for a version of the initiative rewritten by government. (See Direct democracy in Switzerland below.) Another example is the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where, despite being a federal republic
Federal republic
A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. A federation is the central government. The states in a federation also maintain the federation...

 where no direct democracy exists at the federal level, almost half the states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 (and many localities) provide for citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives (also called "ballot measures" or "ballot questions") and the vast majority of the states have either initiatives and/or referendums. (See Direct democracy in the United States below.)

Some of the issues surrounding the related notion of a direct democracy using the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and other communications technologies are dealt with in e-democracy
E-democracy
E-democracy refers to the use of information technologies and communication technologies and strategies in political and governance processes...

 and below under the term electronic direct democracy. More concisely, the concept of open source governance
Open source governance
Open-source governance is a political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the open-source and open-content movements to democratic principles in order to enable any interested citizen to add to the creation of policy, as with a wiki document. Legislation is...

 applies principles of the free software movement
Free software movement
The free software movement is a social and political movement with the goal of ensuring software users' four basic freedoms: the freedom to run their software, to study and change their software, and to redistribute copies with or without changes. The alternative terms "software libre", "open...

 to the governance of people, allowing the entire populace to participate in government directly, as much or as little as they please. This development strains the traditional concept of democracy, because it does not necessarily give equal representation to each person. Some implementations may even be considered democratically-inspired meritocracies
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

, where contributors to the code of laws are given preference based on their ranking by other contributors.

Ancient Athens

Athenian democracy developed in the Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 of Athens
Classical Athens
The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was a notable polis of Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Hippias...

, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica
Attica
Attica is a historical region of Greece, containing Athens, the current capital of Greece. The historical region is centered on the Attic peninsula, which projects into the Aegean Sea...

, around 500 BC. Athens was one of the very first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an Athenian model, none were as powerful, stable, or as well-documented as that of Athens. In that experiment in direct democracy the people did not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but vote on legislation and executive bills in their own right. Participation was by no means open, but the in-group of participants was constituted with no reference to economic class and they participated on a big scale. The public opinion
Public opinion
Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Public opinion can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views....

 of voters was remarkably influenced by the political satire
Political satire
Political satire is a significant part of satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly...

 performed by the comic poets
Ancient Greek comedy
Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece . Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy...

 at the theatres.

Solon
Solon
Solon was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in archaic Athens...

 (594 BC), Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes was a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family. He is credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508/7 BC...

 (508/7 BC), and Ephialtes
Ephialtes
Ephialtes of Trachis was the son of Eurydemus of Malis. He betrayed his homeland by showing the Persian forces a path around the allied Greek position at the pass of Thermopylae, which helped them win the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC.-Trail:The allied Greek land forces, which Herodotus states...

 (462 BC) all contributed to the development of Athenian democracy. Historians differ on which of them was responsible for which institution, and which of them most represented a truly democratic movement. It is most usual to date Athenian democracy from Cleisthenes, since Solon's constitution fell and was replaced by the tyranny of Peisistratus, whereas Ephialtes revised Cleisthenes' constitution relatively peacefully.
Hipparchus
Hipparchus (son of Pisistratus)
Hipparchus or Hipparch was a member of the ruling class of Athens. He was one of the sons of Peisistratos.Although he was said among Greeks to have been the tyrant of Athens along with his brother Hippias when Peisistratos died, about 528 BC...

, the brother of the tyrant Hippias
Hippias (son of Pisistratus)
Hippias of Athens was one of the sons of Peisistratus, and was tyrant of Athens in the 6th century BC.Hippias succeeded Peisistratus in 527 BC, and in 525 BC he introduced a new system of coinage in Athens. His brother Hipparchus, who may have ruled jointly with him, was murdered by Harmodius and...

, was killed by Harmodius and Aristogeiton
Harmodius and Aristogeiton
Harmodius and Aristogeiton were two men from ancient Athens...

, who were subsequently honored by the Athenians for their alleged restoration of Athenian freedom.

The greatest and longest lasting democratic leader was Pericles
Pericles
Pericles was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars...

; after his death, Athenian democracy was twice briefly interrupted by oligarchic revolution towards the end of the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

. It was modified somewhat after it was restored under Eucleides
Eucleides
Eucleides was archon of Athens at the end of the fifth century BC.During the year that he spent in office , the murderous oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants was driven out of Athens and the Athenian democracy re-established...

; the most detailed accounts are of this fourth-century modification rather than the Periclean system. It was suppressed by the Macedon
Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

ians in 322 BC. The Athenian institutions were later revived, but the extent to which they were a real democracy is debatable.

Switzerland

In Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, single majorities are sufficient at the town, city, and canton
Cantons of Switzerland
The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

 level, but at the national level, double majorities
Double majority
A double majority is the name given to a vote which requires a majority of votes according to two separate criteria. The mechanism is usually used to require strong support for any measure considered to be of great importance...

 are required on constitutional matters. The intent of the double majorities is simply to ensure any citizen-made law's legitimacy
Legitimacy (law)
At common law, legitimacy is the status of a child who is born to parents who are legally married to one another; and of a child who is born shortly after the parents' divorce. In canon and in civil law, the offspring of putative marriages have been considered legitimate children...

 (Kobach, 1993).

Double majorities are, first, the approval by a majority of those voting, and, second, a majority of cantons in which a majority of those voting approve the ballot measure. A citizen-proposed law (i.e. initiative
Initiative
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote...

) cannot be passed in Switzerland at the national level if a majority of the people approve but a majority of the cantons disapprove (Kobach, 1993). For referendums or propositions in general terms (like the principle of a general revision of the Constitution), the majority of those voting is enough (Swiss constitution, 2005).

In 1890, when the provisions for Swiss national citizen lawmaking were being debated by civil society and government, the Swiss adopted the idea of double majorities from the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, in which House votes were to represent the people and Senate votes were to represent the states
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 (Kobach, 1993). According to its supporters, this "legitimacy-rich" approach to national citizen lawmaking has been very successful. Kobach claims that Switzerland has had tandem successes both socially and economically which are matched by only a few other nations, and that the United States is not one of them. Kobach states at the end of his book, "Too often, observers deem Switzerland an oddity among political systems. It is more appropriate to regard it as a pioneer." Finally, the Swiss political system, including its direct democratic devices in a multi-level governance
Multi-level governance
Multi-level governance is a public administration theory that originated from studies on European integration. The authors Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks were the first to develop the concept of multi-level governance in the early 1990s. Their theory resulted from the study of the new structures...

 context, becomes increasingly interesting for scholars of European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 integration (see Trechsel, 2005)

United States

Direct democracy was very much opposed by the framers of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 and some signatories of the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

. They saw a danger in majorities forcing their will on minorities. As a result, they advocated a representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

in the form of a constitutional republic
Constitutional republic
A constitutional republic is a state in which the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over all of its citizens...

 over a direct democracy. For example, James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

, in Federalist No. 10
Federalist No. 10
Federalist No. 10 is an essay written by James Madison and the tenth of the Federalist Papers, a series arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. It was published on Friday, November 22, 1787, under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were...

 advocates a constitutional republic over direct democracy precisely to protect the individual from the will of the majority. He says, "A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." John Witherspoon
John Witherspoon
John Witherspoon was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. As president of the College of New Jersey , he trained many leaders of the early nation and was the only active clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration...

, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

, said "Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage." Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 said, "That a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity..."

Despite the framers' intentions in the beginning of the republic, ballot measures and their corresponding referendums have been widely used at the state and sub-state level. There is much state and federal case law
Case law
In law, case law is the set of reported judicial decisions of selected appellate courts and other courts of first instance which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents in a process known as stare decisis...

, from the early 1900s to the 1990s, that protects the people's right to each of these direct democracy governance components (Magleby, 1984, and Zimmerman, 1999). The first United States Supreme Court ruling in favor of the citizen lawmaking was in Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company v. Oregon, 223 U.S. 118 in 1912 (Zimmerman, December 1999). President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, in his "Charter of Democracy" speech to the 1912 Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 constitutional convention, stated "I believe in the Initiative and Referendum, which should be used not to destroy representative government, but to correct it whenever it becomes misrepresentative."

In various states, referendums through which the people rule include:
  • Referrals by the legislature to the people of "proposed constitutional amendments" (constitutionally used in 49 states, excepting only Delaware
    Delaware
    Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

     – Initiative & Referendum Institute, 2004).
  • Referrals by the legislature to the people of "proposed statute laws" (constitutionally used in all 50 states – Initiative & Referendum Institute, 2004).
  • Constitutional amendment initiative is the most powerful citizen-initiated, direct democracy governance component. It is a constitutionally-defined petition process of "proposed constitutional law", which, if successful, results in its provisions being written directly into the state's constitution. Since constitutional law cannot be altered by state legislatures, this direct democracy component gives the people an automatic superiority and sovereignty, over representative government (Magelby, 1984). It is utilized at the state level in eighteen states: Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

    , Arkansas
    Arkansas
    Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

    , California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

    , Colorado
    Colorado
    Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

    , Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

    , Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    , Michigan
    Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

    , Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

    , Missouri
    Missouri
    Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

    , Montana
    Montana
    Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

    , Nebraska
    Nebraska
    Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

    , Nevada
    Nevada
    Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

    , North Dakota
    North Dakota
    North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

    , Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

    , Oklahoma
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

    , Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

     and South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

     (Cronin, 1989). Among the eighteen states, there are three main types of the constitutional amendment initiative, with different degrees of involvement of the state legislature distinguishing between the types (Zimmerman, December 1999).
  • Statute law initiative is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process of "proposed statute law", which, if successful, results in law being written directly into the state's statutes. The statute initiative is used at the state level in twenty-one states: Alaska
    Alaska
    Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

    , Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho
    Idaho
    Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

    , Maine
    Maine
    Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

    , Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah
    Utah
    Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

    , Washington and Wyoming
    Wyoming
    Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

     (Cronin, 1989). Note that, in Utah, there is no constitutional provision for citizen lawmaking. All of Utah's I&R law is in the state statutes (Zimmerman, December 1999). In most states, there is no special protection for citizen-made statutes; the legislature can begin to amend them immediately.
  • Statute law referendum is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process of the "proposed veto of all or part of a legislature-made law", which, if successful, repeals the standing law. It is used at the state level in twenty-four states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

    , Maine, Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

    , Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

    , North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming (Cronin, 1989).
  • The recall is a constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, petition process, which, if successful, removes an elected official from office by "recalling" the official's election. In most state and sub-state jurisdictions having this governance component, voting for the ballot that determines the recall includes voting for one of a slate of candidates to be the next office holder, if the recall is successful. It is utilized at the state level in nineteen states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

    , Idaho, Illinois, Kansas
    Kansas
    Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

    , Louisiana
    Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

    , Michigan, Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

    , Montana, Nevada, New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

    , North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island
    Rhode Island
    The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

    , Washington and Wisconsin
    Wisconsin
    Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

     (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011, Recall Of State Officials).


There are now a total of 24 U.S. states with constitutionally-defined, citizen-initiated, direct democracy governance components (Zimmerman, December 1999). In the United States, for the most part only one-time majorities are required (simple majority of those voting) to approve any of these components.

In addition, many localities around the U.S. also provide for some or all of these direct democracy governance components, and in specific classes of initiatives (like those for raising taxes), there is a supermajority
Supermajority
A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority . In some jurisdictions, for example, parliamentary procedure requires that any action that may alter the rights of the minority has a supermajority...

 voting threshold requirement. Even in states where direct democracy components are scant or nonexistent at the state level, there often exists local option
Local Option
Local Option is a term used to describe the freedom whereby local political jurisdictions, typically counties or municipalities, can decide by popular vote certain controversial issues within their borders. In practice, it usually relates to the issue of alcoholic beverage sales...

s for deciding specific issues, such as whether a county should be "wet" or "dry" in terms of whether alcohol sales are allowed.

In the U.S. region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 of New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

, many municipalities (styled towns
New England town
The New England town is the basic unit of local government in each of the six New England states. Without a direct counterpart in most other U.S. states, New England towns are conceptually similar to civil townships in other states, but are incorporated, possessing powers like cities in other...

in contrast to cities) practice a very limited form of home rule
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

, and decide local affairs through the direct democratic process of the town meeting
Town meeting
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government....

.http://books.google.fr/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2A35hJAR7u0C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=new+england+town+home+rule&ots=22O-fb1P2q&sig=QyFjJPQfTDqMihiBdj0f5UIgCdc#v=onepage&q&f=false

Electronic direct democracy

Electronic direct democracy (EDD), also known as Direct Digital Democracy (DDD) or E-democracy
E-democracy
E-democracy refers to the use of information technologies and communication technologies and strategies in political and governance processes...

, is a form of direct democracy which utilizes telecommunications to facilitate public participation. Electronic direct democracy is sometimes referred to by other names, such as open source governance
Open source governance
Open-source governance is a political philosophy which advocates the application of the philosophies of the open-source and open-content movements to democratic principles in order to enable any interested citizen to add to the creation of policy, as with a wiki document. Legislation is...

 and collaborative governance
Collaborative governance
Collaborative governance is a process and a form of governance in which participants representing different interests are collectively empowered to make a policy decision or make recommendations to a final decision-maker who will not substantially change consensus recommendations from the...

.

EDD requires electronic voting
Electronic voting
Electronic voting is a term encompassing several different types of voting, embracing both electronic means of casting a vote and electronic means of counting votes....

 or some way to register votes on issues electronically. As in any direct democracy, in an EDD, citizens would have the right to vote on legislation, author new legislation, and recall representatives (if any representatives are preserved).

Technology for supporting EDD has been researched and developed at the Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Institute of Technology, also known as Florida Tech, is an independent private technical research university located in Melbourne, Florida, United States. Founded in 1958 as Brevard Engineering College, the institute has been known by its present name since 1966. Florida Tech's curriculum...

, where the technology is used with student organizations. Numerous other software development projects are underway, along with many supporting and related projects. Several of these projects are now collaborating on a cross-platform architecture, under the umbrella of the Metagovernment project.

EDD as a system is not fully implemented in a political government anywhere in the world, although several initiatives are currently forming. Ross Perot
Ross Perot
Henry Ross Perot is a U.S. businessman best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988...

 was a prominent advocate of EDD when he advocated "electronic town halls
Town meeting
A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule, used primarily in portions of the United States since the 17th century, in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government....

" during his 1992
United States presidential election, 1992
The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

 and 1996 presidential campaigns
United States presidential election, 1996
The United States presidential election of 1996 was a contest between the Democratic national ticket of President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee and the Republican national ticket of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas for President and former Housing Secretary Jack...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Switzerland
Politics of Switzerland
The politics of Switzerland take place in the framework of a multi-party federal parliamentary democratic republic, whereby the Federal Council of Switzerland is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government and the federal administration and is not concentrated in any one...

, already partially governed by direct democracy, is making progress towards such a system.
Senator Online, an Australian political party running for the Senate in the 2007 federal elections, proposed to institute an EDD system so that Australians can decide which way the senators vote on each and every bill. A similar initiative was formed 2002 in Sweden where the party Aktivdemokrati
Aktivdemokrati
Aktiv Demokrati is a Swedish political party that wants to enable direct democracy mixed with representative democracy based on demand by each individual through safe digital solutions like the Internet, telephones or automated teller machines....

, running for the Swedish parliament
Parliament of Sweden
The Riksdag is the national legislative assembly of Sweden. The riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 members , who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years...

, offers its members the power to decide the actions of the party over all or some areas of decision, or alternatively to use a proxy with immediate recall for one or several areas.
Since early 2011 EDD parties are working together on the Participedia wiki
E2D

The only mainstream direct democracy party currently registered with any country's electoral commission [checked against each country's register] is the UK's People's Administration Direct Democracy party. The People's Administration have developed and published the complete architecture for a legitimate reform to EDD [including the required Parliamentary reform process]. Established by musicians [including Alex Romane] and political activists, the People's Administration advocates using the web and telephone to enable the majority electorate to create, propose and vote upon all policy implementation. The People's Administration's blueprint has been published in various forms since 1998 and the People's Administration is currently the only direct democracy party registered in a vote-able format anywhere in the world - making transition possible through evolution via election with legitimate majority support, instead of potentially through revolution via violence.

Relation to other movements

Many political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

s within representative democracies seek to restore either some measure of direct democracy or a more deliberative democracy
Deliberative democracy
Deliberative democracy is a form of democracy in which public deliberation is central to legitimate lawmaking. It adopts elements of both consensus decision-making and majority rule. Deliberative democracy differs from traditional democratic theory in that authentic deliberation, not mere...

, as well as consensus decision-making
Consensus decision-making
Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that seeks the consent, not necessarily the agreement, of participants and the resolution of objections. Consensus is defined by Merriam-Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of belief or sentiment. It has its...

 (rather than simply majority rule
Majority rule
Majority rule is a decision rule that selects alternatives which have a majority, that is, more than half the votes. It is the binary decision rule used most often in influential decision-making bodies, including the legislatures of democratic nations...

). Such movements advocate more frequent public votes and referendums and less of the so-called "rule by politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

". Collectively, these movements are referred to as advocating grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic level of organization: principle of subsidiarity....

 or consensus democracy
Consensus democracy
Consensus democracy is the application of consensus decision-making to the process of legislation in a democracy. It is characterised by a decision-making structure which involves and takes into account as broad a range of opinions as possible, as opposed to systems where minority opinions can...

, to differentiate it from a simple direct democracy model. Another related movement is community politics
Community politics
Community politics is a movement in British politics to re-engage people with political action on a local level.Most developed amongst the Liberal Democrats but adopted to some extent by the British Greens, other parties, and Independents....

 which seeks to engage representatives with communities directly.

Some anarchists (usually social anarchists
Social anarchism
Social anarchism is a term originally used in 1971 by Giovanni Baldelli as the title of his book where he discusses the organization of an ethical society from an anarchist point of view...

) have advocated forms of direct democracy as an alternative to the centralized state and capitalism; however, others (such as individualist anarchists
Individualist anarchism
Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and his or her will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems. Individualist anarchism is not a single philosophy but refers to a...

) have criticized direct democracy and democracy in general for ignoring the rights of the minority, and instead have advocated a form of consensus decision-making
Consensus decision-making
Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that seeks the consent, not necessarily the agreement, of participants and the resolution of objections. Consensus is defined by Merriam-Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of belief or sentiment. It has its...

. Libertarian Marxists
Libertarian Marxism
Libertarian Marxism refers to a broad scope of economic and political philosophies that emphasize the anti-authoritarian aspects of Marxism. Early currents of libertarian Marxism, known as left communism, emerged in opposition to Marxism–Leninism and its derivatives, such as Stalinism, Maoism, and...

, however, fully support direct democracy in the form of the proletarian republic
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

 and see majority rule and citizen participation as virtues. The Young Communist League, USA
Young Communist League, USA
The Young Communist League USA is the fraternal youth organization of the Communist Party USA. Although the name of the group has changed a number of times over the years, it dates its lineage back to 1920, shortly after the establishment of the first communist parties in America.-Early years:The...

 in particular refers to representative democracy as "bourgeois democracy", implying that they see direct democracy as "true democracy".

Sociocracy
Sociocracy
Sociocracy is a system of governance, using consent-based decision making among equivalent individuals and an organizational structure based on cybernetic principles...

 shares the aims of direct democracy, expressing it as the right of citizens to control the conditions of their lives. It uses consensus decision-making ("consent" defined as "no objections") for policy decisions and believes that majority vote is counter-productive because it creates inequality. To create "equivalence", sociocracy delegates policy decisions to those who execute them, not to a separate policy-making body like a Board of Directors or a Senate. Representatives continue to participate in the body that elected them as well as in the body in which they serve as a representative. This overlapping participation maintains consensus between bodies, not just within them. Sociocracy believes it is majority vote and autocratic decision-making that disenfranchise both voters and workers, not representational democracy.

In schools

A democratic school
Democratic school
This is a comprehensive list of current and former democratic schools. Most of these were modeled on the Summerhill School, the oldest existing democratic school founded in 1921...

 is a school that centers on providing a democratic educational environment featuring "full and equal" participation
Participation (decision making)
Participation in social science refers to different mechanisms for the public to express opinions - and ideally exert influence - regarding political, economic, management or other social decisions. Participatory decision making can take place along any realm of human social activity, including...

 from students and staff. These learning environments position youth voice as the central actor in the educative process by engaging students in every facet of school operations, including learning, teaching, leadership, justice, and democracy, through experience. Adult staff support students by offering facilitation according to students' interests.

Sudbury model of democratic education schools are run by a School Meeting where the students and staff participate exclusively and equally. Everyone who wishes to attend can vote, and there are no proxies. As with direct democracy elsewhere, participants are usually only those who have an interest in the topic.

Another tenet of Sudbury schools is giving students the power to choose what to do with their time: individual freedom, freedom of choice, and learning through experience. There are no required classes, and usually there is no requirement to take classes at all. Students are free to choose an activity that they desire, or feel the need to do. They are free to continue activities for as long or short a time as they see fit. In this way, they learn self-discipline, self-regulated learning
Self-regulated learning
The term self-regulated can be used to describe learning that is guided by metacognition , strategic action , and motivation to learn...

 and self-initiation. They also learn faster and retain more knowledge, thanks to the engagement in activities that they are passionate about. The students at these schools are responsible for and empowered to direct their own education from a very young age. All this is facilitated, supported and managed by the school's democratic framework.

Summerhill School
Summerhill School
Summerhill School is an independent British boarding school that was founded in 1921 by Alexander Sutherland Neill with the belief that the school should be made to fit the child, rather than the other way around...

 in England has operated a direct democracy approach to decision making for over 80 years and has often come into conflict with the UK government as a result. The school won an appealed to the high court 1999 after it was threatened with closure after which the joint statement confirmed that: "The minister recognised the school had a right to its own philosophy and that any inspection should take into account its aims as an international 'free' school ... both sides went on record as agreeing that the pupils' voice should be fully represented in any evaluation of the quality of education at Summerhill and that inspections must consider the full breadth of learning at the school – learning was not confined to lessons".

Contemporary movements

Some notable contemporary movements working for direct democracy via direct democratic praxis include:
  • Abahlali baseMjondolo
    Abahlali baseMjondolo
    Abahlali baseMjondolo , also known as AbM or the red shirts is a shack-dwellers' movement in South Africa which is well known for its campaigning for public housing. The movement grew out of a road blockade organized from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005 and now...

     – South African shack dwellers' movement
  • Aktivdemokrati
    Aktivdemokrati
    Aktiv Demokrati is a Swedish political party that wants to enable direct democracy mixed with representative democracy based on demand by each individual through safe digital solutions like the Internet, telephones or automated teller machines....

     – Political party for e-democracy Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

  • Change 2011
    Change 2011
    Change 2011 is a Finnish political party founded in 2009. The chairman of the party is Jiri Keronen from Turku. The party's name refers to 2011 Finnish parliamentary election, the first election the party participated in. The party's main goals are direct democracy, freedom of speech, and the...

     – a Finnish political party
  • Demoex
    Demoex
    Demoex, an appellation short for democracy experiment, is a local Swedish political party and an experiment with direct democracy in Vallentuna, a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden. It uses the Internet to make it possible for any member to participate in the local government...

     – direct democracy party and experiment in Sweden
  • Direct Democracy (British Conservative Party) – Campaign group within the UK Conservative Party
  • Homeless Workers' Movement
    Homeless Workers' Movement
    The Homeless Workers Movement is a shack-dwellers' movement in Brazil. It originated from the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra in 1997...

    - Brazilian favela-based movement
  • I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum – Campaign for Direct Democracy in Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Inclusive Democracy
    Inclusive Democracy
    Inclusive Democracy is a political theory and political project that aims for direct democracy, economic democracy in a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy, self-management and ecological democracy...

     – Takis Fotopoulos
    Takis Fotopoulos
    Takis Fotopoulos , born , is a political philosopher and economist who founded the inclusive democracy movement. He is noted for his synthesis of the classical democracy with the libertarian socialism and the radical currents in the new social movements...

    ' Inclusive Democracy Project & Journal of Inclusive Democracy
  • Landless People's Movement – South African movement of people without land
  • Landless Workers' Movement
    Landless Workers' Movement
    Landless Workers' Movement is a social movement in Brazil; it is the second largest social movement in Latin America with an estimated 1.5 million landless members in 23 out of Brazil's 26 states. The MST states it carries out land reform in a country it sees as mired by unjust land distribution...

     – Brazilian landless people's movement
  • The Metagovernment project – Global umbrella group supporting development and implementation of Internet-based governance software
  • The Movement For a Democracy of Content
    The Movement For a Democracy of Content
    The Movement for a Democracy of Content was a revolutionary political organisation active from the late 1940s to the early 1970s in the US, in Germany the last issue of Dinge der Zeit, appeared in August 1997 ....

     United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland
  • The National Initiative for Democracy – United States movement led by former US Senator Mike Gravel
    Mike Gravel
    Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election....

     to allow national ballot initiatives
  • Online Party of Canada
    Online Party of Canada
    The Online Party of Canada , is a Canadian website founded in October 2010 and is in the process of formally registering as a political party with Elections Canada...

     – Electronic direct democracy party (pending registration) in Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • The Party of Internet Democracy
    Party of Internet Democracy
    The party of Internet DEmocracy (Hungarian: Internetes DEmokrácia pártja. Abbreviated IDE) was a Hungarian political party, which was established at 23 July 2004 in Gyöngyös.- Aims of IDE :...

     – Direct democracy party in Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

  • People's Administration Direct Democracy Party
  • Senator On-Line
    Senator On-Line
    Senator Online is a registered Australian political party that contested the 2007 Federal election. In the five states the party contested, it received on average 0.06% of the vote with the greatest success in Victoria where it received 0.09% of the vote Senator Online (Internet Voting...

     – Electronic direct democracy party in Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

  • Students for a Democratic Society
    Students for a Democratic Society (2006 organization)
    Students for a Democratic Society is a United States student organization representing left wing beliefs. It takes its name and inspiration from the original SDS of 1960-1969, then the largest radical student organization in US history...

     – American students' movement
  • Selfdetermination
    VETËVENDOSJE!
    Vetëvendosje is a radical nationalistic political movement in Kosovo which opposes foreign involvement in internal affairs in the country and campaigns for the sovereignty exercised by the people and government of the Republic of Kosovo instead, as part of the right of self-determination.The...

     – Kosovo Albanian political movement
  • Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
    Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
    The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign is a non-racial popular movement made up of poor and oppressed communities in Cape Town, South Africa...

     – Militant poor people's movement in Cape Town
  • Zapatista Army of National Liberation
    Zapatista Army of National Liberation
    The Zapatista Army of National Liberation is a revolutionary leftist group based in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico....

     – Mexican indigenous people's movement

See also

  • Democratic centralism
    Democratic centralism
    Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party...

  • Direct Democracy Party of New Zealand
    Direct Democracy Party of New Zealand
    The Direct Democracy Party of New Zealand was a political party in New Zealand that promoted greater participation by the people in the decision-making of government. The party's leader was Kelvyn Alp....

  • Legislative Juries
  • Libertarian municipalism
    Libertarian municipalism
    Libertarian municipalism is a term first used by libertarian socialist theorist Murray Bookchin, and is used to describe a system in which libertarian institutions of directly democratic assemblies would oppose and replace the state with a confederation of free municipalities...

  • Libertarian socialism
    Libertarian socialism
    Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

  • Participatory democracy
    Participatory democracy
    Participatory Democracy, also known as Deliberative Democracy, Direct Democracy and Real Democracy , is a process where political decisions are made directly by regular people...

  • Participatory economics
    Participatory economics
    Participatory economics, often abbreviated parecon, is an economic system proposed primarily by activist and political theorist Michael Albert and radical economist Robin Hahnel, among others. It uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and...

  • Popular assembly
    Popular assembly
    A popular or people's assembly is a gathering called to address issues of importance to participants. Assemblies tend to be freely open to participation and operate by direct democracy...

  • Radical transparency
    Radical transparency
    Radical transparency is a management approach in which all decision making is carried out publicly. The term was used by Daniel Goleman in his book...

  • Rationality and power
    Rationality and power
    Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice is a book authored by Oxford University professor Bent Flyvbjerg and published by The University of Chicago Press . The book is a study of how power influences rationality and democracy. The book's theory and method build on a tradition in power studies...

  • Proxy voting
    Proxy voting
    Proxy voting has two forms: delegable voting and delegated voting, which are procedures for the delegation to another member of a voting body of that member's power to vote in his absence, and/or for the selection of additional representatives, as in the case with transitive proxies...

    , esp. delegated voting
  • Sociocracy
    Sociocracy
    Sociocracy is a system of governance, using consent-based decision making among equivalent individuals and an organizational structure based on cybernetic principles...

  • Sortition
    Sortition
    In politics, sortition is the selection of decision makers by lottery. The decision-makers are chosen as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates....

  • Soviet democracy
    Soviet democracy
    Soviet democracy or sometimes council democracy is a form of democracy in which workers' councils called "soviets" , consisting of worker-elected delegates, form organs of power possessing both legislative and executive power. The soviets begin at the local level and onto a national parliament-like...

  • Workers' councils

Further reading

  • Arnon, Harel (January 2008). "A Theory of Direct Legislation" (LFB Scholarly)
  • Cary, M. (1967) A History Of Rome: Down To The Reign Of Constantine. St. Martin's Press, 2nd edition.
  • Cronin, Thomas E. (1989). Direct Democracy: The Politics Of Initiative, Referendum, And Recall. Harvard University Press.
  • Finley, M.I. (1973). Democracy Ancient And Modern. Rutgers University Press.
  • Fotopoulos, Takis
    Takis Fotopoulos
    Takis Fotopoulos , born , is a political philosopher and economist who founded the inclusive democracy movement. He is noted for his synthesis of the classical democracy with the libertarian socialism and the radical currents in the new social movements...

    , Towards an Inclusive Democracy: The Crisis of the Growth Economy and the Need for a New Liberatory Project (London & NY: Cassell, 1997).
  • Fotopoulos, Takis
    Takis Fotopoulos
    Takis Fotopoulos , born , is a political philosopher and economist who founded the inclusive democracy movement. He is noted for his synthesis of the classical democracy with the libertarian socialism and the radical currents in the new social movements...

    , The Multidimensional Crisis and Inclusive Democracy
    Inclusive Democracy
    Inclusive Democracy is a political theory and political project that aims for direct democracy, economic democracy in a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy, self-management and ecological democracy...

    . (Athens: Gordios, 2005). (English translation of the book with the same title published in Greek).
  • Fotopoulos, Takis
    Takis Fotopoulos
    Takis Fotopoulos , born , is a political philosopher and economist who founded the inclusive democracy movement. He is noted for his synthesis of the classical democracy with the libertarian socialism and the radical currents in the new social movements...

    , "Liberal and Socialist 'Democracies' versus Inclusive Democracy", The International Journal of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY, vol.2, no.2, (January 2006).
  • Gerber, Elisabeth R. (1999). The Populist Paradox: Interest Group Influence And The Promise Of Direct Legislation. Princeton University Press.
  • Hansen, Mogens Herman
    Mogens Herman Hansen
    Mogens Herman Hansen FBA is a Danish classical philologist who is one of the leading scholars in Athenian Democracy and the Polis....

     (1999). The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes: Structure, Principles and Ideology. University of Oklahoma, Norman (orig. 1991).
  • Kobach, Kris W. (1993). The Referendum: Direct Democracy In Switzerland. Dartmouth Publishing Company.
  • Köchler
    Hans Köchler
    Hans Köchler is a professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations...

    , Hans (1995). A Theoretical Examination of the Dichotomy between Democratic Constitutions and Political Reality. University Center Luxemburg.
  • Magleby, David B. (1984). Direct Legislation: Voting on Ballot Propositions in The United States. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Matsusaka John G. For the Many or the Few The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy, Chicago Press
  • National Conference of State Legislatures, (2004). Recall of State Officials
  • Orr Akiva e-books, Free download : Politics without politicians – Big Business, Big Government or Direct Democracy.
  • Pimbert, Michel (2010). Reclaiming citizenship: empowering civil society in policy-making. In: Towards Food Sovereignty. http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G02612.pdf? e-book. Free download.
  • Polybius (c.150 BC). The Histories. Oxford University, The Great Histories Series, Ed., Hugh R. Trevor-Roper and E. Badian. Translated by Mortimer Chanbers. Washington Square Press, Inc (1966).
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