A new opinion piece explores the prospects for direct democracy in America. The author Joe Mathews writes for Zócalo Public Square and was previously a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Baltimore Sun. Mathews is co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It and is the sole author of The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy. He is also the co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.
From the article, published at Mercury News:
Allowing Americans to vote, by referendum, on the biggest issues wouldn’t be legally challenging or risky. All Congress would have to do is follow practical steps suggested by a Californian named John Matsusaka.
As co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, I’ve gotten to know Matsusaka, a University of Southern California professor, for his leadership of the Initiative & Referendum Institute, which tracks how American states and cities use direct democracy. Now, in a book titled “Let the People Rule,” Matsusaka offers something that academics rarely provide: a practical plan. He shows how the U.S. could improve its republic by introducing direct democracy, beginning with non-binding referenda on major issues, legislative proposals and treaties. His approach could be adopted without the challenges of amending the U.S. Constitution.
The article is much suggested reading by the Democracy Chronicles staff, so read more here.