Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Direct democracy is sometimes referred to as “pure democracy” because when the form of the government, the “just powers” of the government, what rights are to be secured and protected by the government, and what other laws are to be enacted, are all determined by an election in which every citizen of a state or nation has an equal vote, with the “consent of the majority” determining the outcome, all political power is vested in the people. We have a name for that type of election – we call it a referendum.
The “initiative” gives citizens the power to “originate” legislation, including constitutional amendments, without the involvement or approval of a legislature. The “direct initiative” is the most common form of the initiative. Proposed legislation is drafted in the form of a petition and citizens who want a referendum on the legislation being proposed sign the petition. A referendum on the proposed legislation is conducted if the required number of signatures have been collected, submitted, and verified by a specified date.
There are twenty-six states in America that currently have provisions for referendums and/or the initiative in their state constitutions. There is no provision for the people to originate legislation or call referendums in the Constitution of the United States. We need to extend the use of referendums and the initiative to the states that do not yet provide for them and to the federal government. And we need to make it much easier for citizens to utilize these powerful forms of pure democracy.
The exact language of Pure Democracy Amendments will vary from state to state and with regard to the federal government based on differences in the language and composition of constitutions.
Pure Democracy Amendments should have three provisions in common:
The argument will be made that, if we make it too easy to put proposals on the ballot or call for referendums, we will be inundated with frivolous, or even dangerous, legislation. Due to the tremendous backlog of necessary legislation not being passed due to the corruption, dysfunction, and gridlock endemic within the present system, there will presumably be a noticeably greater number of proposals put on the ballot in states with referendums and the initiative once Pure Democracy Amendments are adopted. After that initial rush of activity passes, it is certainly possible that some adjustments will need to be made to find the proper balance with regard to how easy or difficult it is to get proposals on the ballot. However, if we want to fully realize the blessings of pure democracy, it is far better to refer too many proposals to the people, rather than not referring nearly as many as we should.
Concerns regarding giving “super-minorities” of the members of legislative bodies the power to call referendums (and initiate legislation) are also likely to be expressed. The only power that Pure Democracy Amendments give to super-minorities is the power to refer legislation to the people. Giving the people the power to accept or reject legislation makes a government a pure democracy and gives a government the form of a perfect democracy.
With regard to allowing citizens to sign petitions electronically - a system allowing citizens of the European Union to sign statements of support for initiative petitions online, rather than signing paper petitions, has been in place since 2011. It has worked so well that, as of January 1, 2023, the European Union has gone exclusively to statements of support filed online. Not only is signing petitions online easier and more convenient, but when people sign statements of support securely online, every is that all of the statements of support can reasonably be considered legitimate. There is no need for election officials to check signatures and no signatures are preemptively rejected.
This petition has been submitted to the Secretary of State in Missouri. It has been given final approval as to form. It should be approved for circulation around the third week of April.
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