Thursday, August 14, 2003

Direct Democracy—Initiative & Referendum websites

For your edification, if you are interested in different states' interpretations of direct democracy procedures, such as the Initiative process and the Referendum process, here are a number of websites that will help you to learn about the procedures. I am somewhat distrustful of the procedures for reasons that I won’t go into right now (I have a fairly long and developed argumentation against these) but will make them available at one time or another. If not on the CLASSicalLiberalism, then I’ll put a link to it on this site.

Initiative & Referendum Institute
Initiative & Referendum Institute Europe
Direct Democracy League
NCSL: Initiative & Referendum Information on the Web
I&R Map (directdemocracy.com has a number of other useful sites as well)
I&R msn group
I&R History (mentions the great father of the I&R movement, William S. U’Ren)
Frederick J. Dixon and the Direct Legislation League
Direct Legislation in California
Direct Democracy: The Initiative and Referendum Process In Washington
Direct Democracy webring
Are Initiatives and Referenda Contrary…

From an historical standpoint, the papers and interpretations that are in the above sites (which are some of the main sites on the World Wide Web), leave me with a realization that most researchers are unaware of the financial backing behind the I&R process and the goals of the leaders that promoted the activists in each of the states where I&R legislation was attempted (not solely the states and localities that passed the legislation) and why.

What was the grand goal in mind? Who financed these efforts? Therein lies the most interesting aspect of the story of the origins of I&R. It is the story of one of the great failed efforts of a cadre of wealthy classical liberal financiers led by one of America’s great entrepreneurs.

Do any of you know who I’m talking about? I’ll put it in a later blog entry. Let me know if you suspect and the group of people that provided much of the labor-intensive legwork.

Just a thought.
Just Ken

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