Front cover image for Democracy--how direct? : views from the founding era and the polling era

Democracy--how direct? : views from the founding era and the polling era

For more than two hundred years Americans have been debating how direct a democracy they want. Advocates of a powerful role for direct voting -- in which public opinion dictates public policy -- fear elitism and the usurpation of democratic rule by politicians, bureaucrats, and the rich. Advocates of representative voting fear that emotion and factional interest will undermine stability and justice. Through representation, they believe, cool-headed deliberation within institutions will prevail over popular passion. Democracy: How Direct? looks at numerous facets of this debate. Among the topics its nine contributors examine are the views of the Founders; Lincoln and the 19th-century view of democracy; the competing traditions reflected in early state and federal constitutions; polling as a measure of public opinion; the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy today; and the current use of the referendum process in the states.
Print Book, English, 2002
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ; Ethics and Public Policy Center, Lanham, Md., Washington, DC, 2002
ix, 134 pages ; 24 cm
9780742523180, 9780742523197, 9780896331938, 0742523187, 0742523195, 0896331938
The founders' views of direct democracy and representation / Charles R. Kesler
James Madison and the Spirit of 1787 / Gary Rosen
Lincoln's view of direct democracy and public opinion / Herman Belz
Beyond referendum democracy : competing conceptions of public opinion / James S. Fishkin
Polling and the creation of a virtual public / Benjamin Ginsberg ; Response: Refined and enlarged public opinion / Benjamin I. Page
For the people : direct democracy in the state constitutional tradition / G. Alan Tarr
People power : initiative and referendum in the United States / M. Dane Waters
Why initiatives are necessary : some tales from California / Ron K. Una