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Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California's Fourth Branch of Government (Second Edition)

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Publication Date: May 2008

Publisher(s): Center for Governmental Studies (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Author(s): Tracy Westen

Funder(s): James Irvine Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York

Funder(s): James Irvine Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York

Special Collection: CGS

Topic: Politics (Campaigns, lobbying, and pressure groups)

Keywords: Ballot Initiatives

Type: Report

Coverage: California

Abstract:

Ballot initiatives have reshaped the lives of California citizens for almost 100 years, yet the initiative process itself has become outmoded, inflexible, confusing, complex, difficult for citizens to use and excessively dominated by money, concludes a new report, Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California's Fourth Branch of Government, issued by the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS). California must update its system of "direct democracy" to bring it into the 21st Century. Reforms are needed to help citizens draft, circulate and vote more effectively and responsibly on initiatives that can dramatically affect the future of the state.