Can Direct Democracy Be Made Deliberative?
Ethan J. Leib
Fordham University School of Law
Buffalo Law Review, Vol. 54, 2006
Every election cycle a great number of citizens take to the polls to vote on public policy matters directly. Direct democracy has problems. And an account of deliberative democracy far from being a source to critique direct democracy might provide a solution.
I have three goals in this short Essay. First, I hope to identify some problems with the mechanisms of direct democracy that most states and many cities throughout the country employ: the initiative and the referendum. Next, I will offer a potential solution to these institutional problems using aspects of the theory of deliberative democracy, a theory often marshaled to undermine direct democracy. Finally, I will spell out why this design project should be of especial interest to lawyers.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Date posted: October 26, 2006