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 starter activity. In 2008 the State of California held a special vote called a ‘Proposition’ on same-sex marriage. What do you feel about this issue? How would you vote as a class? . Does ‘direct democracy’ exist in the USA?.  Aims.

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Does direct democracy exist in the usa

starter activity

In 2008 the State of California held a special vote called a ‘Proposition’ on same-sex marriage. What do you feel about this issue? How would you vote as a class?


Does direct democracy exist in the usa

Does ‘direct democracy’ exist in the USA?

 Aims

Understand the difference between referendums, initiatives and recall elections and consider the pros and cons of the use of direct democracy in the US political context.


Does direct democracy exist in the usa

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ‘direct democracy’? Read Bennett p.110 and make a list.


Your task

 Your task

  • States provide many opportunities for ‘direct democracy’ through the use of propositions, referendums and recall elections. Read Bennett, p.108-111 and take notes on these different types of direct democracy


Proposition

Proposition

  • AKA ‘initiative’

  • Citizens may suggest amendments to laws and even the constitution by putting them to a vote

  • Possible in 24 states

  • 2 types: direct & indirect (requiring approval by state legislature)

  • Require a threshold (usu. no less than 10% of voters)

  • 1990-2004, 48% passed


Referendum

Referendum

  • Available in all 50 states

  • Voters can veto bills passed by legislature

  • Constitutional reform or changes in taxation

  • Popular referendum ,e.g. Alaska & Colorado, allows voters to petition for a ballot on new legislation

  • Can lead to ‘buyer’s regret’


Recall elections

Recall elections

  • Remove elected official before end of their term of office

  • Form of impeachment by citizens


Does direct democracy exist in the usa

Famous example of a recall election was when Arnold Schwarzenegger (above) replaced Governor Gray Davis of California. Can you think of an appropriate caption for this picture?


Extension task

 Extension task

  • Produce a factoid for the class giving examples of recent direct democracy in the USA. Include examples of

  • Propositions

  • Referendums

  • Recalls


Does direct democracy exist in the usa

Which is more democratic the election of UK prime ministers or US presidents?


Homework

 Homework

  • Use the information in Bennett, pp. 97-108 and pp.111-113 as well as p. 97-, plus any other specific examples from your research to complete a table similar to the one below


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