Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
When I talk to people who have had experience of "direct democracy" or "assembly democracy" (for instance, in radical leftist political movements in the 1960's) tend to have a negative impression of it. The breakdown of the initiative and referendum system adopted in several American states during the Progressive Era 100 years ago has been mentioned a couple of times by you and redstar, and I got to experience it when I was in California and I have to agree. The only people who seem happy with their direct democracy are the Swiss, but even in that case direct democracy leads to things like people denying citizenship to neighbours on a racist basis, female suffrage being delayed by several decades, and other "undesirable" outcomes. However, it doesn't seem that Swiss direct democracy (also adopted about 100 years ago) cripples the government to the extent it does in California.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 28th, 2008 at 11:43:04 AM EST
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