8 May 2022


Direct Democracy In California

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 852

Pages: 3

Downloads: 0

Direct democracy is a form of democracy that gives people equal choices in decision making on matters concerning policy initiatives. This kind of democracy gives the citizens a chance to participate in the legislation process of a country. Most countries in the world practice indirect democracy whereby citizens elect representatives to make laws on their behalf. However, some states such as California practice direct democracy whereby rules are made by the majority rule (Hussey, 2008) . The citizens vote on whether or not to make a new law in California. This paper will summarize the argument for and against California use of direct democracy in policy changes and recall of officials.

California is unique in many ways but it is mostly popular for its democracy which is direct democracy. Generally, there are only three forms of direct democracy which include referendum which allows citizens to oppose or agree with the decisions made by the government, an initiative which is a constitutional amendment proposed by a state’s citizens and a recall which allows citizens to decide if a government official should remain in office or not. In California, the citizens can revise laws made by the legislature through direct ballots. In addition, they can propose new laws and they can also remove government officials from in case they deem them incompetent. Therefore, California practices the three forms of direct democracy (Hussey, 2008) . This form of democracy, just like any other, has its pros and cons.

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Direct democracy in California is a good idea because it allows citizens to write laws, remove incompetent officials from the office, change and amend the constitution when need be and approve the decisions made by the government. For example, Australia is a two house legislature made of the assembly and the senate (Pinnell, Lecture) . Each house has its own members with its own leaders. Their policy making process is almost the same as that of the United States but there are three readings in each house which are then verified by the other house. Direct democracy is demonstrated when constitutional amendments are passed by 2/3 of both houses but it cannot be passed without a public vote verifying it. In addition, the legislature can also pass bond measures but public votes must ratify it (Pinnell, Lecture) . The advantage of public verification is that it increases public involvement thus increasing their knowledge on legislative matters. Most citizens learn more about their government and the policies governing them when they are involved in the process.

Moreover, direct democracy in California has decreased corruption and political representation of self-interests. For instance, in the year 1990, proposition 140 was passed and it limited terms in both the assembly and the senate (Pinnell, Lecture) . This amendment exposed California legislature to more turnover and diversity because after every term, both houses nominated new legislates. More so, corruption is very difficult when legislators are limited to a specific period of time during their term. However, this proposition also has its negative effects for instance; limiting the number of terms for legislators has made them more dependent on political parties and interest groups because that is the only way they can remain in office for a longer period of time. This means that instead of concentrating more on important matters at hand, legislators concentrate more on things that would help them remain in office much longer. In addition, the level of legislature experience has declined in California because of this term limit. 

Direct democracy in California has also affected professionalism. California is one of the states that are well known for highly educated legislature but very few legislators have political experience because they are not exposed to critical decision making process. This is because they mostly have to rely on ideas and opinions from outside sources in order I make decisions. However, voters are very well skilled to identify important reforms that are more legitimate than special interests demonstrated by legislatures (Pinnell, Lecture). This therefore means that even if direct democracy affects professionalism for leaders, it is at an advantage to the voters and the country at large. In addition, public participation in law making process and decision making improves government performance and it is a better presentation of voter preferences.

In conclusion, direct democracy is a good institution in California because its advantages outweigh its disadvantages. The people of California are more politically involved now than before because they feel that they are actually being heard and considered as a part of something. When people feel that they are a part of making deference, they are moiré likely to get involved politically. This kind of democracy puts all the power in the hands of the citizens and therefore encouraging them to come out in large numbers and vote (Pinnell, Lecture)  . In addition, direct democracy has taken California to great heights as far as corruption is concerned. This is because the main source of corruption in any country originates from the politicians. They campaign for their votes by making promises that they do not intend on keeping but direct democracy in California eliminates this problem by placing the task of decision making in the hands of the citizens. Unlike other places, California provides the most transparent results based on the people’s wishes. This is because people are able to express their opinions and thoughts in every stage of the process thus their likes and dislikes cannot be misinterpreted by any mean. From the above argument, it is clear that direct democracy is a great institution in California government.


Hussey, W. (2008). Direct Democracy in California.

Pinnell Lecture (2017). Retrieved 3 August 2017, from http://file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/California_Institutions_Read-Only_%20(3).pdf

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Direct Democracy In California.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

Professional Athletes and Corrections: Aaron Hernandez

People break the law by engaging in activities that disturb the peace of others. Lawbreakers are punished in different ways that include death, fines, confinement and so forth ( Fox, 1983) . Correctional facilities...

Words: 874

Pages: 3

Views: 119

Financial Investigations: What Could Look Like Fraud But Be Explained by Industry Trends

Case Study 1 _ What are the possible fraud symptoms in this case? _ Eugene’s company is an example of businesses that participate in fraudulent documentation, intending to attract more investors. The past...

Words: 338

Pages: 1

Views: 143

Political Campaign Communication: Inside and Out

Democratic Idealism refers to academic views in which political ethics are based while campaign pragmatism is the measure of value for consultants. The theories behind perfect democracy are established from the...

Words: 286

Pages: 1

Views: 141

Understanding the Human Nature and Capitalist Society

The appraisal of Karl Marx and Adam Smith's conceptions with regards to human nature, needs, conditions, and capacities conceptualizes the ideology of capitalism and economics that echoes the illegitimate interest...

Words: 2324

Pages: 8

Views: 491

Realism Theory: Definition, Explanation, and Criticism

The international relations theory that most accurately describes the world is the realism theory. Realism is based on the principle which indicates that states strive to increase their power when compared to other...

Words: 322

Pages: 1

Views: 161

New Policy Cracks Down on US Military Force Deployability

The US military is one of the most advanced in the world today. Every year, the US spends billions of dollars for the training of its military personnel in readiness to respond rapidly and effectively to any dangers....

Words: 351

Pages: 1

Views: 121


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.