Talk:History of direct democracy in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Three Strikes Law example Criticism[edit]

Calwatch edited in: "Howver, poponents of five Strikes argued that such consequences were akin to a "lifetime achievement award", since a potential fifth striker would have to have committed ten violent and serious felonies beforehand."

I had the impression that any felonies counted, and precisely the Three Strikes problem was that felonies didn't have to be "violent and serious". Also I think the award metaphor needs to be somewhat better explained. Is it possible that I don't clearly understand it because it is a false analogy, and just a rhetorically distracting persuasion to change three strikes into two strikes?

The third felony had to be violent and serious. Please see this page. To wit: Under the terms of Proposition 184, if a criminal has had one

previous serious or violent felony conviction, the mandatory sentence for a second such conviction is doubled. After two violent or serious felony convictions, any further felony, non violent or not, will trigger a third strike; the mandatory sentence will then be the greater of: 1) three times the term ordinarily required, 2) 25 years, or 3) a term determined by the court. Calwatch 06:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

"There have been attempts to change the law, most recently Proposition 66, which failed to pass after several loopholes were exploited by opponents of Three Strikes restructuring."

I find myself wanting to know, briefly, what the loopholes were. Milo 05:18, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

The argument was the "resentencing" provision that made Prop 66 retroactive. See this link: This measure requires the state to resentence offenders currently serving an indeterminate life sentence under the Three Strikes Law if their third strike resulted from a conviction for a nonviolent and nonserious felony offense, as defined by this proposition. Resentencing must occur no later than 180 days after this measure takes effect. The resentencing requirement will result in reduced prison sentences for some inmates and release from prison for others. For a legal discussion of the resentencing loophole, see here. Calwatch 06:27, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that the critics of Real Democracy are making very petty arguments against. One has to consider the situation as it stands in this country today. The Congress of the United States actually has a lower approval rating than President George W. Bush, the poorest rated President in our long history. Why is Congress rated just above mole rats by the American Electorate? Think about it. There could only be one reason. Congress either does nothing about a problem facing all of us, or they concoct legislation that makes the original problem worse. Look at the recent passage for an "Economic Stimulus" that was just passed as one example. The economy is slumping because we all OWE TOO MUCH MONEY. The average American is in hock more today than any other time in our history. So, how does Congress overcome the problem? By sending us all checks of $300 to $600 Dollars as Income Tax Refunds. Now, where's the problem with that? The National Debt will climb another 50 to 100 Billion Dollars depending on what other stimulus programs they pass along with this first shot. So, we all are in debt even more. Our children will be paying for this debt even before they earn a single dollar in their jobs. What they should have done is put this problem to the people in a national referendum and asked us what we wanted them to do instead of just printing more blank checks backed up by nothing.

Look at all the Earmarks in a similar vein. There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits earmarked legislation but only because the original framers of the Constitution were never that devious and couldn't even conceive of such a corruption of the system. But if you put the ability of Congress to just tack on BILLIONS of DOLLARS to legislation that they know must be passed but without the debate and the vote by the full body, to the American People and asked them if they wanted to KILL this concept or not, the VAST MAJORITY of us, probably in the 90% after they got some education on the topic would say NO, REJECTED, THUMBS way way down. Because it's not in the interest of the taxpayer to just let this group of people spend us into oblivion and tax us and tax us until the bleed us dry. So, that's a no-brainer for must folks. Yet, they do it anyway and will continue to send this country into economic ruin until We The People make them stop.

Look at the War in Iraq as another example. Based on the paranoia of one Commander-In-Chief bloated with self-importance and arrogance, we go to war and kill thousands of our own guys and tens of thousands Iraqis and there's no reason to do that. Saddam was a maniac, but nothing that got in the way of my life or yours. If the people in Iraq got fed up enough with this dictator they would eventually get rid of him for free. Instead we had to spend literally almost a TRILLION dollars to satisfy the wishes of one man and his poltical allies. This war will go down in history as George W. Bushes war, just as the Viet Name War goes down in History as the War of Richard Nixon and to a lesser extent Lyndon Baynes Johnson. Congress never authorized either of these wars, until they were lied to by the Executive Branch. So, they learn from previous admininistrations how to ruin the reputation and the integrity of this great nation.

Now, there is a conflict of much greater proportion upon us and we don't have the money or the will to go to war with the Oil Producing countries, but if there ever was an excuse to go to war, the rape of the Oil Companies of the American consumer is such an excuse. Yet, we will never go to war with them because our leaders are in bed with them, probably even being paid royalties by the Oil Companies to let the price of oil go. Is this very sad description of America, and every word of it true, something you want to hand down to your children? I don't. I would like all future generations of Americans to have the same kind of pride in their country as I did when I was a kid. I still steam up in my eyes when I hear the Star Spangled Banner, because that song is the true spirit of America. Our heroes who fought in the numerous wars to preserve our freedoms and our liberty didn't die so that the Congressmen and women of today can become rich off the consumer and build their own personal family fortunes representing the oil companies, the drug companies, the trial Lawyers Association, etc. They died for a really, really important dream, the American Dream, that we can all live in Peace in this world under God, strong and free from tyranny even the domestic kind of tyranny you get those who think of us as sheep to be shorn.

The IRONY of all this is, we can't and we will not be asked our opinions because we don't have REAL DEMOCRACY in America. At least NOT YET. With more and more articles like this one coming online, there is a chance, though slim if all the readers are as small-minded and short-sighted as these critics.

The only important thing about the 3 strikes law created in California is that it was the expression of a people who were sick and tired of judges getting a bribe from a lawyer friend and heinous criminals being put back on the street time and time again, only because they had a "connected Lawyer". And, it's wise to remember, that if the 3 strikes law becomes over-bearing We the People in California can amend it at any time we want to make it even more effective by making it apply to only felonies where some form of violence is used. So Real Democracy in America is never going to be perfect, but it will always be better than the alternative and it will always allow The People to get better and better at their craft and continually fine tune the law until it matches the reality of the day more accurately.

Please consider this article to be as objective as it can be and have this ridiculous warning sign removed. For the sake and the future of this great nation. I implore everyone to really, really think about this stuff. If we have another eight years like the last eight years, it could be our last eight years as a democracy of any kind, imperfect as it is.

Perhaps it's time for a little subjective thinking on this subject of our nation's future. If We The People, those of us who love her the most, don't show some passion for America, bring her towards the light of reason, the forces of darkness will win. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Democracyman (talkcontribs) 00:40, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Presumptive NPOV/CON, I can't really tell it's too rambling and there appear to be several voices. (talk) 20:21, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

NPOV Tagging[edit]

POV/PRO The 2008 election section is clearly NPOV. It's more or less just a campaign ad for Mike Gravel's direct democracy platform masked as an article. I suggest a heavy rewrite or cut. --Nivenus (talk) 03:20, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I think you mean that it is POV. (talk) 20:01, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
NPOV/CON Mr. Nivenus. I am a published author and I don't think you are giving this article a chance. It has nothing to do with Mike Gravel, only to show that it is a concept that has some traction in the main stream political media. I respectfully submit that you are not objective in your point of view. WHo is? We must allow alternative points of view to exist, don't you thin? Or do you want to live in a whitewashed society where only the ideas they want us to hear about are allowed to be heard? I respectuflly ask that you remove your criticism because Direct Democracy is OUR ONLY HOPE. The People of this country must be heard and loud and clear on some of the major issues or else we're doomed. We're doomed to be run more and more by the Oil Co's and the Drug Companies and the Car companies. Is that the kind of country you want? Or do you want to see how the people themselves might be able to do better than the Buffoons in Congress and in the White House? I ask you to do some real soul searching.

Like You, I am a Science Fiction writer, although I have been making my living from my writings. I have two books on Amazon that are selling quite well. Just to show you that in my Science Fiction career, I come up against concepts that I believe are the future or need to be part of our future. Direct Democracy is one of them.

In regards to your concerns. Please change them. Get on the side of TRUTH and JUSTICE. It pains me to know that a fellow Sci Fi writer would not know truth the minute he sees it.

Michael Mathiesen One Million A.D., The Story of Civlization 1,000,000 years from now and Born Again, The 2nd Greatest Story ever told.

Among others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:16, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

POV/PRO This section is very clearly biased, uses weasel words, and has a totally inappropriate tone for an encyclopedia. This article is NOT about Direct Democracy being our only hope - if you want a forum for that there are plenty of other forums to do so. Wikipedia is not a soapbox - please read: WP:SOAP. I think this portion of the article should be swiftly deleted, and I will do so shortly unless someone can argue a valid reason against it. Zabby1982 (talk) 07:32, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I would like to clarify that my strongly worded comment referred to the 2008 Election section which has since been removed. This article as a whole isn't the greatest but I was specifically talking about a section that has since been deleted. Zabby1982 (talk) 01:19, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Since you didn't change POV/PRO I assume that's what you intend. Lycurgus (talk) 20:15, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I would agree that this article needs a rewrite and is highly POV Zabby1982 (talk) 06:55, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
POV/PRO This seems overly gung-ho on the progressives to qualify as NPOV. Right now the first couple of paragraphs seem more like a paean to turn of the century populists than an encyclopedia article. --RobthTalk 21:20, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
POV/PRO Agreed. This article seems to imply that direct democracy always has good results. Some criticisms of that style of governing are needed. [ Dilberts 17:57, 8 January 2006 (UTC) [1] ]
NPOV/CON Robth's complaint looks to me more like a writing problem than NPOV. The first paragraph doesn't mention populists. The second paragraph seems to wander off topic by not making a compelling connection from direct democracy to populists and the Progressive Era. The superlative phrase "greatest democracy movement in recorded history", would read as more encyclopedic if it were an attributed quote.
NPOV/CON Dilberts' complaint looks to be no more than a minor NPOV, since direct democracy rarely has the bad results that its critics routinely fearmonger. However, a rare bad example is California's Three Strikes proposition law, which has given several people life sentences for included petty crimes such as stealing pizza. Three Strikes may be a special case that deserves some Wiki exposition of what went wrong for direct democracy. Milo 08:20, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
NPOV/CON Not a very good article, but I can't detect a position if one is being advanced. Of course if what it is desired is just a suppression of the topic or the statement of the POV that direct democracy is inferior to other form(s) then anything less will be viewed as POV. Also the tag is not specific to a §. Just began looking at the page and the NPOV tagging may be stale, some of the above seems to be talking about stuff/sections no longer present will remove the tag if nothing more forthcoming but will reread more closely before doing so. (talk) 19:59, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
The discussion of this issue appears to be in the weeds. Seems to be confirmed that the tag is stale. (talk) 20:13, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Worthless article. The whole thing is biased in favor of direct democracy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:54, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Open Tasks[edit]

Open Tasks for History of direct democracy in the United States - (Edit Tasks)
Editing /
Missing articles
Missing articles

Restructure and put in broader historical context.

Cleanup merges Discussions of importance Crossreferences

Restructure/Expansion Suggestion[edit]

Into one with past epochs and recent history first level §§

Past Epochs

  • 13 Colonies and Native Americans
  • Early Republic
  • 19th Century
  • 20th Century

Recent History

  • Local Level
  • State Level
  • Federal Level
    • Article V call initiatives
    • Article XII repeal initiatives

Created template and placed other material here for resolution of the article issues. The entries above Open Tasks are stale and prior to wikification of this talk page. Will archive them if no further comment. (talk) 22:23, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


The opening paragraph reads more like an editorial than an encyclopedia entry.

It seems pretty long on bias and short on facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:History of direct democracy in the United States/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

* Setting Templates
    • Intialized template with some relevant projects, setting rating to C. (talk) 22:00, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Last edited at 22:32, 9 July 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 18:01, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Dr. Baskaran's comment on this article[edit]

Dr. Baskaran has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

This article does not provide a coherent history of direct democracy in the US. It reads more as a accolade of the progressive movement. The historical references (Initiative examples) are simply listed one by one and not placed in a broader context.

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr. Baskaran has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:

  • Reference : Asatryan, Zareh & Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Grigoriadis, Theocharis & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2013. "Direct democracy and local public finances under cooperative federalism," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-038, ZEW - Zentrum fur Europaische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

ExpertIdeasBot (talk) 18:42, 27 June 2016 (UTC)