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POL112H5 (65)
Lecture

POL112 - Direct Democracy.pdf

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL112H5
Professor
Graham White
Semester
Fall

Description
POL112 - Direct Democracy▯ ▯ Central Ideas▯ • strong desire for genuine public participation in important gov’t decisions ▯ • more public participation ▯ • populist distrust of elites ▯ • dissatisfaction with representative democracy ▯ • highly majoritarian ▯ • outcome of decisions should be based on majority vote ▯ • leads to highly individualistic ▯ • typically - though not necessarily - Black/White (Yes/No)▯ • often implicitly anti-government ▯ • In Canada, has strong Western flavour ▯ • more successful in BC and Alberta ▯ • compatibility with representative democracy is variable ▯ • does not always work ▯ • Principle Forms of Direct Democracy ▯ • government-instigated referenda ▯ • government-instigated plebiscites ▯ • initiatives ▯ • recall ▯ ▯ Frequency in Canada▯ • legal vs practical differences between referenda and plebiscites ▯ • Role in constitutional amendment process ▯ • referenda is a public vote that is legally binding ▯ • plebiscites look like referendums but were not legally binding ▯ • Charlottetown Accord was a plebiscite ▯ • as soon it became obvious that the vote was going against it, everybody knew it was dead ▯ • if there is to be a big constitutional change, there must be a public vote▯ ▯ Referenda ▯ • public vote that is legally binding ▯ • if passed, the government must do what the referendum says▯ • uncommon provincially/nationally ▯ • more common at municipal level ▯ • if enough people wanted to have access to alcohol, they would try to make a vote to get alcohol ▯ • standard in aboriginal land claims ▯ • common in U.S. at state/local level; none nationally ▯ ▯ Plebiscites ▯ • increasingly common ▯ • looks like a referendum but is not legally binding ▯ • vote might pass, but the government does not have to implement it ▯ • increasingly important to listen to the public, there are instances of plebiscites passing because of moral and political force behind it ▯ • all amending formulae do not say anything about a public vote ▯ • Charlottetown Accord was a plebiscite ▯ • as soon it became obvious that the vote was going against it, everybody knew it was dead ▯ • if there is to be a big constitutional change, there must be a public vote ▯ • Quebec Referendums were plebiscites, but if they passed they could not have been denied because of the support▯ ▯ Initiative ▯ • some provinces have legal provision for initiatives but none ever voted on ▯ • they are considered referendums and if passed, the government must obey ▯ • no legal process in Ontario like in BC and Alberta ▯ • there have been attempts to get plebiscites going ▯ • process of starting an initiatives: ▯ • first fill out a form and you send it to the neutral agency in BC and Alberta ▯ • explain the thing you want to get rid of▯ • draft a bill ▯ • they look at it and respond after a few works ▯ • if it is agreed on that you can continue, you have 90 days to get signatures of 10% in every single electoral riding ▯ • BC initiatives on HST in Sept. 2011 was successful ▯ • need just under 300,000 people, they got over 700,000 people ▯ • 550,000 signatures were verified ▯ • only work if there is an issue in which th
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