About the 2011 Briefing Tour Of Modern Direct Democracy in the American West

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During the dates of September 20-27, 2011, the Initiative and Referendum Institute is sponsoring a tour of the American West's modern direct democracy process, starting in the state of California, with a trip to Arizona and ending in Oregon. Sponsors of the trip are hoping to give tour participants an up-close experience in how direct democracy works, and how it is evolving in the American West.

As California celebrates 100 years of direct democracy, starting with the 1911 special election that established initiative, referendum and recall, tour participants will "learn how a powerful and inflexible process has led to fiscal problems, and about the ongoing struggle to integrate the process with representative democracy."

The tour will then shift to Arizona, where tour sponsors say is the battle ground of the country's most heated wars over social policy. The tour will conclude in Oregon, where there will be behind-the-scenes meetings with important figures in the initiative and referendum process in the state, live signature gathering observations and workshops with direct democracy scholars. Also included are public events for participants to hear from state residents as they endure the process of initiative and referendum.

More from the 2011 Briefing Tour Of Modern Direct Democracy in the American West:

"This fall, California celebrates the centennial anniversary of the 1911 special election that established initiative, referendum and recall in the state. But this won’t be a full-throated celebration. The state is reckoning with a full-blown fiscal and governance crisis in which direct democracy is seen as one culprit.
A reappraisal of democracy, and particularly direct democracy, is underway in the United States. And nowhere is this more true than in the American West, where direct democracy has made the longest and deepest impact on daily life. Reforms of the process are now being seriously considered around the region, but the models of reform are different from state to state – so different that they offer the rest of the world worthy test models."

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