California: Power from the people

Mon, Jul 8 2013 — Source: The Economist

DIRECT democracy is often blamed for making California ungovernable. The state keeps holding ballot initiatives (ie, what non-Americans call referendums). Voters decide that taxes must fall but spending must rise. Elected politicians struggle to make the sums add up. But last week this dysfunctional system was sideswiped. The Supreme Court, in upholding the right of gays to marry in California, may have weakened direct democracy throughout America, some fear.