"Correct voting in elections has been extensively analyzed in the recent past. However, thus far, correct voting in direct legislation has hardly been investigated. This is all the more surprising since direct legislation is a more demanding form of democracy and, thus, to vote one's true preferences in direct legislation represents a greater challenge than picking the 'right' party or the 'right' candidate at elections. Moreover, the few researches on the correctness of individual referendum votes used a measurement method that the authors thinks has some methodological shortfalls. Instead, he wants to propose another better-suited method of measuring correct voting in direct legislation settings. This method makes use of voters' stances on the issue at stake. Besides, he will scrutinize the share of correct voting as well as its determinants on the Swiss popular vote of November 2009, which included three rather different propositions. The study shows that a majority of Swiss voters are indeed able to vote their true preferences. The ability to vote correctly depends primarily on the individual voter's project-specific knowledge, but also, under certain circumstances, on the use of heuristics." (author's abstract)
The United States has now had a half-century's experience with the process customarily denominated direct legislation. The phrase usually means, and is so used here, the power of the electorate to participate in the law-making function by voting for or against particular proposals submitted at regular or special elections. The proposals may have originated in the legislative assembly or they may have been submitted through the action of the electorate. There are other procedural details in which the processes in particular states may vary, but here the concern is with the general operation of the system. Perhaps more attention has been devoted to that situation in which the legislature has the option of submitting a proposal or not as it sees fit. It is not thought, however, that this detail would cause any serious difference in the conclusions that are drawn here or the suggestions that are made.Direct legislation has been associated with the Progressive movement which was active at the turn into the present century. The movement was a protest against a number of activities which were prevalent among the states at that time. One of the protests alleged that the legislatures had become wholly "corrupt" and that consequently it was necessary to "clean" them up. This line of analysis also postulated that the people were "incorrupt" and that if given the opportunity they would "purify" the political activity of their states and even the nation. Direct legislation was looked upon as one of the most significant means by which these goals were to be accomplished.
Discusses the feasibility of conferring upon the governor the power to initiate petitions; the safeguarding of the initiative from fraud; power of the secretary of state to interfere with petitions; reference of vetoed measures to the people; effect of popular law-making upon administrative efficiency, etc.