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Direct Democracy in the USA

Oct. 29 (─ Cora Pfafferott, Spokesperson of Democracy International (DI), an international non-profit organization aiming to abolish the barriers to citizens' participation, reports that she will be an observer on next Tuesday's 4 November US elections.

US citizens vote each year on the first Tuesday in November. Only gaining broad international attention when a President is campaigning, also these mid-term elections of US Congress are significant: Democrats and Republicans contest the majority of seats in the US House of Representatives and Senate. Also, more than 40 Governors are up for election. Ms Pfafferott underlines that «in terms of direct democracy, 146 “ballot measures” (the US term for citizens’ initiatives) will be voted upon. Its topics will deal with minimum wage, abortion, gambling and the salaries of government officials».

Democracy Tour starting point

She will be sailing the Mississippi river with other DI board members, Joe Mathews and Bruno Kaufmann, and they are inviting others to join them on the “Big River Democracy Tour”◄◄click here, starting on Monday, Nov. 3 in Kansas City (photo), and ending on Sunday, Nov. 9 in New Orleans. 

«The study trip along the Mississippi will lead through the US states Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana to learn about direct democracy and to connect with democracy activists who live there», reports Cora.

Joe Matthews was recently interviewed and expressed his view that direct democracy is like dynamite, «if used carefully, it can do very big and difficult things. But if you use it carelessly, you can blow yourself up. We are very good at blowing ourselves up in California. That said, direct democracy is robust in the U.S. at the local level -- it's fundamentally part of who we were as a country. At the state level, it's more mixed, with about half of the 50 states having it.»

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