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Additional info for A Theory of Direct Legislation (Law and Society) (Law and Society)
First, the issues brought to the ballot are not necessarily either reflective of the popular will or the common good. After all, only those with substantial financial resources actually have the wherewithal to get an initiative going. 62 In reality, it is not the people, in the broadest sense, who vote for an initiative -- usually there is low voter turnout, and only the more affluent voters deign to participate in the process. 63 Ordinary legislation, on the other hand, may better reflect the will of the people since legislatures represent a wider variety of social and economic interests.
But some empirical evidence suggests that political deliberation does not promote rational and consistent results. 35 Instead, it is the aggregation of individual votes that guarantees rationality and consensus (assuming, statistically, that a person is more likely to be right than wrong). 36 In the context of initiatives more votes are counted and less face to face deliberation occurs. Thus, according to this scholarship, initiatives are likely to produce more moderate and unifying results. Furthermore, it is unlikely that an uncompromising measure, representing narrow special interests, is likely to win a majority of Toward a Legal Theory of Initiatives 45 the voters.
Moreover, the initiative process, despite its usual time constraints can never be initiated and completed within several days. There is no risk of passing a quick unnoticed proposition. The process is inherently open and time consuming. 44 In addition, because ordinary legislation is often controlled by very few legislators, the process is made more prone to improper outside influence. Where the passing, or the blocking, of a bill is dependent upon just a few politically powerful individuals and where the process offers numerous vetogates, the ability of outside The Debate over Direct Legislation 25 special interest groups, wealthy individuals or corporations to influence the legislative process is greater.