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John Matsusaka: How Direct Democracy Can Combat Populism

Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 1:18pm
Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 1:20pm
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Princeton University Press
Let the People Rule: How Direct Democracy Can Meet the Populist Challenge by John G. Matsusaka.

Most election years in Arizona include a long list of ballot initiatives for voters to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to. The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected that for this fall, as gathering signatures in-person — which is required for propositions — is extremely difficult when voters are either at home or practicing social distancing.

Regardless of that, the push for direct democracy remains strong in Arizona and neighboring California. But many elected officials aren’t as excited, since they’re not especially inclined to give up their influence or power.

John Matsusaka, a professor at the University of Southern California, writes about that in his book, "Let the People Rule: How Direct Democracy Can Meet the Populist Challenge."

The Show spoke with him for more about his take on direct democracy.

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