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Elections

Theses/Dissertations

2009

Political Science Dissertations

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Meaningful Choices? Understanding And Participation In Direct Democracy In The American States, Shauna Frances Lee Reilly Apr 2009

Meaningful Choices? Understanding And Participation In Direct Democracy In The American States, Shauna Frances Lee Reilly

Political Science Dissertations

What role does political knowledge play in campaigning for and participation in direct democracy? A foundational principle of democracy is citizen participation in decision-making. This foundation assumes that citizens are at least somewhat knowledgeable about government and able to make informed choices. This analysis examines the role that meaningful decisions play in direct democracy, because “for voters to make meaningful decisions, they must understand the options on which they are deciding” (Dalton 1988: 13). This analysis uses three different methodologies to investigate this relationship. First, through qualitative analysis and a mail survey of petitioners, this study explores how petitioners view ...