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California's Direct Means of Democracy Essay

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California is a democratic republic consisting of three branches of government. The first is the executive branch, i.e. the governor and a group of elected constitutional officers. Second is the judicial branch which consists of the Supreme Court of California and the various local courts. Officials are appointed by the Governor and ratified in the next general election. The third branch of government in California is the legislative branch. It is a bicameral body which includes California’s Senate and Assembly. The Assembly makes up the lower house of the California State Legislature and consists of eighty members, one representative from each county, who serve for up to three two year terms. There are forty state senators who are able to serve up to two four year terms. Each senator represents approximately 846,719 Californians.
California practices direct democracy which is a method of governance in which any citizen of a state wishing to participate holds sovereignty. It is a political system that allows citizens to change constitutional laws, put forth initiatives, referendums, and suggestions for laws. Also, they can give institute limitations for removal on the state’s executive branch official. These means of governing is a clear contrast representative democracy which state officials, elected to office through popular vote, hold the power to make legislation. The framers of the United States did not see direct democracy as a viable option of governance because it made it easy for the majority to impose their will over the minority. Also, it gave the newly formed legislative branch less power. In turn, the founding fathers instituted a representative democracy in the form of a constitutional republic. This allowed the s...


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...011: 48-49. Print.

"California." Initiative and Referendum Institute. University of Southern California, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2011. .

"California Ballot Propositions - November 2nd 2010 ." California Choices. California Choices, 7 Feb. 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2011. .

Kesler, Charles R. "Direct Democracy In California." The Claremont Institute: For Studying Statesmenship and Political Philosophy. The Claremont Insititute, 2009. Web. 10 Feb. 2011.
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Stern, Robert M. "Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California’s Fourth Branch of Government." Health Vote. California HearthCare Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2011.


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