Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2005


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 15, No. 1, 2005. Copyright © 2005 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Recent decades have shown renewed interest in using the initiative and referendum, typically viewed by reformers as devices with the potential to broaden citizen awareness and participation, thereby curbing the influence of special interests in the policy process. To others, such direct policy making by citizens strikes at the very heart of representative democracy: considered deliberation by elected officials is bypassed and public policy may not he well thought out.