At the turn of the 20th century, Oregonians enshrined in our state constitution the powers of initiative and referendum
Section 10 of the draft legislation provides that the act can "only be repealed, modified or amended by a law that has been approved by the people under the system of initiative and referendum
enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
3) Having existed in some form in the United States since the 1600s, (4) the ballot initiative and referendum
have served as two of the few remaining strongholds of direct democracy in the United States.
11) Known as the Guarantee Clause, the provision seems to invalidate any product of direct democracy even though many state constitutions reserve the powers of initiative and referendum
to the people.
By the time Delos Wilcox published Government by All the People in 1912, state-wide direct democracy had been operating for barely over a decade, with the statutory initiative and referendum
first adopted in South Dakota in 1898 (7) and the constitutional initiative introduced by Oregon in 1902.
A prime example of the power of the referendum has recently occurred in South Dakota, which was coincidentally the first state to adopt the initiative and referendum
Understanding the Initiative and Referendum
As Allswang suggests, "to study the initiative and referendum
is to study a microcosm of the major sociocultural, economic, political, and other issues that the people and politicians have cared about, in the state and beyond.
Since the 1980s, the wider use of initiative and referendum
has provoked anxiety among American progressives.
But property rights organizations are strongest in the West, where virtually all of the states have an initiative and referendum
The initiative and referendum
process has been an empowering and, often, mind-numbing exercise for Oregon's electorate.