The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of California’s Direct Democracy

Keep the Mail-In Ballots. Lose the Money and Special Interests. Give the People More Information

While majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents in California agree that the state’s system of direct democracy is a good thing, they also agree that it needs some fixing, especially to keep big money and organized special interests from having too much influence in the process.

But how to do that?

This was the meaty question of last night’s panel, “Is This What Direct Democracy Looks Like?” The Zócalo event, in partnership with the Berggruen Institute, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, was a searching …

How Domestic Migration Keeps Changing American Politics | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Domestic Migration Keeps Changing American Politics

The Democratic Flip of Georgia Points to a Future of Greater Conflict Within Southern States 

Population migration out of the South proved to be a major force for national political realignment in the 20th century. But as the recent Democratic breakthrough in Georgia seems to …

The Right to Vote Should Be a Human Right | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Right to Vote Should Be a Human Right

Making Universal Suffrage Truly Universal Will Make Our World More Unified—And Democratic

How can we make universal suffrage truly universal?

That such a question must be asked points out a democratic paradox. Universal suffrage—the term meaning that everyone has the right to vote—is …

What America Can Learn From India’s Weeks-Long Elections | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What America Can Learn From India’s Weeks-Long Elections

Keep the Faith, Even If Results Are Slow to Come In—‘Democracy Delayed Is Not Democracy Denied’

Americans have long been accustomed to knowing the results of elections by the time they go to bed on Election Day. This year is forcing them to realize that’s not …

Are California Elections a Triumph of Democracy—or a Defeat?  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Are California Elections a Triumph of Democracy—or a Defeat? 

The Golden State Keeps Making It Easier to Vote, and Harder to Understand What to Vote For

It was the best of California elections. It was the worst of California elections.

Consider the paradox, if you will, of this moment of democratic triumph, which is also a moment …

Here Are Two Voting Reforms That Could Counter America’s Hyperpolarization

When Used Together, 'Ranked Choice' and 'Top Two' Elections Would Strengthen Major Parties and Favor Moderate Politicians

Political polarization has spread across the globe. The ensuing ideological purity might make each warring faction appear stronger, but in reality, hyperpolarization weakens parties by making them less appealing to …