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General statements against direct democracy

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Supporting quotations

Ellis Paxon. "The Referendum in America" (1911): "It direct legislation is in conflict with the spirit and traditions of our political system as will soon be perceived by growing numbers of men. While the people are subject to sudden impulse and at times commit the most serious mistakes they have seldom erred through years in the long run on the question of great fundamental principles. When they come to understand the purposes of these reforms and can see beyond the present to the end it is safe to predict that there will be a readjustment of opinion as radical as the movement by which our standards have been so ruthlessly deranged."[1]


Prof Woodrow Wilson speaking as President of Princeton University at the annual meeting of the Civic League of St Louis Mo March 9 1909: "You know we have heard a great deal recently about the government of the country by the people of the country and I must say that it seems to me we have been talking a great deal of nonsense. A government can be democratic only in the sense that it is a government restrained controlled by public opinion. It can never be a government conducted by public opinion. What I mean to say is that POPULAR INITIATIVE IS AN INCONCEIVABLE THING."[2]

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