The astounding story of Iceland's constitution - and its government's failure

In 2012, more than two-thirds of Iceland's population ratified the most democratically crafted constitution in world history, written in public and drafted by a representative committee of 1,000 Icelanders; now in a stirring video in the leadup to the next national election, Icelanders are calling on one another to only vote for candidates who'll take action on the constitution the nation voted for. (Thanks, Larry!) Read the rest

California's 40-year-old ban on property tax raises has made the rich a lot richer

In 1978, California ballot initiative Proposition 13 capped property taxes at 1% of assessed value and increases at 2% per year, creating a massive hole in the ability of cities to fund their operations, which has only been partially plugged by hiking sales taxes and utility rates, regressive moves that disproportionately shift the burden of civic services to low-income households. Read the rest

Californians will get to vote on legal recreational weed

California, the most populous state in the USA and the sixth-largest economy in the world -- will give its residents the chance to vote on an expansive legal recreational week proposal on the ballot paper this coming November. Read the rest

Could America Ever Become a Direct Democracy?

Today we travel to a future where America has converted to a direct democracy. Everybody votes on everything!

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In this episode we explore the U.S. states that have direct democracy systems in place today, how to apply that model to the whole country, how to even gather all those votes, and what could go so, so very wrong with this idea.

Illustration by Matt Lubchansky.

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