While watching the news these days and seeing the world map in the back drop, it's great to imagine: Next Tuesday, 4 November, I will be somewhere in the middle of the United States to witness US Election Day 2014.

US citizens vote each year on the first Tuesday in November. Only gaining broad international attention when a President is campaigning, also these mid-term elections of US Congress are significant: Democrats and Republicans contest the majority of seats in the US House of Representatives and Senate. Also, more than 40 Governors are up for election. And in terms of direct democracy, 146 “ballot measures” (the US term for citizens’ initiatives) will be voted upon. Its topics will deal with minimum wage, abortion, gambling and the salaries of government officials, for example.  

On the occasion of this year’s Election Day, our board members Joe Mathews and Bruno Kaufmann have invited to the “Big River Democracy Tour”. The study trip along the Mississippi will lead through the US states Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana to learn about direct democracy and to connect with democracy activists who live there. I am happy to be a participant. I cannot wait to fill the spot on the world map far away with political experiences.

Best regards,
Cora Pfafferott

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"Direct democracy is like dynamite"
"My view is that direct democracy is like dynamite; if used carefully, it can do very big and difficult things. But if you use it carelessly, you can blow yourself up. We are very good at blowing ourselves up in California. That said, direct democracy is robust in the U.S. at the local level -- it's fundamentally part of who we were as a country. At the state level, it's more mixed, with about half of the 50 states having it." Joe Mathews, board member of Democracy International from US California and co-organiser of Democracy International's US study tour, in an interview.
On ballot measures in Bill Clinton's home state
Arkansas is neither vibrant New York nor sunny California. Located in the South-Mid of the US, Arkansas is average
"Stop TTIP" running - 750.000 signatures already
On 11 October 2014, thousands of people throughout Europe protested against the European Union’s plans to conclude TTIP while the self-organised ECI is gaining huge support
"Chile is only half of a democracy"
Dr. Condeza in an interview on the current state of direct democracy in Chile and the ongoing decentralisation process
Capital of transparency is online
On 1 October 2014, the German city of Hamburg officially launched a website that allows citizens to openly access the city’s public documents.
Democracy International