"Direct democracy: Origin of the species - From Athens via Switzerland to the Wild West"
" ... Into this vacuum had stepped a private power: the railroad. ... As one reporter wrote in 1896, 'it didn’t matter whether a man was a Republican or Democrat. The Southern Pacific Railroad controlled both parties, and he either had to stay out of the game altogether or play it with the railroad.' This was the corruption that enraged California’s Progressives. Hiram Johnson was especially livid. ... Direct democracy in California is thus an aberration. It has no safeguards against Madison’s tyranny of the majority. It recognises no saucer that might cool the passions of the people. Above all, it is not a system intended to contain minority factions. Instead, it encourages special interests to wage war by ballot measure until one lobby prevails and imposes its will on all. Madison and Hamilton would have been horrified. ... " [More]
[Courtesy Google Alerts.]