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The Ballot Initiative

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These ideas bring forth the questions of where knowledge comes from. As mentioned technical knowledge comes from institutional experiences and empirical science. Allowing for representative governors to make seemingly well informed decision as they have more access to experts (Matsusaka 2005). Within the framework of direct democracy, the average citizen does not have the same access. However, direct democracy does allow for citizens to make value judgements (Matsusaka 2005). The proletarian ability to make value based decisions may be attributed to experiential knowledge termed metis. In the particular case of the EIA, metis should be view not in terms of mastery of a particular skill through experience but in the ability to follow one’s intuition.…show more content…
In fact, the institutionalization of environmental movements is well documented (Rootes 2004). Potentially, the ballot initiative was not a reaction to technocracy but an attempt to bring the EIA into existing frameworks of decision making. As ballot initiatives have been available to Washington’s voters since 1912 (Matsusaka 2005). In fact, direct democracy is so well established that during the general election of 1998 $400 million was spent nationally on ballot initiatives (Matsusaka 2005). While in comparison only $326 million was spent during the entire 2000 presidential election, primaries and general, including all parties (Matsusaka 2005).
In conclusion the EIA is both a technical and valued based policy. The technicality of the EIA creates a means for the policy to fit into an already technocratic system. Where miniscule distinctions, regulations and expert opinions are the norm. The value based and anthropocentric focus of the EIA proves democracy for and by the people still has the potential to succeed. As a group of citizens created an issue advocate organization with the purpose of asking the people of Washington what they wanted their energy future to look like. The messy, convoluted, objective and subjective process is democracy at
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