When the People Decide

By Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy

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Episodes: 21


When the People Decide, a podcast from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, explores the promise — and sometimes peril — that ballot initiatives have brought to American democracy by telling the stories of people who have organized initiative campaigns across the country. America’s founders were famously skeptical of direct democracy, citing fears of mob rule if people had too much power. Since then, however, the initiative and referendum process has emerged as one way that citizens in some states can vote directly on policy and join forces to bring issues they care about directly to their fellow voters. When the People Decide is hosted and reported by Jenna Spinelle and produced by LWC Studios for the McCourtney Institute.

Episode Date
Top of Mind: Is government transparency essential in a democracy?
May 06, 2024
Local News Matters: Public policy as a tool to support local news
Sep 26, 2023
Taking a civic leap of faith
Aug 21, 2023
From news deserts to civic media
Aug 14, 2023
Winning the democracy lottery
Aug 07, 2023
Libraries as civic spaces
Jul 31, 2023
Putting money and power in the people's hands
Jul 24, 2023
Peeling back the curtain on local government
Jul 17, 2023
Season 2 coming soon!
Jul 03, 2023
Equal rights, not special rights: A follow up
Aug 29, 2022
Introducing: Democracy Decoded
Aug 15, 2022
Ballot initiatives in 2022 and beyond
Aug 08, 2022
For the many or the few?
Aug 01, 2022
The war on the initiative
Jul 25, 2022
The invisible third party of reform
Jul 18, 2022
A matter of life and death
Jul 11, 2022
Bastard Nation finds its voice
Jul 04, 2022
Equal rights, not special rights
Jun 27, 2022
America, fast forward
Jun 20, 2022
What happens when the people decide?
Jun 13, 2022
Introducing: When the People Decide
May 18, 2022