George Mason said, on June 17, 1788…

“If we, collectively, are the source of authority for our government, we must have a way to communicate our instructions. We must be able to select the representatives we think can best implement our will; we need to be able to change them, reorganize them if need be, and decide how they will conduct our business.

“Most importantly, we must reach some approximate agreement about what we want, and that is done by placing people, initiatives and referenda on the ballot and casting our votes on them.” (Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788)

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  1. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Mason was a great man, but he, like Jefferson if he were alive today, would be stuck in traffic trying to get to a talk show studio to offer those “talking points.”

  2. Rick Sincere Avatar
    Rick Sincere

    Did the phrase “initiatives and referenda” exist in 1788? I thought that was a Progressive Era invention.

  3. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    What did he say about referenda?

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