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re: Social contract

[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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I had posted an inquiry about "initiatives" as practised in the US.
Perhaps they would be helpful in local collective action. Though they
clearly have negatives.

Essentially, AFAIK, the system works something like this:

Citizens pass around a petition for a particular regulation and if there
are enough signatures, the issue is put on the ballot for the next
elections (local elections, I guess). If the regulation is voted for, it
is made law. It obviously needs a certain level of literacy.

There are, as I have mentioned, several drawbacks. Is there someone who
knows more about this system?

Chirag Kasbekar
TYBA (Econ, Socio)
St. Xavier's College,
Mumbai (Bombay), India.

"...when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity,
the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is
possible for one side to be simply wrong."
                          -- Richard Dawkins

On Mon, 3 May 1999 12:48:53    Sanjeev Sabhlok wrote:

>"Basically what this would mean is that a community (say a village)
>collectively agrees to defined commitments in return for facilities
>the government would invest in for collective gain."
>Dear Bhuwan: Idea sounds good. Can you pl. operationalize it a little
>more? That could be a good model for local self-governance. Just keep
>mind, you are trying to handle the very complex problem of collective
>action, which has been studied in thousands of articles and books, and
>no clear solutions have emerged. People are almost always going to work

>in their self-interest, and they would usually sabotage collective
>action or try to 'free ride.' Leadership can help overcome some of
>things. As also a greater 'culture' of social capital building -
>something that India sorely lacks.
>But pl. pursue this idea further.

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