(Editor’ Note—Previously published, just a reminder.)

For 12 years, I’ve been putting on Global Forums on Modern Direct Democracy, to look at initiative and referendum around the world, and how California stacks up. The forum has spun off a very handy global database on direct democracy and the International League of Democracy Cities. But to attend one of these events, you had to go to Seoul or Spain, Tunis or Montevideo, Rome or Taipei. 

This year is different. The pandemic has pushed this year’s forum online. It’s happening now (and can be seen here). Unfortunately, most of the timing is friendlier to European audiences – this year’s forum was going to be in Bern, Switzerland—but we do have one event timed for North America. A September 29 event, from 430p to 530p California time, will bring together speakers from California, Mexico, Chile, and Taiwan to look at whether democracy around the world should be more direct. (You can register here).

The event finishes up 30 minutes before the first presidential debate. If you find the prospect of a Biden-Trump debate depressing, you might be well served to hear about more positive democratic developments around the world, including the spread of initiative and referendum.