Legislators typically control the design of political institutions, and can be expected to craft rules that work to their advantage. In some nations, however, legislators adopt provisions for direct democracy-an institu- tion that might weaken the control that established parties and incum- bents have over political agendas. We examine the nature of legislative support for direct democracy by surveying legislators and legislative can- didates in Canada, New Zealand and the United States. We find that sup- port is conditioned by factors internal to the legislative setting (affiliation with a governing party, incumbency, and tenure) and by ideology and subjective attitudes about democracy We discuss how our findings relate to broader questions about when elites might change democratic institu- tions they control.
Bowler, S., Donovan, T., & Karp, J. A. (2002). When Might Institutions Change? Elite Support for Direct Democracy in Three Nations. Political Research Quarterly, 55(4), 731-754. https://doi.org/10.1177/106591290205500401