Most people with even a casual interest in Mars have at least heard about Elon Musk's tweet that he will set up a direct democracy on mars, and that any law can be overturned with a 40% vote. That spawned a series of side conversations on Dr. Michael Shermer's podcast, Science Salon. Most of his guests shortly after the now-famous Musk tweet got asked what they thought about this issue. I've been listening to these podcasts while driving, in quick succession (about 2 a day) so Mars Governance question was hitting me in the face, and my subconscious was working on the problem.
The biggest piece of the puzzle was Dr Shermer's Jan. 15, 2009 interview with Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld. She briefly mentioned having issues go to referendum if they are related to topics that the public has a high level of expertise dealing with (I'm paraphrasing from memory).
I made a few PowerPoint slides to express my conclusions based on these discussions -- including a government outline -- and showed them to my cousin Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Carter, Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of New Hampshire. She had the fantastic suggestion to look at the current German system of government, which really brought this concept home.
The presentation can be seen in PDF form on my Github at https://github.com/
Shootquinn/Mars_Governance/ blob/master/Mars_Governance. pdf