This is an edited version of WDDM's Founding Documents. Only a few grammatical
corrections were made by M. Kolar, which do not alter the meaning of the documents.
Any part of these Documents can be changed, deleted, or new clauses added any time, as stated in the 'Rules'.
WORLDWIDE DIRECT DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT, WDDM
We, members of the Continuing International Congress on Direct Democracy (CICDD) decided during our second Congress in Delphi,
Greece, the birthplace of democracy, to establish a formal Worldwide Direct Democracy Movement.
We dedicate ourselves to work toward the introduction of Direct Democracy (DD) into the representative systems, through Citizens Initiatives and Referendums, and, ultimately, transform them peacefully to true democracies of the people. We pledge ourselves to remain faithful to genuine democratic principles as expressed in our Mission Statement. We aim to inspire others to join us and help to develop principles and methods leading to direct democracy (DD) of the people. We have been and will remain dedicated members of CICDD and share our ideals and proposals with all participants in the Network, individuals, and families.
We, members of the Worldwide Direct Democracy Movement, believe that all citizens have the right to directly perform lawmaking and other governmental functions in any polity in which they live. Therefore we seek to develop and promote any participatory processes which allow people to exercise their rights to make their own laws and/or manage their own governance.
1. WE BELIEVE IN THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES
1.1 People are sovereign, and they are the only legitimate authority to govern their society.
1.2 The power to formulate laws and policies must be vested directly in the People without representatives at all levels of societal life.
1.3 Every person have equal right and opportunity to participate in public affairs.
1.4 The people shall define major societal issues and policy alternatives when they are based on well-informed choices.
1.4.1 Public opinion can be easily influenced by vested interests and money. Therefore, we oppose such manipulations. Public debates must be factual, balanced, impersonal and non-manipulative.
1.4.2 Each issue must be presented and considered independently and its best alternative be selected strictly on its own merit.
1.5 Peoples Initiatives, backed by sufficient number of signatures, should mandate a binding Referendum and/or recall of unworthy representatives (I&R+R) decided by public vote.
1.6 Individuals and families must be made acquainted, from 'bottom up', with sensible educational tools to understand social morality, the common needs and interests of all, thereby, enable them to make knowledge-based societal policies.
1.7 We as 'Facilitators' shall endeavor to help citizens to setup Planning Cells, Citizen Juries, and Citizens Forums, as local bodies to supervise municipal and local administrations and public administrations. These 'Forums' will hear and attempt to settle issues, and if they cannot, then refer them either to the courts or to Citizens Parliaments.
1.8 We believe in and advocate peaceful and gradual transformation of society into genuine democracy.
1.9 We are against any form of aggression and violence, but we believe that the people must defend themselves, if and when, they are attacked.
1.10 We advocate respectful dialogue and constructive proposals.
1.11 Voting and gathering signatures can take place by secure electronic methods, therefore, we endeavor to have them legally established.
1.12 The results of public decisions will constitute the body of the law.
Signed by International Coordinating Committee for the formalization of the Worldwide Direct Democracy Movement.
- Milad Alshebani, Founding Member, Jamahir Society for Culture and Philosophy, Vienna, Austria. Coordinator, Jamahir Society, Tripoli Office. Member, RCM, Tripoli - Libya.
- Shuji Imamoto, Ph.D., Philosophy, Co-leader, Political Forum of the Internet, Japan; The Mutual Think-Tank "Challenge 21". Member of the Rainbow and Green Movement, Japan. And the Association promoting National and Local Initiative and Referenda.
- Angela Ionita, Ph.D., Informatics, Dept. Head, National Institute for Research and Development, Romania. Technical author of several publications and books. She has been the Founder and head of several Romanian technical and scientific association
- Franz Iseman, Former Dozen of the Goethe Institute, Germany. Head of Language Departments of Goethe Institutes in several countries worldwide. Representative of Mehr Demokratie, Germany. Appointed local organizer of the 3rd CICDD events in Germany.
- George Kokkas, Media Lawyer. A founder of the Forum of Citizens Democracy, Greece. The local organizer and Chairman of the 2nd CICDD events in Athens and Delphi, Greece.
- Michael Mautner, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, New Zealand. Author of 'A Constitution of Direct Democracy'.
- Jiri Polak, Ph.D., Sweden. Author of 'Democracy, Direct or Indirect?' and other democratic books. The main initiator of the 1st ICDD and organizer and Chairman of the local deliberations in Pribram, Czech Republic. Vice-Spokesperson of WDDM. Editor-in-Chief, founder and publisher of the 'Newsletter of WDDM', published in Sweden/Czech Republic.
- Ottorino Rizzi, Italy. Author of To Lead or to Serve? with a section "Twinning": an idea to provide meaningful assistance by twinning rich communities and/or countries to help poor and deprived ones.
- Antonio Rossin, Dr., Neurologist, Italy. Author, The Grassroots Bottom-Up Approach to Direct Democracy, and other democratic theses, focusing on Family Education.
- George Sagi, Retired Dipl. Ing. (B.Sc.), M.Sc., Canada. Spokesperson of WDDM. Author, A theory of Direct Democracy, and other publications. Educator of DD. Founder of Participatory Direct Democracy Association, Canada. Helping Hungarian activists to advance DD.
- Giuseppe Strano, Dr., Psychiatrist, Italy. Secretary of WDDM. Founding member of Associazione Democrazia Diretta, Italy. Webmaster. Set-up the CICDD listserver, and wddm.org. and related functions.
- Unfilled membership.
2. RULES OF MEMBERSHIP AND CONDUCT
2.1 WDDM is a voluntary movement of dedicated volunteers whose aim is to facilitate the people to govern their own societies. Members are acting independently in the country in which they live. Our Rules of Membership and Conduct (Rules) govern members only internally, and are offered as a guide for international audience.
2.2 WDDM is an international movement whose members rely mostly on the Internet for communication and decision-making by vote. As members of the Continuing Congress on Direct Democracy (CICDD) we will have conferences
concurrently with it.
2.3 We the Founding Members, established a Coordinating Committee (CC) consisting of 12 persons. Based on democratic principles, the role of the CC is to lead the WDD Movement by overwhelming majority vote. The Membership of the CC remains permanent until the size of our membership will permit the rotation of its members.
2.4 The Coordinating Committee established the following 'Facilitating Roles': Giuseppe Strano, Secretary; Jiri Polak, Vice-Spokesperson and Editor-in-Chief of the Newsletter of Worldwide Direct Democracy (originally by the decision of the 1st Congress, reconfirmed by CC); George Sagi, Spokesperson. It is desirable to rotate all Facilitating Functions.
2.5 Proposals for a change and new proposals can be posted any time by any member. Detailed methods of executing
these measures are given in the Rules of Conduct.
3. MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA
3.1 Any individual, with sound mind and without a criminal record, can join our Movement by accepting our Founding Documents, Mission Statement, and the Membership Rules and Conduct.
3.2 Initially, there is no membership fee, however, in the future, the members may vote for a membership fee.
3.3 Each member shall be a subscriber of the 'Newsletter'. A minimum US $20.00 donation is recommended for its upkeep.
3.4 An application for membership shall be posted by the Secretary for 2 weeks for discussion. If none of the members oppose the application for membership, then the applicant shall be automatically adopted to be a member of WDDM.
3.5 When opposed during the two week discussion period, the Secretary shall 'post' the membership for voting for another 2-weeks. At the end of the voting period, the Secretary shall calculate and post the results.
3.6 If the majority decides that a Member violated our principles, contained in these 'Founding Documents', such person shall be expelled from our movement, and also, suffer legal consequences.
4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE (CC)
4.1 The Coordinating Committee is responsible for the overall management of WDDM. Its members, individually in each country, and when required by joint action, strive to be the driving force to initiate practical activities to make progress
toward Direct Democracy.
4.2 Each member of the Organizing Committee shall support and carry out the decisions adopted by majority votes of the Committee and/or the by the membership.
4.3 'Coordinating roles' within the CC, assigned to individuals, to officially conduct our affairs shall be open to any Member at any time. When proposed by any member and approved by the majority of voters, the roles will be assigned as well as new additional roles will be established.
4.4 Each member of the CC and WDDM shall keep records of moneys received and expended. The financial records shall be sent to the Secretary for tabulating financial records of WDDM.
5. MAKING DECISIONS and CHANGES
5.1 Amendments and new proposals shall be specific, clear and concise. Amendments shall refer to the clause to be changed, when 'Posted' for discussions.
5.1.1 The Secretary requested to write e-mails in plain text, no boldface, italics, no html, or other special characters. This is necessary because we have different computers and operating systems. Headings can be in CAPITAL LETTERS. Furthermore, when you are replying to a topic, do not copy the entire long text, but only the part you are responding to. In discussions, in your Reference (RE:) heading, write clearly whose input and topic you are responding to.
5.2 New proposals and amendments should address one topic at a time and should go through
5.2.1 POSTING the request for discussions.
5.2.2 DISCUSSION period for a minimum of 2-weeks if a member requests a vote or if nobody calls for votes, discussions could continue as long as the initiator of the proposal wants it.
5.2.3 VOTING shall have a 2-weeks period.
5.3 An application is approved or rejected if at least 2/3 of all cast votes are for or against. Otherwise, no decision is made.
5.3.1 It is our moral duty to vote on proposals. Sometimes, some members may not be able to cast a vote. That is why the 2/3 fraction refers to all votes cast.
5.4 All decisions within our Movement shall be shown by open 'manifested vote’. This norm is recommended for the people in deciding societal policies and laws by secret ballots.
5.5 Voting results shall be announced to the Members, the Pericles group, and to the Applicant by the Spokesperson. Announcements to CICDD and others not in our movements will be made by the Secretary.
5.6 After approval, all decisions must be accepted and/or carried out conscientiously by all members .
6. FACILITATING ROLES
6.1 The secretary shall be the Webmaster of WDDM. He is authorized to appoint helpers, if necessary, to accomplish this task.
6.2 Any cost arising to fulfill this role and responsibility shall be paid by the funds of WDDM or donations.
6.3 The Secretary shall communicate with applicants for membership and advise them of the procedures.
6.4 He/she shall maintain and bring up to date the WDDM members list.
6.5 The Secretary shall 'post' requests for 'Discussion', 'post' requests for 'Votes", and as stated in Section 5, for 'Making Decisions and Changes'.
6.5.1 The Secretary shall close discussions, scrutinize polls, record the official results of votes, announce the results to the Members, and matters of general DD concern to outsiders.
6.6 For internal records only for the benefit of the members of WDDM, and of the Pericles Group, but not for the general public, he/she shall maintain and bring up to date the archives of WDDM discussions, proposals, and voting results.
6.7 Shall publicize approved matters for release to the informal CICDD and other DD groups.
6.8 Shall fulfill his/her role as the legally responsible person for the technical and functional aspects of WDDM. These include signing documents related to his function, protecting wddm.org registration,
and implementing the decisions of the Coordinating Committee and/or of the membership. This includes tabulating the financial records of WDDM.
6.10 The Spokesperson has two main functions.
6.10.1 To officially announce decisions passed by the Membership and/or the CC, to the Pericles II members.
6.10.2 The other is to facilitate the conduct of internal affairs, such as drafting documentations in cooperation with the 'Vice-Spokesperson'.
6.11 The Spokesperson shall respond to the inquiries and proposals of the members. Also, on behalf of the CC, answer questions addressed to WDDM by non-members and organizations.
6.12 Carry out the decisions of the (OC) and the membership.
6.13 Call for volunteers and/or seek the appointment of members to carry out decisions.
6.14 The Spokesperson shall demonstrate exemplary behavior and inspire the members of WDDM to perform their commitments dutifully and faithfully, in compliance with all the Founding Documents.
6.15 With the support of the CC, he/she shall officially represent the WDDM, transact and sign documents on behalf of its members.
6.17 The Vice Spokesperson shall assist the Spokesperson to carry out the function his/her duties, and also act on his/her behalf if and when needed.
6.18 The Vice-Spokesperson is also the Editor-in Chief (Editor) and the publisher of the Newsletter of Worldwide Democracy Movement.
6.18.1 The Vice-Spokesperson as 'Editor' shall gather and disseminate DD related information to the formal and informal members of CICDD and to the public through the Newsletter.
6.19 The Vice-Spokesperson as Editor, will regularly print a brief description on how to become a member of WDDM.