I am proud to inform you that on July 14th, 2006, day of French Revolution for Democracy, we succeeded to make DD happen!!
I coordinated the most serious event ever happened about Direct Democracy in contemporary Greece. It was a gathering of the people (Demos) of the island of Rhodes, as it happened in ancient times in the Ancient amphitheater of an old town, who voted before their local elections not for representatives, but on the major problems of the island in eight different areas (environment, traffic problems etc.) giving an order to all candidates to respect their view, when they will be elected. Our NGO (Forum for Citizens' Democracy) organised the whole event with a big success, under the auspices of local Authorities and NGOs.
Please give publicity to this important event, as it inspires us for authentic Democracy!
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More information from G.K., August 1:
The whole event was a mixture of cultural and direct democratic elements, with the objective to give safe orders of people to the new local Authorities of Rhodes Island (to be elected next October) about the priorities of policies that people request.
After a couple of short introductory speeches, we had a small theatrical play, satyrizing the contemporary political life and then we begun the political event of the Ecclesia, with short speeches of local NGOs spokespersons, limited to 2 minutes maximum, giving the tempo and the sense of isegoria (Equal time speaking) to the next citizen speakers.
These simple citizens argued and debated on the topics from the attached thematic (subject) voting sheet, first on subjects of the general significance (Environmental issues, Local Economy-Development, Cultural affairs, Relations between Authorities and Citizens, Social welfare, Transportation issues and Working affairs) and then on special issues of each of the general areas above (for example in the area of Environmental Issues the proposals to be voted were: a) More Litter boxes, b) Parks in neighborhoods of Rhodes island, c) New Forests after Fires) as the audience was voting on a climax from 0 (zero - Not Interested) to 4 (Extreme Priority).
All the citizens participants had also the ability to propose other issues of their interest, than those prescribed and prepared by the local NGOs issues. So, they voted for another general subject area (Educational affairs) and a lot of special issues to be faced by the New Local Authorities that will be elected next October.
Then, after collection of voting sheets, we had the chance to watch an excellent programme of ethnic songs and dances, as our Informatic Team was working on the results of the voting, that were announced by the end of this direct democratic event!
It was the first time in contemporary Greece that we had a political event before elections, that faced the real problems of people, instead of the faces of the candidates and representatives!
We are ready to support similal activities everywhere in the world!