|DISCUSSION ON HOW TO PROMOTE DIRECT (TRUE) DEMOCRACY|
Any member can post here proposals concerning WDDM (its function, mission, goals, organization).
WDDM is an organization, not a government. We are lucky to get 10% of our members to vote in an election, let alone get 10% to initiate a matter. We must make the numbers workable. If we had 100 people vote in the last election, one percent would be 1. We had only a handful vote so more than 1 would be far to many for an initiative. If we get to many Initiatives we can increase the requirement. Right now we have the problem of not enough interest and interaction so we must reduce the requirements.
Please consider the Swiss way a bit. Many Swiss think this is to tight.
Basic Facts & Features of Switzerland's Direct Democracy
The Swiss constitution defines in some detail all areas subject to federal legislation. Anything not explicitly mentioned is left to the legislation of the cantons (federal states).
Therefore it is necessary to update the constitution from time to time to take account of changes in society and technology that demand for standardised solutions throughout the country.
The Swiss constitution may be changed only if an overall majority of the electorate agrees in a referendum and if the electorate of a majority of the cantons agrees, too. The latter is sometimes just a little more difficult because it means that the rather conservative electorate of smaller rural cantons must be convinced as well.
Nevertheless, minor changes to the Swiss constitution are quite frequent without affecting the basic ideas nor the stability of Switzerland's Political System. To the contrary: Direct Democracy is the key to Switzerland's famous political stability.
All federal laws are subject to a three to four step process:
1) A first draft is prepared by experts in the federal administration.
2) This draft is presented to a large number of people in a formalized kind of opinion poll: Cantonal governments, political parties as well as many non-governmental organisations and associations of the civil society may comment on the draft and propose changes.
3) The result is presented to dedicated parliamentary commissions of both chambers of the federal parliament, discussed in detail behind closed doors and finally debated in public sessions of both chambers of parliament. Members of parliament do take into account the results of step 2, because if the fail to do so, step 4 will be inevitable.
4) The electorate has a veto-right on laws: If anybody is able to find 50,000 citizens signing a form demanding for a referendum within 3 months, a referendum must be held. Laws do only need to find a majority of the national electorate to pass a referendum, not a majority of cantons. Referendums on more than a dozen laws per year are not unusual in Switzerland.
Frequent referendums on minor changes to the federal or cantonal constitutions, new or changed laws, budgets etc,
- referendums on constitutional changes are mandatory
- referendums on laws are "facultative" (only if 50,000 citizens, i.e. roughly 1.2% of the electorate, demand for it)
Learn more about Referendums in Switzerland
Corresponding rules apply for referendums on cantonal and communal level. While referendums concerning budgets are not possible on federal level they are common on communal level. It depends on the 26 cantonal constitutions whether they are mandatory, facultative or possible at all.
The number of citizens that may demand for a cantonal or communal referendum depends on the size of the corresponding electorate, as a rule of thumb, about 1% are usual.
Popular Initiative: 100,000 citizens (roughly 2.5% of the electorate) may demand for a change of the constitution by signing a form. The federal parliament is obliged to discuss the initiative, it may decide to recommend or to reject the initiative or it may propose an alternative. Whatever they choose to do, all citizens will finally decide in a referendum whether to accept the initiative, the alternate proposal or stay without change.
Bruce Eggum Wisconsin USA
|Initiative changes in Charter Statues #9 and #11||1664||BrEggum||03/09/2008 10:56PM|
|Re: Initiative changes in Charter Statues #9 and #11||826||BrEggum||04/24/2008 12:10PM|
|Re: Initiative changes in Charter Statues #9 and #11||989||mantell||03/12/2008 05:48AM|
|Re: Initiative changes in Charter Statues #9 and #11||830||BrEggum||03/12/2008 06:45AM|