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History, culture,practise and design of Direct

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History, culture, practise and design of
Direct Democracy in Switzerland
a short introduction from Andreas Gross (MP/Pol.Scientist/ADD)
www.andigross.ch
IRI Direct Democracy Study Trip to Europe
St-Ursanne (Jura-Switzerland)
Sept 25 2004
Direct Democracy (DD)
in Switzerland (and the U.S.A.)
was supported by history
пЃЇ
пЃЇ There was never a nobel feudal regime
You had a tradition and culture of decentralisation of
power and selfruling
пЃЇ You had experiences in managing diversity
пЃЇ You had and still have a multitude of
cultural,religious, linguistic and economic diversity
Direct Democracy (DD) in Switzerland (+
U.S.A.) was a oppositional achievement:
By the people for the people
The liberal founders of modern
Switzerland (1848) were elitist
They created a parlament.democracy by which�s parliament
many people did not feel to be represented
Thats why they asked for constitutional reforms which give
them „the last word“
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
Modern Direct Democracy (DD)
was not made in Switzerland – it was only
best practised and developed in CH
You had early „assembly-selfruling“ in some swiss cantons
and some New England States in the 17.century
пЃЇ
Modern referendum is a innovation of the Frech Revolution
(1793)
пЃЇ
The citizens initiatives is a product of revolutionaries of
France and Germany of 1848
пЃЇ
1869 in Zuerich:A weak DD-Instrument
enabled the people to realise a
democratic revolution
The gov tried to undermine the opposition
movement by implementing the „Initiative for
the total revision of the Constitution“ (1865)
 2 years later: In 10 days 20�000 sign. were
gathered and a peacefull revolution started
пЃЇ
The 3 cornerstones of
a modern Direct Democracy
Voting at the ballot-box or by mail, not in a assembly
пЃЇ The secrecy of the vote has to be respected
пЃЇ A minority of the citizens say, when all the citizens
have to vote – not a president or a parliament
(„plebiscitarian“ rule)
пЃЇ
Direct Democracy is a set of
participatorial citizen rights:
B. Federal level (Zuerich 2005)
9.
1,2,3,4, +
5.
Legislative popular initiative
6.
Constructive citizens referendum
7.
Obligatorial finance referendum
8.
Individual initiative
The right of the Parliament for counter-proposals, optional vote
Direct Democracy is a set of
participatorial citizen rights:
A. Cantonal level
1.
5.
Constitutional Referendum
2. Optional legislative Referendum
3. Constitutional popular Initiative
4. Referendum against threaties
„General“ Initiative: Proposition to the Parliament
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