Democratic Euro-Vision
Draft of a Charter
In most European countries, there are organisations and/or movements trying to democratize their political systems by introducing elements of Direct Democracy. To increase their efficiency, it is desirable to establish a coalition forming a common European movement, aiming at regular contacts by means of a blog, discussing common goals and strategy, and supporting one another´s efforts. This step is necessary for taking part in future European elections. For this purpose, the following definitions should be agreed upon:
1. Direct Democracy
2. People´s Interest and People´s Will
3. Relationship between People Power and Executive Power
4. Rules of the Charter
Direct Democracy
This term should be applied not only to the Citizen Initiative and Referendum, but also to various types of Public Deliberation (Planning Cells and Citizen Juries), the promotion of Citizens´ Constitutions, proposals of alternative political systems, and methods of electronic voing.
People´s Interest and People´s Will
The People´s Will, coming from the People´s Interest, is the line defined by the majority of the citizens; it can be looked on as the National Interest, if we consider the Nation as the assembly of citizens, looking at the relationship both ways: the Citizens form the Nation, and the Nation cares for the Citizens.
All too often in the past, the National Interest, as defined above, has been bent in favour of other interests: individuals and lobbies have had their own interests prevail over the Citizens´ Will.
Relationship between People Power and Executive Power
The People Power (legislation) is superior to the Executive Power. Decisions made by elected representatives on all levels can be abolished or altered by methods of Direct Democracy, incorporated in the system. The Executive Power must be non-partisan; it should only implement decisions made by the Legislative Power
Rules of the Charter
To become member of the proposed Coalition, the organisation or movement in question must formally declare that it accepts the principles expressed in the Charter.
The basic principle is the following:
In a Democracy, the Constitution on which the political system is based, must be agreed upon and adopted by the majority of citizens in a national referendum without any interference on the part of political parties. As long as this has not happened, the respective Constitution cannot be considered as democratic and legitimate. It must be considered as provisional only and susceptible of amendments made directly by the Citizens.
(Comment: the wording "the citizens have to learn thinking as a Nation, not as individuals" looks like a nationalistic propaganda, now discredited. It is a fact that each individual pursues what he/she considers as his/her individual interest. The important point is to make them understand that their individual interests coincide with the interests of the Nation, i.e. Society as a whole, rather than with the interests of a category or group upon which party politics is based.)



Dear Fred, my attempts to comment fail. The machine says "incorrect password". But the password works for independent blogs, hopefully for this one too. I just want to express agreement with what you have written. I believe all dherents to Eurovision should adopt the principle that a democratic Constitution has to be authorized by referendum. Otherwise the system it creates is not democratic and legitimate. If several organisations/groups agree publicly upon this principle, it would strengten all of them. We in Czech Republic are going to press charges against the Czech Parliament for having adopted a Constitution assuring their power monopoly without submitting it to a referendum. We want to gain publicity. Maybe other organisations might do the same thing. It would strengthen all of them. The wording of Citizen Constitutions would be up to the respective citizenry, but the procedure - amendment of existing non-democratic constitutions directly by the citizens - should be the same in all countries. I believe this concrete principle shoud be part of the Charter.


Democratic Euro-vision

I suggest that the Charter should begin as follows:
Democratic Euro-vision
Purpose: To establish and maintain a coalition of European groups and organisations who accept certain common principles and will give moral support to one another with efforts to democratize their respective countries. The only requirement for you to become a member of the coalition is to confirm that you adhere to the Charter.
(Definition of Direct Democracy. It should be stressed that, in some cases, citizen Deliberation (Planning Cells/citizen Juries) should be included in the referendum proces as well as in the legislation adopted by Representative Bodies.)
Comment: In this respect we would differ from the Swiss-German movement which wants to exclude deliberation and focuses on I&R alone. We believe that this is not sufficient and could discourage many people who maintain that decisions made by simple referenda might not be qualified. The inclusion of deliberation removes this objection. Jiri


People interest and people will

While we wait for comments coming from Athens about the definition of Direct Democracy...let's go forward and introduce the new question : how do we define people interest and people will.
I propose to your examination the following considerations :
The people will, coming from the people interest, the line defined by the majority of the Citizens, can be looked at as the Nation interest if we consider the Nation as the assembly of all Citizens.
Therefore I consider the Nation interest as the condensed interest of the Citizens, looking at the relationship both ways : the Citizens form the Nation, and the Nation cares for the Citizens.
In other words, the Citizens have to learn thinking as a Nation, not as individuals.

All too often in the past the Nation interest, as defined above, has been bent in favour of other interests : individuals and lobbies have had their own interests prevail over the Citizens will.
Here we have exposed the main difference between Representative Democracy and Direct Democracy, here we have come to the core of the matter.
Now it's your turn, my friends

Federico Tonini


Direct Democracy

Then let's try to find out a common definition of Direct Democracy.
How about this _
Direct Democracy is the political process by which any public administration executes directly, that is without the presence of so-called people representatives, the decisions assumed in a democratic way, that is by majority of votes,by those citizens who have jurisdiction on the said Administration.
Federico Tonini
18/10/08 4:06 PM


Charter of Coalition

The main purpose of this Blog is to allow discussions among European Movements for Direct Democracy for the purpose of reaching an agreement and build up a Confederation so that, working together, they can create one common European Movement.
The above step is necessary to take part into future European elections, being understood that they will continue their political action in their own countries with their original denomination.

In order to accomplish the above work it appears necessary to agree on a common Charter, where the necessary pre-requisites of each Movement are listed in order to build up the desired Coalition on common grounds.
It is the common desire of the three founding members to reach such agreement in short times.

Therefore we propose that a list of prerequisites is defined as the content of the above Charter.
Once such agreement is reached, additional Movements willing to be associated into the Coalition must declare to accept the ideas and the rules of the Coalition.

We propose the following definitions are agreed :

1 - Direct Democracy
2 - People interest and people will
3 - Relationship between people power and executive power
4 - Charter Rules

We recommend that the above basic ideas be expressed in a complete albeit concise way, so that the writing of a Charter is completed in the shortest possible time.
On the above matter we wait for comments and proposals.

Democrazia Federale
Federico Tonini

Citizens´ Constitution

In Czech Republic,
we have written and published the draft of a Citizens´ Constitution. We will try to enforce a referendum on it. An English summary was presented at a symposium held at the University of Wuppertal in honor of Prof. Peter Dienel. The professor (now deceased) was enthusiastic about it. I suggest that the summary be put at the disposal for the readers of this blog. This might inspire groups or organisations in other countries to do something similar there.


Matters to be discussed

While our preparatory work continues, some questions emerge about a very important aspect of our action.
While it is clear our common objective, that is real Direct Democracy or a system where the people decisions or will is directly realized by executive public administrations, two main lines can be followed.

The first one, we can call it bottom-up, says our action shall be the one that spreads our ideas among the citizens until our Movement can win the majority in public Administrations like Towns and larger ones.

The second one, we can call it top-down, says we have to spread our ideas among the Citizens until we can modify the State Administration structure my means of a referendum.

I hope I have clearly identified the two positions, and invite comments on the above, so that this first question can be considered cleared.
Federico Tonini


Here we go

The IRI Congress in Aarau has allowed a group of European movements working for Direct Democracy in Europe to make contacts and discuss their ideas.

Some of the Movements, while considering with great rispect the theoretical work of Universities and think-tanks in order to introduce elements of Direct Democracy within the existing Constitutions, do not believe this kind of work will grant any significant results in a realistic time, and want to start immediate political action taking part into coming European elections.

The Movements have decided to co-ordinate their action on the European scale, with the aim to create one only Movement active all over the Union.

The only purpose of this blog is to make available in English writings coming from the national blogs in other languages so that matters of general interest can be discussed within an extended circle.

Come back in short for further news.

The EuroDemocrat