Examples of Direct Democracy

In Iceland, the Pirate Party’s core policies include direct democracy, transparency, civil rights, the right to self-determination, public access to information and responsible decision making. The core policy text forms the basis for all policymaking. The online voting system is the primary method through which Pirates settle disputes and reach consensus on policies.

In the United States, the seven generally acknowledged forms of direct democracy are the legislatively referred constitutional amendment, the legislatively referred state statute, the initiated state statute (direct or indirect), the initiated constitutional amendment, the veto referendum (sometimes called the citizen referendum or the statute referendum), the statute affirmation (available only in Nevada), and statewide recall.  Eight states enable the six most common forms of direct democracy. Those states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Nevada (which also has the statute affirmation), North Dakota and Oregon. Delaware is the only state whose citizens are not empowered to ratify or reject legislatively referred constitutional amendments at the ballot box.

In Oregon, USA, Michah White, cofounder of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is inspiring local Direct Democracy, with People’s Associations that spread from block to block. These populist micro-movements can put forward candidates for city councils and mayorships, propelling the people into power.

Direct Democracy advocacy groups have formed in AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, ID, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, KY, WA, PA, HA, and LA. See Facebook group Direct Democracy Coalition.

In Australia the Direct Democracy Party is working toward online voting. Online Direct Democracy, Australia’s first internet-based registered political party, is entering candidates for the upcoming federal election. Not aligned with any other organisation, the Australian-registered, not-for-profit Online Direct Democracy party aims to provide everyone listed on electoral roll with a direct voice in parliament. Once elected, Online Direct Democracy MPs are bound by their agreement with the party to act on behalf of their constituent and all Australians.

In Switzerland 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.

Various organizations promoting direct democracy or some form of it:



Online town hall for local governments (Europe)

Elon Musk on Direct Democracy on Mars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ3wXAzbwz4

From the Inclusive Democracy  perspective the world is in a multidimensional crisis, caused by the concentration of power in the hands of various elites, as a result of the establishment of the system of market/growth economy, representative democracy and the related forms of hierarchical structures. Inclusive Democracy is therefore not seen as a utopia but as probably the only way out of the present crisis.

Campaign for Democracy. We believe that the political structures we have are incapable of reforming themselves.We believe the people of Wales should have the right to decide how they are governed as well as who governs them. We will make this possible by giving the people of Wales the right to initiate legislation, and hold referendums on their own proposals, the system known as direct democracy. We need systems that are democratic, that are designed to solve the problems we face and that are capable of evolving as our needs change. These systems must also be capable of challenging groups that have undue influence on our political system.The system we demand will enable the people of Wales to put into place political structures that will fulfill those needs.


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