citizens' initiative and referendum

After the Third Reich: a triumph of direct democracy
in the German Lands.

Daniel Schily Mehr Demokratie, FRG Co-ordinator for North-Rhein-Westfalia.

Contents of the lecture

Intro - aims of Mehr-Demokratie e.V. (M-D: More-Democracy Association)

1. After re-unification significant progress in direct democracy became possible.

2. Arguments for and against direct democracy, which have changed over the years, are discussed.

3. Direct and representative democracy before WW II. The Young Plan. Hitler's election results.

4. Democracy in the German federal and land constitutions. The principle of public decision-making and governance in both elections and referenda.

5. Promise of the constitution to date INcompletely fulfilled.

6. Why is the campaign for more democracy "Mehr Demokratie" needed?
Some successes:
improving the practice of direct democracy in some federal Lands;
introducing elements of direct democracy in cities, districts and villages in most parts of the country.

7. Future aims of M-D
  Citizen-initiated referendum at the state (central, federal) - level.
  Have thematic restrictions removed, e.g. public finance, taxation.
  Referendum on the proposed European constitution.
  Improve the (representative) electoral system, as already achieved by
  direct democracy in Hamburg.

8. Closing remarks on why "we want more democracy". Concluding with the words "Only when we gain the freedom to decide can we assume responsibility".
(Verantwortung entsteht nur, wenn man die Freiheit hat, selbst zu entscheiden.)