Reply To: Modificaciones al Art. III – Propuesta de José Luis Cuba Valenzuela

By Mauro Casarotto

Home Forums 05. Article III – Powers of the Legislative Branch Modificaciones al Art. III – Propuesta de José Luis Cuba Valenzuela Reply To: Modificaciones al Art. III – Propuesta de José Luis Cuba Valenzuela

Mauro CasarottoMauro Casarotto

Dear Jose Luis,

Thank you for your input in the Discussion Forum regarding Article III. On behalf of the Board, I would like to inform you of the following.

The purpose of the FAEF Citizens’ Convention is to improve, where possible, an already existing draft of a federal constitution. This draft is based on representative democracy, supplemented and strengthened in some respects by forms of direct democracy. This constitution has another core element: trias politica / separation of powers, that should prevent the raise of autocrats and populist regimes and keep a balance of power between federal institutions.

If we understood well, what you are proposing is a totally different arrangement that has direct democracy as its basis, with additions of representative democracy.

Switzerland is a federation within one, small country of about 8 million people, based on municipalities / small communities. Our Constitution deals with a federation between states that could in future count over 500 million people. In this federation one criterion is decisive for the construction: it concerns European /global interests and not the interests of municipalities / small communities.

That’s why we stick to a model based on representative democracy + an effective separation of powers + several elements of direct democracy. In this sense direct democracy is per se a key element of the balance of power, considering that the relations and interaction between citizens and members of the parliament and the government is not limited to election / re-election.

It is the policy of the FAEF Board to introduce forms of direct democracy to supplement and strengthen representative democracy. We have already incorporated them into our draft. They are as follows:

1. Ratification of the constitution by the citizens: ‘all sovereignty rests with the people’.

2. A consultative referendum and a binding referendum (Article V).

3. Citizens’ Committees force the political parties to deliver top candidates (proposed additional text in Article II).

4. Both Houses must consult citizens annually (proposed additional text in Article II). There is room to insert Swiss elements here and to explain them in the Explanatory Memorandum.

5. Citizens’ Committees lead the debate and negotiations on the vertical separation of powers (proposed additional text in Explanation Article III).

At the end of next week, we will present the amended Article III to the Citizens’ Convention. You will then see what the text is that goes with the aforementioned point 5. Perhaps that will give you (or other members of the Citizen’s Convention) cause to submit a further proposal to supplement that text. It is not to exclude the possibility of including further elements of direct democracy that could ennoble the role of citizens, compel their representatives and the government to behave responsibly and always act in the interest of the community, and establish regular control over the work of politicians and parties.

Give us a little time until the end of next week.

On behalf of the board, I hope that we have informed you satisfactorily,

On behalf of the Board of FAEF,
Mauro Casarotto Secretary General

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