What is an Enitiative? An Enitiative is a new piece of legislation launched by a citizen. The name is derived from “Initiative”, instrument of direct democracy used in certain countries throughout the world.
In practice, for national sites, an Enitiative can be one of these two types:
- an “initiative”, like a Swiss political initiative, i.e. the proposal for a new law, or change of a law established a long time ago
- a “referendum”, by the Swiss meaning, i.e. the possibility to oppose to a recent decision of a government. The fundamental difference with the initiative is that it requires less signatures
All Enitiatives can be launched at the communal (township), cantonal (state/district/province) or federal level.
For the moment, only Switzerland is represented. In fact, this country has the most advanced direct democracy system in the world, but many other countries have similar political tools, and Enitiatives.org could apply to them very well. If you think that Enitiatives could apply to your country, or you have suggestions for improvement, please contact us.
Global sites are not active yet, but might be in the future. An Enitiative is different for global sites. Indeed, citizens of the world do not have any official political power on the governments which are not theirs. Global Enitiatives are thus a form of citizen activism, a manner of asking something of one (or several) government or international institution, and eventually a way of showing them that the world looks at them, that they cannot do what they want.
In practice, the concrete actions of Global Enitiatives are
- a formal “initiative”, “referendum” , in the countries where they exist as official political instruments
- a common letter, an individual letter (sent directly by the citizens), a boycott, a demonstration, etc… for Enitiatives which do not have legal grounds.
All Enitiatives must respect the law and fundamental values such as Human rights, non-violence, respect of others, respect of minorities, etc…
Enitiatives must be beneficial for a great number of people in the area concerned, without injuring the minorities in a disproportionate way.
What Enitiatives are not:
- an appeal to the decision of a Court (or any other judicial body). Enitiative can change an existing law, but do not protect somebody who has infringed an existing law
- a way of creating publicity for a private company, a person or a policy
- a manner of discrediting a personality, or of disseminating false information
Innovations brought by the site The site brings three fundamental innovations:
- each citizen can create an Enitiative, on the 3 political levels: federal, cantonal or communal. There is no longer any need to go through political parties to bring an idea into public discourse. The community can profit from the ideas of all citizens.
- it is not a simple forum on the Internet: Enitiatives supported by the majority of the members will be followed by an action. The government also benefits from it, because it sees what the people want, before the situation degenerates. And one can discuss better on the Internet than on the streets…
- citizens can be better informed of the political life of their country, thanks to search agents, which send emails to the interested members each time a new Enitiative is created, according to individually defined criteria.
- The site generates a dynamic, a snow-ball effect which will multiply citizen involvement: those coming on the site for a specific Enitiative will see others relevant to them. Thus, each citizen will take part more in political life than with the current system.