Citizens’ Constitution of Czech Republic

I don’t believe that this blog has previously discussed the proposed Citizens’ Constitution of Czech Republic, which would introduce both citizen assemblies and referenda into the Czech Republic on a massive scale. The proposal can be found at

http://www.pdemokracie.ecn.cz/cs/index.php?pg=eng

The proposal is not always clearly worded, but judging by Article 53A, the idea seems to be to select ten citizen commissions which will meet in parallel for five days, before getting together to submit a single joint set of recommendations (presumably chosen by majority or plurality rule). Interestingly, the proposals of the commissions are meant to be advisory only (with the final say going to either the elected legislature or a referenda) UNLESS the commission is dealing with the salaries of government officials. One might wish to expand this a bit to include, say, the ethical rules that officials must follow regarding lobbyists, transparency laws, etc.

This proposal would surely lead to a great many referenda being held. I am unsure that even a small country like the Czech Republic could make so many referenda work. But if one wants citizen participation, and one is not willing to let randomly-selected bodies make binding decisions against the will of elected legislatures, then I suppose one has little choice.

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