Frequently Asked Questions

There is already a semi-direct democracy in switzerland. why do we need a citizens assembly?

It is true that our political system is among the most democratic in the world. Nevertheless, a certain number of dysfunctions can be noted.

Firstly, the political participation and representation of the population. First of all, the political participation rate hardly passes the 40% mark and it is often the same categories of people who participate. Secondly, due to the elective nature of our system of representative democracy, some social groups are less represented in parliament than others. Thus, the interests of the various categories of the population are unequally defended. On the other hand, a citizens’ assembly whose members are drawn by lot from among the population is representative of the whole society and of all the interests involved.

Second, decisions made by the population in votes, initiatives and referenda are often influenced by the communication of competing parties. This influence is made possible by the fact that few citizens are fully informed about the issues to be voted on. This is why direct participation in the political decision-making process, including a learning and deliberation phase, is crucial for making an informed opinion on the objects in question.

Why do you not try to push your request through an inititive as the common way?

History has shown, that initiatives take up to 10 years until a decision is made because of different factors such as lacking will to take hard decisions or referendums. We don’t have the time to wait 10 years until we really tackle climate change. We need to act now.