Monday, July 29, 2013


             In Switzerland citizens have a right to call a referendum on any issue they like, so long as they gather enough signatures.   Indeed any new law brought before the Swiss Parliament can be challenged by the voters before it is enacted.   If 1% of the population sign up to a proposal within an 18-month period, the public can vote on it and if passed, it becomes law.   This is direct democracy in action.  Suppose we were to require a 5% threshold that would require nearly 2 million people to sign up – an exacting demand, but by no means a prohibitive one.   Once an action had been voted on there would have to be a minimum period before it could be brought up again to prevent a yo yo effect on contentious issues.

The people should have the right to have a referendum on any issue where 5% of the electorate have signed a petition calling for one.   If passed it should become law.


  1. I have always admired this about the Swiss, the right to hold a referendum. When you think of how democracy started in this country,
    it's about time we now caught up with Switzerland.

    1. Lynda,
      You are absolutely right. Direct democracy is the coming thing.