The Citizens' Chamber in the Canton of Vaud with Rodan Bury and Charly Pache

Submitted by webmaster on Sun, 23-07-2023 - 08:32

Econoom Stephan Kyburz praat met Rodan Bury en Charly Pache over het mede door hen gesteunde initiatief voor een gelote burgerkamer in het Zwitserse kanton Vaud.

Over de referendumaanvraag:
Stephan Kyburz: 'Rodan and Charly are part of a committee that tries to institutionalize the Citizens’ Chamber through a popular initiative to be approved at the ballot box by a popular vote, as it asks for a change of the cantonal constitution. The initiative was submitted to the government of the Canton of Vaud a few months ago. The State Council that reviews initiatives rejected the proposal however, arguing that the proposition clashes with regulations in the federal constitution. The initiative committee appealed to the decision, and so currently Rodan and Charly are awaiting a decision on their appeal by the responsible court.'
Rodan Bury: 'And this article says really, it’s very short, it only says that every Cantonal Constitution needs to be democratic and that’s it, it doesn’t say what makes it democratic or not. And a common understanding of that is that a democracy means elections. And so their understanding is that this citizens chamber should be elected or this parliament should be elected in order to be compatible with the law. And we are arguing that randomly selected people is also a legitimate democratic way of doing this.'
Charly Pache: 'What is funny is that sortition or to select randomly candidates, it can happen, it happens already in the current system. So sortition or randomly selecting, for example, when two candidates have the same amount of votes, they choose randomly who will be elected and who will not be elected, you know. And there are other examples that are existing in the current system where they use also randomly selection. And so I don’t think they can rig the system that way. But we will see. And Rodan told me that in Basel in the Canton of Basel, there is also a similar initiative going on. So my hope is that it will emerge in many places with different also cantonal constitutions and it will have different effects. And at the end, I hope that one will work and make the way for the other cantons to accept this way.'

Rodan Bury over het democratisch gehalte van Zwitserland:
'So a lot of people who are, especially from countries who view Switzerland as a very democratic country and there’s an issue with it. Several of them, but one key issue with this is how it’s been evolving for the past 20 years. And it’s been actually less and less of a democracy because there has been very little measures that has been taken to prevent the growing influence of lobbies and the power of money that is used inside this system. So there’s two ways like this for elected people, there’s a lot of money that is and more and more growing the amount of money that is used to influence the elected people’s point of view and decisions. And when the population is going to vote on a specific topic, then in the campaigns, there’s also a lot of money involved in the campaigns. And this has a huge effect on the outcome, on the debate and in people’s point of view. So this is one issue and another is like, yeah, this, we vote often on different things and many people don’t have a lot of opportunity to actually discuss in depth, what is it that we are going to vote on and what are the different options. And when we vote, it’s just yes or no, it’s just, it’s a predetermined question that has not been made by the people actually. And even though we could say, like the population can create a vote by setting up a question, just like what we are actually trying to do with AG!SSONS, we also realize by doing it ourselves that it takes a lot of resources, a lot of connections, a lot of money and time, dedication to actually do this. It’s also quite interesting to hear what some of our politicians that are in favor of the current system, what they say about this. And there was recently also the president of Switzerland who said that yes, the population has been given some rights and some power but not too much because like people who are elected also need to keep a lot of power and they do not want to give up too much power to the population and they have good limitations to the tools that are given to the population. And this is something that the people in favor of the current situation in Switzerland are also saying that it’s been made to give to some extent power to the population but not too much. And there are a lot of limitations and this is something we want to work on right now.'

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