A recent Swiss referendum voted (by a slim 0.6%) to restrict immigration, which forces politicians to renegotiate their relationship with the European Union within three years. This is an interesting example of Direct Democracy impacting the EU's "democratic deficit".
For a list of Swiss referendums visit Wikipedia, by clicking here.
This site seeks to contribute to the debate on improving democracy. The proposed "Interactive Democracy" system utilises Information Technology to allow anyone to suggest a policy by ePetition (Ideas Engine). Those with sufficient support would be refined by the elected Parliament, taking into account similar and opposing proposals, to form laws to be ratified by national referendum. The elected government is then responsible for implementing the new law or directive. Modern technology can facilitate this in a secure and cost effective manner. It can also enhance the debate by enabling the "pros" and "cons" to be aired and by allowing voters to pose questions.
This system recognises that today's politicians have no mechanism for reliably discovering what the majority of their constituents think on any one issue and they may also be confounded in their ability to vote on their constituents behalf by the power of the party whips.
Comments and questions are welcome.
(The oldest post is at the bottom.)