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The people should have more say

In the face of the political stalemate in the country, the Democracy Initiative of the FPÖ in parliament has demanded: The people should have more say, as was reported by the Kronenzeitung on 13th October 2011 (p. 3). In future therefore, Austrians should “be allowed to exercise joint determination on important political questions.” The opinion of the people should be obtained by means of referenda or plebiscites. FPÖ Leader Heinz-Christian Strache said during the special parliamentary session that this was one of the main demands on the government.
The demand was fuelled further by Strache’s thoughts on the wealth tax, students’ fees, early pensions and the country’s participation in the Euro rescue package, because with the Democracy Initiative, Strache aims above all to address the Austrians’ complete disenchantment with politics. “Austria cannot be helped by angry citizens. We need courageous citizens.”
Chancellor Werner Faymann (SPÖ) sated that he was a great fan of direct democracy; his concerns were the abolition of compulsory military service and the transformation of the Austrian Armed Forces into a professional army – although Faymann declined to confide to the people his opinion on the Euro rescue package.

In a commentary on the “Subject of the Day” (same source), author Claus Pandi praises the Democracy Initiative of the FPÖ, who he believes have been “the only ones to recognise the drama of this development”. Greater political co-determination by the people on the Swiss model “could now be the right turning point”.
The argument of opponents, that the people do not understand anything about the questions on which they are supposed to vote, does not hold water, because as long as politicians have to confirm hardly any political ability or qualifications to hold office, “decisions concerning Greece or the Euro crisis made by popular vote could hardly have been any worse. Quite the opposite.”
Oh, how close to us is Austria these days, because the FPÖ is now demanding exactly what the Alliance for Democracy demanded in February 2011 in a letter to the German government. The only regrettable thing is that the Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann also rejects the referendum of the FPÖ. Perhaps he is too afraid of the “stupid people”, who would however certainly be sensible enough to vote Faymann out of office, leaving the way clear for referenda and plebiscites, so that Austria could follow the examples of Switzerland and Norway, who always record positive efficiency figures. No people, Mr. Faymann, is so stupid that it cannot make such an obvious comparison!