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bombLetter to the IMF relation to the
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bombOpen letter 16/18/02/11

Loss of democracy in Germany and Europe – real, direct democracy as a resort

Following the "open letter“, which the Alliance for Democracy sent to the Chancellor in February 2011, we have made it our task to call for more direct democracy in Germany. Our neighbours Switzerland and Norway have framed their Constitutions accordingly, and Austria also, by including direct democracy in its party programme , like the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), has shown us that political decisions, such as the agreement to the ESM must not be left to the Government alone. In particular, the Alliance for Democracy demands that the joint determination of the people extends so far that legislation which has already been approved by parliament can still be changed according to public opinion. This also includes the power to vote politicians out of office, if their performance is inadequate or they fail to keep their election promises or act contrary to them, by popular decision before the end of their term. The protraction of personal incapabilities in particular must be countered, because only few German politicians throughout history have acted in the spirit of their oath of office, and hardly any heads of government. The objective of all these efforts must be to no longer tolerate party-political decisions which are far removed from the interests and needs of the people.
Indirect democracy, which is referred to incorrectly as representative, always aims to preserve the political caste. Votes actually only represent a small part of proponents; real consent to party decisions is correspondingly low. When then judiciary and press are designed to favour politics, and participation of individuals is undesirable and even impossible (Criminal complaints against the Chancellor), we can speak only of ‘undemocracy’. A democracy is however representative if the voice of the people is acknowledged, and if it is intended that the parliament should be elected from selected representatives as a representative of the people. The parliaments of recent decades have however demonstrated that this is not the case. The result: Political failure was cosponsored by the parliaments; The results of this policy were: disenchantment with politics, feelings such as “Them up there, we the people down here.”.
National debt and mismanagement are the only political services provided in all the years since the founding the Federal Republic of Germany. This can hardly be considered ‘performance’.
Although the preservation of democracy should be the primary task of a state, the large popular parties in particular are quite reticent when it comes to the joint determination of the people. Apart from the Greens, the CDU/CSU, and also the SPD, have been very lethargic with regard to the discussion on direct democracy. Smaller parties have hardly any fear of such contact – they seem to be concerned with the actual participation of the people; the large popular parties are only interested in protecting their party-politics, there is no room for the will of the people.
Citizens’ joint determination must be enshrined in the Constitution; It also requires systematic review by joint determination of the entire people by plebiscite and referendum. Necessary structures need to be created for this purpose. And the very first thing needed would be a stock-taking: Everything which no longer corresponds to the spirit of the times, which supports political decision-making power and majority requirements, which correspond to the previous use of the office, must be swept away. All changes intended so far in Germany (e.g. proposed by the Greens, the Left, FDP are insufficient to put up with the excesses of mismanagement and unsuccessful restructuring, with sprawling costs at the expense of the taxpayers in a no longer imaginable order of size, which must inevitably lead to the further impoverishment of ordinary citizens, the decline of the middle class, etc. Democracy, as so far aimed for by the parties in Germany, suffers no control over politics by plebiscites and referenda, as provided for by genuine, direct democracy – as practiced in countries with direct democracy, such as Switzerland and Norway. Here, control of politics, control of the parties, is ensured by the possibility of plebiscites and referenda, as part of the guaranteed joint determination of the people, the people of the respective country, so that even laws which have been passed and published by the parliament can be rescinded. This must also happen in Germany!
The future for Germany, as intended by the CDU and FDP as governing parties with their “dialogue for Germany”, contains no popular joint determination. Nor must we be deceived by the city tours and speeches of Angela Merkel, which took place under the slogan “How do people want to live, how do they want to see education” in Erfurt, Heidelberg and Bielefeld. On the contrary, real, direct democracy must find its place in the education plans of the states; economic and national policy education, which makes young people into decision-making and interested adults and voters, this should be the future. If hardly anyone knows or cares who is the head of government, or how the economy is structured, how closely the world of business, the banks and politics work together(and the press, which instead of informing readers tamely regurgitates everything uttered by this triumvirate), and not in the interests of the people, then this gap must first be closed. This also includes an understanding of how pensions, salaries of civil servants and employees are financed, where they come from and how tax funds are used. Anyone who does not know this, and today’s politicians do not, cannot run a country. The people need to be informed about this, and government officials require the relevant training.
At the moment, however, the question of direct democracy is being dealt with differently in government circles. The ladies and gentlemen of the CDU / CSU and FDP have dealt with the subject behind closed doors, and by now they will know what a precarious situation they are in. Instead of acting in line with their mandate and making decisions in the interests of the people, they used the idea of Constitutional Court judge Ferdinand Kirchhof in the most shameful way for their own interests. This proves that the major popular parties still have no interest in a change in the joint determination rights of the German people.
It is high time to close the theatre that is Berlin. Besides the legal enshrinement of real, direct democracy in the Constitution, the constitutions of the individual federal states, education for young people and information to the electorate, what is needed is control of the powers of the state, especially the top politicians, judges, business leaders and bankers. And for this, one thing above all is needed: The insight and the courage of the citizens to want to change something about these structures, even to have to – Germany needs a second revolution that echoes the call of the East revolution “We are the people”. Otherwise real, direct democracy would have lost in Germany. Democracy is now suffering setbacks all around the world and the danger of populist movements is increasing.
More people, more countries worldwide are striving for democracy and participation, but are restricted in their freedom of expression and political involvement. This is shown by the recently published transformation index of the Bertelsmann Foundation, which is updated every two years According to the study, Eastern Europe and Latin America suffered “striking setbacks”.
Economic growth does not automatically lead to political stability or to a fairer society, as evidenced by the investigation and shown by the wave of democratization in the Arab world. In the most politically advanced regions of Eastern Europe and Latin America in particular, the deterioration in freedom of expression and political participation were particularly striking; Bertelsmann complains of allegations of fraud and non-transparent campaign financing. Examples include the Balkan countries without Serbia.
In Europe too, governments increasingly intervene in the freedom of opinion of independent media and try to intimidate journalists – particular examples here include Hungary and the Ukraine. Concerning restrictions of the freedom of expression, Croatia would also make a negative example, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania or Kosovo, all countries that hope for accession to the EU, but unfortunately also Slovakia, which has already joined the EU.
Argentina, Guatemala and Mexico have suffered significant setbacks in democracy. Experts consider the cause of this politically negative development in dissatisfaction with the socio-economic performance of democratic systems, essentially: The loss of confidence in many areas favours the rapid rise of populist movements. The latter is already discernible in the Federal Republic of Germany.
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