Alberta Needs Real Democracy

Alberta needs real democracy. Democracy means the people have the power, not the government.

That isn’t how it is in Alberta now. Right now we elect representatives who are then able to act with impunity for the next 4 years. That isn’t democracy. That is electing 4 year termed dictators.

Electing representatives is a good thing. It puts people in a position where experience and dedication can handle most aspects of administering the government. Electing representatives isn’t the problem. What we need to get rid of is their ability to act with impunity, even where that decision is not supported by the majority of Albertans.

We also want to have citizens being able to directly influence their government.

The solution to all three of these issues is to give the people the powers of Initiative, Referendum, and Recall.

Initiative

With the power of initiative, Alberta citizens suggest new laws and policies themselves, and have that suggestion debated in the Legislative Assembly. There the elected representatives must debate on the motion, and then vote in favour or against the motion.

This gives Albertans a method to have their own ideas presented as a option for Alberta.

We don’t want to waste the time of representatives debating every idea of every single Albertan. The motion must have some popular support before it must be read in the Assembly.

The motion must have a petition that receives citizen’s signatures totaling at least 1% of the amount of eligible voters as of the previous election. As of 2016, that number would be about 25,000 people. It’s a significant, but not unreasonable amount of signatures needed.

Referendum

The people of Alberta should always be in charge of the government. The government must not be in charge of the people.

If we are to have a real democracy, we must have the power of Referendum.

ANY decision made by the Alberta government, either in favour or against any motion, can be forced to a Referendum by the people. Then ALL Albertans will be able to vote for the motion. They might agree with the government, or they might disagree. With the referendum, it then becomes the people’s will that must become policy. The government will no longer be able to pass legislation that is against the will of the majority of the people.

To get the motion out of the government’s hands and into directly into the hands of the voters, a petition must be made that receives citizen’s signatures totaling at least 3% of the amount of eligible voters as of the previous election. As of 2016, that number would be about 75,000 people. It’s a very significant, but not unreasonable amount of signatures needed. We don’t want to make this unreasonably easy, or every motion the government makes will go to a referendum, costing us all time and energy.

Recall

If a representative no longer represents you and your riding, you should be able to force a by-election in that riding. Then people will choose who the representative should be.

The incumbent representative can ride again, and might be elected again, or a new representative might be elected. But the people will have the choice to always decide their representative at all times.

In a sense, you will be able to fire your elected representative. And it will make your representative accountable to you.

To recall a politician, there must be popular support for it, otherwise every politician will be recalled the day after each election. That wouldn’t be very efficient.

The motion must have a petition that receives citizen’s signatures totaling at least 40% of the amount of people that voted in the last election in that riding. This is similar to the recall legislation in Kansas, which has successfully had representatives forced into a recall, but isn’t so unstable that there are unreasonable amounts of by-elections.

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