In Modern times, most democratic societies adopted representational democracy, which simply put, means that people elect their representatives, and those representatives form the parliament and create laws for nations. In other words, parliament in the Modern times has been almost equivalent to the legislative branch of government.


Only a few occasions like referendums of France had been by popular vote (i.e. non-parliamentary but at the same time legislative). But for most part, the democracy of Modern times has been REPRESENTATIVE democracy.


Even in Iran, in the past, Majles ShorAyeh Melli during the post-1907 revolution, with all its peculiarities, was a parliament and during IRI, the Majles ShorAyeh EslAmi in Iran, with all its peculiarities, is a parliament.


In the last two decades, a new political form of legislative power has grown in the West, especially in the US, and especially in California.  This new form of law-making is called BALLOT-INITIATIVE politics, at the state and local level. For a good historical overview, please see INITIATIVES AND REFERENDA section of MEGATREND by John Naisbitt (pages 181 to 190 ).


What is the use of BALLOT-INITIATIVES? Well, people directly get a chance to vote for the laws they want to see. Currently only 3% of popular signature is all that is needed to put an initiative on ballots in California. Also currently in the US, this form of law-making is available only for local and state governments, but some people are working to make it possible for national initiatives as well. The initiatives range from banning smoking in restaurants to putting ceiling on taxes.


I was thinking of some Propositions that could be worthwhile for a ballot-initiative on SCI, or hopefully some day in Iran, to see what people really vote for rather than speculating on what they people want:


PROPOSITION 100: To separate state and religion in Iran. Yes()No().

PROPOSITION 101: Women be allowed to be bi-hejab. Yes()No().

PROPOSITION 102: Have multiple exchange rates for rial. Yes() No().

PROPOSITION 103: Privatize state-owned factories. Yes() No().

PROPOSITION 104: Change Iran to a federal republic. Yes () No().

PROPOSITION 105: Abolish death penalty in Iran. Yes() No().

PROPOSITION 107: Abolish travel permission for women Yes()NO().

PROPOSITION 106: Abolish draft (sarbAzi) and if needed only to

have a professional army. Yes () No().



Sam Ghandchi

Oct 8, 1998











* The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on Oct 8, 1998


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