An Internet Journal
No. 1, March 2001
democracy is illusory as long as mayors, town directors, city
councils – no matter how well-meaning – are under inescapable and
unchecked pressure from regional, state or federal governments to cut spending,
and from business to lower taxes and offer other incentives, or face an
exodus of companies as well as forfeiting any chances to attract investors
that offer additional employment opportunities.
democracy is a necessity if democracy in society at large is to be
real. Without meaningful ways for ordinary people to influence and shape
the most vital conditions of their lives in their immediate surroundings,
the democratic process is a mere façade, and political democracy
is offering only the – perhaps illusory – promise of our potential, as
ordinary citizens, to achieve real democratization, a real say, in our
We propose to create a forum of international, democratic
A forum for the people, the woman and man "in the
for their grass roots organizations, for concerned scientists,
And for those engaged in politics who have decided to
put the goal of strengthening
political participation of ordinary citizens on the top
of their agenda.
We know that municipal (and regional) democracy cannot
but fail if society at large is not fully democratized,
in the sense of meaningful influence and a real
for the majority that is at present allowed only to vote
every four or five years while the important
decisions are taken by professional
politicians susceptible to the pressures of the few,
most often those with a lot of money.
But we also know that society at large cannot be fully
democratic if local (and regional) affairs are left
unattended by local people failing to empower
themselves to decide the very things that affect them
in an essential way at their very doorsteps.
Local reform, aiming at an increased say of the many
in everything vital for their communities,
it is the prerequisite for democracy in our societies.
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