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Fighting corruption with Direct Democracy

Fighting corruption with Direct Democracy


In January 2012 the committee Più Democrazia in Trentino was founded in the Autonomous Province of Trento in northern Italy to promote more Direct Democracy as way to empower the people and fight disaffection.

Through a legislative proposal supported by a citizens’ initiative they want to remove the quorum at provincial level and to introduce the confirmative referendum for the legislative and administrative acts issued by the local government. Although it´s one of the richest regions in Italy the activists criticize the social injustice and lack of democracy. As they see it the public authorities intervene too much in the economic sphere and civil society weakening the social cohesion and promoting clientilism. The political class is blamed to strive for personal power and to satisfy a limited sum of private interests instead of promoting an accountable government: “the contracts for the construction of public infrastructure or for public supplies are subscribed within the “magnadora”, the local corruption system.” Also a constraint of self-determination of the local municipalities is being observed.

In their struggle of “giving voice to common people for a better future” Direct Democracy is seen as only one step as they promote other tools like public debates, citizens’ juries and programs for democratic civic education.

Text by Sebastian Molls

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