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The creation of the Canton Jura: Looking from the outside with a special focus on federalism and (republican) democracy PowerPoint Presentation
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The creation of the Canton Jura: Looking from the outside with a special focus on federalism and (republican) democracy. A contribution for a Discussion with Representatives from Nepal by Andreas Gross (Zurich/St.Ursanne)

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The creation of the Canton Jura:Looking from the outside with a special focus on federalism and (republican) democracy

A contribution for a Discussion

with Representatives from Nepal

by Andreas Gross (Zurich/St.Ursanne)

Director of the Scientific Institute for Direct Democracy in St.Ursanne (JU) , Swiss MP & Leader of the Socialdemocats in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Delémont, 22nd of October 2008

www.andigross.ch info@andigross.ch

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The creation of the Canton Jura shows you the structure, quality and citizen orientated notion of Federalism and (Direct) Democracy

A way to produce political legitimacy and make difficult decisions also accepted by those citizens who disagree

A way to solve political conflicts in a non-violent way and in way which produces as less non-satisfied citizens as possible

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Federalism and (Direct) Democracy are sister-concepts of the parental idea to share political power as much as possible

“Horizontally” between the Confed. and the Cantons and within the Cantons between it’s regions and districts

“Vertically” between the citizens and the citizens have the last word in conflictual decisions how this concept should be applied

the republican core idea of freedom and democracy

The (republican) core idea of Freedom and Democracy:

All those who are concerned by a decision should be directly or indirectly part of the decision making process !

Life is not a destiny !

Everybody should have the right, the capacity and the opportunity to act on his and her life together with others.

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Historical experiences who contributed to the implementation and acceptance of these republican concepts:

Partially in old (pre-revolutionary, pre-1789-) Switzerland, but particularly after 1789 it was always the Swiss society - the Swiss “People”, who constructed the « State » and the political institutions: Down up - not upside down !

One reason why a International Super (Aristocratic) Power Conference’s decision like the one in Vienna 1815 against the will of the concerned was hard to be digested in the Jura !

footprints of republican federalism and direct democracy in the making of the kt jura

Footprints of Republican Federalism and (Direct) Democracy in the Making of the Kt. Jura:

1950 the BE Cant. Gov. tried to satisfy the Jurass. opposition by upgrading the Region in the BE- Constitution

1957/59 The RJ lost a Popular (Initiative) Vote to ammend the BE Constitution

1967-70: The BE Gov,Parl +People agreed to organise “Separation Plebiscites” which left the decision to those concerned - a procedure had to be put in the BE-Constit., which had to be approved by the 2 chamb. of the Swiss P. !

1974/1975: The new Canton and it’s borders were decided by people’s votes on the regional, district’s and communal level!

1976/1977: The Jurass People elected a Constit.Assembly, approved their draft and the Swiss People and Cantons approved the new Canton and it’s Constitution !

federal and direct democratic principles in the process of solving the jura conflict

Federal and (Direct) Democratic principles in the process of “solving” the Jura-Conflict:

Every citizen has the right to propose changes in the Constitution !

The Constitution defines who has when and for what how much power - when you want to change these power arrangements you have to change the constitution !

The Constitution is the common “Referee” for all “players”: It’s the common focus of the Government, the Parliament, the JU-MP’s and the citizens in the different regions.

In order to change the constitution you have to convince the majority of all citizens - also those in the less concerned regions !

This convincing-process opens the opportunity for communicative collective learning processes !

By inviting all citizens to participate in the decision making process you integrate them by sharing the responsibility and you activate on the same way the highest source of political legitimacy: the People itself !

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In a Democracy Major Conflicts are hardly “solved” “for ever”:Every “solution” is temporal and you may come back to it at any time

Although the divisions of the Jura are not new and have pre-1815 and pre-1974 analogies, the “Institutionalization” of this kind of cantonal separation is a disadvantage of the way the Conflict was “solved” in the 1970’s.

In this sense the “South” , the Bernese half of the Jura may wants to get a new chance to decide upon it’s belonging:

- Stay a Region in Bern

- Join the Canton of Jura

- Form together with the Northern part a new “Semi-Canton”:

Linked and separated n the same time !

The decision(s) will be made by all the different people(s) in different Referenda themselves !!!