Present and Future of Modern Democracy in Times of Multiple Global Crises.
We were excited to begin our first in person Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy discussion in three years! Our opening plenary on Thursday addressed the current challenges and the future options of modern representative democracy. Linda Sulzer, the Head of the Democracy Division at Mercator Switzerland Foundation, identified the climate crisis and the era of poly-crisis as one of the main threats to modern democracy. Amid the multiple crises we face as a global community, COVID-19 and the climate crisis are some of the deadliest in history. What these crisis's share is how their effects have implications for the entire global community at large. They are calling for democracy to prove itself as the best way to solve these problems. Participants then joined numerous breakout sessions of their choice to further engage and discuss topics that ranged from “Climate on the Ballot” right through to “What digital tools we need for a transnational democracy”.
We concluded with a networking evening that included a democracy fair and reception that set a relaxing tone to a jam packed and fruitful day.
In true Swiss tradition, Friday took to an early start. With our city tours lined up, soon the Historical Arch was bursting with enthusiastic Global Forum participants! Our tours were off to a host of different Swiss cities, these included Bern, Aarau, Uster and of course Lucerne. Each of these destinations included guided city tours, interactive workshops, and a lunch that was provided by the local host organizers. Participants enjoyed the various cities and everything they had to offer! This was evident in all the stories that were recounted, amongst many others, about the remarkable visit to the National Centre for Democracy in Aarau, the delicious Lebanese lunch served in Uster and the exceptional concert by the parliamentary band Fraktionszwang at the Democracy Tower in Bern which officially marked the end of our third day of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.
Our wrap up plenary session started off our Saturday, the last official day of the Global Forum, on a high note! We discussed many essential topics and reached numerous important insights over the past couple of intense Global Forum days. When Daniel Schily, co-founder of Democracy International, was asked about what the role of Direct Democracy is in the future he declared that “it is important to representative parliamentary democracy, and if it is well- regulated, it can lead to an improved democratic society”.
We then had the 2022 Democracy City Summit hosted at the Lucerne City Hall Kornschütte. The City Summit aims to work towards an International League of Democracy Cities with new signatories added to the Magna Charta.
Sunday was a national voting day in Switzerland, eligible citizens headed to the polls to decide on local, cantonal and national issues that had been put forward. Meanwhile, the opening of the 2022 Global Forum Ballot Box and counting of votes took place at the European Public Sphere, Lucerne. The observation of the first projections and analysis of the results of the national, cantonal and municipal votes took place at the Marianischer Saal. We then concluded our 2022 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy with the results of the Global Forum participants’ vote which can be found here.
We are excited to invite to announce our next Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy 2023 to be hosted by our amazing partner The National Electoral Institute of Mexico that will be hosted in Mexico City, Mexico! To receive regular updates visit our website
Thank you to all our participants and we look forward to seeing all again soon!