direct democracy

Carl Schmitt on the Plebiscite and its Limits: A warning of the challenge of direct democracy to a representative system

As in Taiwan today, direct democratic institutions were also present during the Weimar Republic and enshrined in the Constitution. Similar to the founders of Taiwan’s constitution, the founders of the Weimar Constitution brought direct democratic elements into the Weimar Constitution mainly because they lacked confidence in the parliament and thought direct democratic elements could complement the representative system or act as a measure of checks and balances against the parliament. 

The Development of Referendums at Germany’s Local, State(Land) and Federal Levels

Germany’s Constitution of 1911 provided referendums on federal, state and local level. The constitution of the Weimar Republic allowed the people to hold a referendum on issues. After World War II, Germany has no provision for popular participation through referendum at federal level. By 1990 only seven states had referendums at state level and only one state had direct democracy at local level. Since 1998 all 16 states have introduced referendums at state level and 15 at local level. The first part of the paper discusses the concepts and comparative classification of referendums.

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