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Sunday, October 25, 2009

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Referendum on the Referendum Law?

At a recent private meeting of the Anti-Gambling Alliance featured a Swiss gentleman, Bruno Kaufman, who as Director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe had some interesting ideas:
  • Taiwanese should petition for a referendum on the 2003 Referendum law, a vote on which coinciding with the 2012 Presidential election because only then will turnout be sufficient to come close to meeting the current 50% of all voters threshold.
  • The referendum could be worded as follows (my idea here) "Do you agree that the threshold for the Referendum Law should be lowered to 50% of all participating voters and that review of referendum petitions must be made by a body independent of the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan?"
  • Following the success of the Penghu referendum, more localities should be encouraged to raise petitions and hold referendums on critical local issues.
  • The proposed Erlin Science Park chemical waste controversy  in Changhua is a good example of an issue that could go to a referendum.
  • Referendums are therefore critical direct democracy tools which can first be used to curb the impact of the industrial-political complex and protect the environment.

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