We interviewed Evan Ravitz, Guide, Photographer, Writer, Editor. He is the Founder, Strengthen Direct Democracy. They won the 1st ONLINE petitioning for direct democracy (and only).
Evan’s Summary of the Issue
contact: [email protected]
“There is one country in the world that for centuries has enjoyed more government by the people than all others put together, with people now voting four times a year on citizen initiatives anyone can get on the ballot -and voting a fifth time for candidates.
That country is Switzerland, with one of the world’s lowest poverty rates, the highest median net worth and the highest newspaper readership -because people can do something about what they read! Their high speed trains run on time and the country avoids wars.
Half the US states also have direct democracy, but there is a simple reason it hasn’t made us nearly as successful as Switzerland: It is much easier to get initiatives on the ballot in Switzerland than in any US state, for two reasons:
1. Less signatures are required proportional to population in Switzerland than in any US state, about half as many as Colorado.
2. The Swiss can leave petitions unattended in stores and offices, but here, each person’s signature must be witnessed and notarized. In Colorado, that now costs about $2 million!
Boulder’s first in the country online petitioning solves the same problem, but with much better security, since people and politicians here couldn’t be trusted with leaving petitions unattended as in Switzerland. Look at all the stolen yard signs before every election.
Here, citizens are infantilized, not empowered, by deceitful and manipulative governments. The result is Trump and contempt for government. In 2018 oil and gas hired petitioner harassers, paid petition companies to stop petitioning, and hijacked petitions, to try to stop drilling setback Initiative 112 in Colorado. Online petitioning solves all these problems and dozens more.
In systems theory the ability of natural and artificial systems to detect and fix errors is paramount to survival. Voters have every incentive to fix our errors, since we have to live with them, whereas politicians have an incentive to cover up errors, to protect donors and careers that also enable them to escape the consequences of their actions. (Examples on request.)
Of course we need both representative and direct democracy, as in Switzerland. There are studies (available on request) that show that representative government works better in conjunction with direct democracy. A good example is that the first nine states to legalize cannabis did it by initiative and by now there are about 21 states with legal recreational cannabis, with about 7 getting it by legislation. When the people lead, the leaders will follow, If only for the tax money.”
Maplight’s free offer of custom open-source online petitioning software is available to ANY city or state that has ballot initiatives: https://www.maplight.org/post/maplight-offers-free-software-to-governments-for-digital-signature-gathering