In the polis of Athens in the V century; C was established a new form of government: democracy . Athenian citizens had mechanisms for participation in political life , and decisions taken in assemblies determined the political direction of the community. Popular Consultation
From the French Revolution onwards, democracy was established as a form of government and gradually nations developed a system of government of popular representation.
Popular consultations are approached as a new advance within the system of representative democracy
In the conventional democratic model, citizens are periodically summoned to the polls to elect their municipal, regional or state representatives. Some analysts and political scientists believe that this system can be improved, as the citizenry does not always identify with its representatives. The proposed mechanism to enhance the participation of the people in political activity is popular consultation.
The fundamental idea of every popular consultation is simple. Thus, a group of citizens approaches a proposal from a certain number of signatures in support of the original idea, once obtained, a vote is organized on the matter raised. In this way, the people speak out on all kinds of issues: community budgets, safety issues , public works, industrial development of an area, etc. Popular Consultation
Switzerland is the country with the most tradition in popular consultations
In Switzerland there is a conventional parliamentary system and at the same time, citizens vote in relation to all kinds of popular initiative.
In recent years, the Swiss voted for state level on the following issues: the expansion of the holiday period, the maintenance of the service obligatory military and the level of taxes related to certain public services.
The popular query model has advantages and disadvantages
Its main advantage is evident: participation is encouraged and in this way the people intervene directly and without intermediaries in everything related to their interests. Popular Consultation
A popular consultation can also be distorted by populist politicians who manipulate the people. In this sense, it is interesting to remember that most Athenian philosophers did not approve of the democratic model imposed by Pericles, as they considered that the new system was beneficial to the interests of demagogues.