Initiative in Switzerland calls for a referendum on “elections by sortiton”


Harald K. calls attention to an interview with Charly Pache, a Swiss political activist, in the Pirate Times. Pache is one of the founders of the group “Génération Nomination” which aims to introduce sortition to the Swiss government. In the interview he makes an explicit proposal: replace elections with sortition as the mechanism for selecting the Swiss legislature.


Pirate Times: What is “Generation Nomination” initiative?

Charly Pache: Generation Nomination is a Swiss based movement that wants to empower every citizen to be an active element of democracy, by introducing a system called ‘sortition’ in which members of the legislative are no more elected but randomly selected among all citizens, hence to give equal chances to all to be a player in the political decisions, no matter how rich or connected the citizen is. We are active on local, regional and national levels, with good connection with direct democracy NGO’s, academics and activists around the world.

Pirate Times: When did it start and what are its aims?

Charly Pache: We launched Generation Nomination publicly in 2015 after two years of preparation. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) does not ensure the right to democracy but barely to ‘free elections’, what in fact shrinks the exercise of democracy to only elections… this is a very poor definition, as democracy is a lot more than ‘elections’: it’s about participation of all citizen, debating, informing, building political competences among the population. Furthermore, elections are of aristocratic nature, not of democratic essence. We want to broaden the ECHR with the right to democracy.

An interesting bit is Pache’s explanation of why he left the Swiss Pirate Party:

Pirate Times: You used to be a member of PPCH. Why did you leave the party?

Charly Pache: Every political party and every organization which offers positions for power attract people who want it. PPCH is no exception. Beside this first category I noticed two others: one group which focused mainly on controlling what happened inside the party, writing and passing rules, doing administration, IT and a third – I was one of them – which didn’t care too much about controlling the others or the opportunity for power and focused on political fights on the field. There were people who didn’t like me – was it about competition ? – and they did many attempts to block me. Their last attempt was to call the internal court of arbitration – which is a joke for such a small association to have one, needing only five members to fill a case and knowing that only one member of that court had a degree in law – to accuse me of something I didn’t do: listing PPCH on a referendum’s website. I even didn’t know the webmaster at the time. They told I ruined PPCH reputation – although no media noticed it – and that I should be fired as vice-president. They asked the court to also forbid me to talk to media as PPCH vice-president, as an urgent measure. Imagine ten pages written in German (I speak French) and you have to give an answer. I did it. The court rejected their urgent request measures and asked for more information, more paper to fill for something that didn’t happen. I decided to leave PPCH, telling them how disappointed I was about the behavior of these people, that I spend more time to fight against fellow pirates that with other politicians. Short after quite a lot of members left too, even a section split from PPCH. The bad guys won in my opinion. I didn’t loose my time anymore with them. After 3 active years as a pirate I had my political network and since then enjoy the freedom to give my time to topics I care for. I decided to never join a political party again. Recently I helped some friends to create an antiparty, one of the decision is to draw by lot among the members the candidates for the next elections. The future belongs to initiatives, not to parties. People gather around an idea and give energy to it. Freely. Parties are too much top-down structures. PPCH especially was not able to give more independence to cantonal pirate parties. Generation Nomination would probably have been the first federal initiative of PPCH if all this would not have happen, this was my plan in 2014. I stay tuned with what happens with pirates on international level, I liked very much the energy of the 2012 PPI gathering in Prague. And without PP, I would not be the same today.

3 Responses

  1. […] for a convention of a Left-wing party. More modest steps were taken elsewhere on the continent: in Switzerland and, as Paul mentions, in the […]


  2. Their first public debates on the streets

    What if the House of Representatives were chosen at random?

    (Helen James)
    An outlandish idea? Food for thought, according to most people stopped in a street in Fribourg by two representatives from Generation Nomination (GeNomi), a movement which is preparing to launch a people’s initiative to replace election of members to the House of Representatives with a draw.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Switzerland “Génération nomination” is starting to collect signatures for putting its sortition-related proposal in the ballot. […]


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