Setting the Agenda: Public Proposals and the Proposal Bank
Defining the agenda (the list of issues selected for public vote) for referendums and polls is of central importance. The public itself must be able to decide which issues it wants to vote on, and which policy options it should be able to chose from among. Without this power, the public input would be limited to issues or choices that a ruling elite would allow. This would make public self-governance meaningless.
Public definition of the issues is achieved through the National Proposal Bank. Every citizen may propose (submit) three issues each year to the National Proposal Bank for consideration for vote in national referendums. The National Proposal Bank sorts and counts the proposals. The issues that receive the most requests will ultimately be part of national referendums. For example, the top five issues may be subject to public referendums, and the next ten issues may be subject to a Public Poll.
Along with each issue request, citizens can propose a preferred course of action. These proposals are also sorted and tallied by the National Proposal Bank. This activity is monitored by the Proposal Bank Jury, which is constituted and functions similarly to the Policy Juries.
In addition to requests made by the public, the Executive Council can also submit referendum and poll issues to the National Proposal Bank. In the model system, the Executive Council can request five referendum issues and ten poll issues each year.
The public also votes on a Budget Referendum that decides on the major divisions of the budget. Since there are many deserving causes and the main task of government is to divide the limited resources among these competing needs, the Budget Referendum is on a "pie chart" basis, proportioning the budget among major spending categories.