Checks and Balances  

The essential feature of Direct Democracy is that the government should comply with the will of the public. This requires that no individual or institution assumes too much power.


The bodies that manage public affairs are the Expert Agencies. The Policy Jury attached to each Expert Agency examines their main actions to ensure it complies with the public law. If there is no existing law derived from referendums or polls that covers a course of action, the Policy Jury should formulate the policy. The composition of the large Policy Juries represents the public and after Referendums and Polls, the Policy Juries are the next level of authority that can formulate public policy.


Referendums and Polls can cover only major issues, the main body of detailed public law will be derived from decisions of Policy Juries. In this sense, Policy Jury decisions play similar roles as court decisions in setting legal precedents, but they are even more authoritative as they are more representative of the public. In addition, the Policy Jury can also veto any actions of the Expert Agency it finds is not adhering to the public law and requires correction.


The Public Ombudsman provides a further measure of checks and balances. The Public Ombudsmen can also request corrective action if an Expert Agency, Policy Jury or Court acts inconsistently with the publicly set policy or law.


Disputes amongst citizens, Expert Agencies, Policy Juries and the Public Ombudsman are resolved by the Courts. Decisions of the Expert Courts can be appealed to the Supreme Court. Decisions of the Supreme Court can be appealed by National Referendums or Polls. Only major decisions that have general implications should be put to the public. To assure that this is the case, appeals to be decided by Referendums or Polls must be approved by the Executive Council which must make the appeals part of their annual list of five referendum and ten poll issues.


Even the majority vote in a referendum or poll may turn out to be patently unreasonable by circumstances that might arise after the vote. For example, if the policy received less than 60% of the vote, it can be overturned if 80% of the members of the Executive Council vote to overturn it. Such a veto can substitute another policy alternative or an existing law. However, such a decision must be subjected to a follow-up public referendum or poll, which can re-institute the original public decision by an 80% vote.

            Other than this exceptional situation, a law passed by a National Referendum can only be changed by a National Referendum; and, a law passed by a National Poll can only be changed by a National Poll or a National Referendum. To assure stability, this can be done only four years or more after the original referendum or poll.