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Mexico City is crowdsourcing its constitution online, pioneering 21st century democracy

Alternative World News NetworkMay 19, 2016, 11:18:58 PM
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Mexico City has entered the 21st century as a frontrunner for political change.  In late April, 2016, mayor Miguel Angel Mancera created the initiative to entice the nearly nine million citizens to help create and change the constitution in real-time.

Mancera refers to it as a way to “bestow the constitution project with a democratic, progressive, inclusive, civic and plural character.”

Residents add ideas to a Change.org petition and if they receive 10,000 supporters they will be considered by an expert panel that has been appointed by the mayor.  This panel, called the constitutional assembly, will consider whether to push these ideas into law though they are not obliged to consider any of them.

Despite this caveat, the movement has become extremely popular.

The new method of lawmaking comes after Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world,  got out from under the thumb of Mexico's federal government.  Until 2016, Mexico City was part of the Distrito Federal (similar to the District of Columbia in the US) and the feds would make a myriad of decisions, including who the chief of police would be.  With the recent liberation, Mexico City residents now have more autonomy and local control.

The online platform is collecting constitutional input until September 1, 2016, when the new draft will be prepared.

 

Image Credit - (Reuters/Henry Romero)