Mexico City is using the internet to allow residents to take part in democracy. The city is asking more than 9 million residents to help draft the new constitution through social media.
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This type of citizen involvement in the drafting of a constitution is unprecedented in Mexico, and probably in the world. Residents are able to propose issues for the constitution on Change.org, and if a proposal received 10,000 signatures, the writer will be invited to make their case to lawmakers in person.
Citizens are also given an opportunity to suggest amendments to proposals via PubPub, an online system similar to Google Docs.
Mexico City’s mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, said the idea is to “bestow the constitution project with a democratic, progressive, inclusive, civic and plural character.”
While the constitutional assembly isn’t required to consider any public input in the constitution, this will test the power of the people in the digital age.
So far, the most popular petition with 3,500 signatures is to pay politicians an hourly rate for their work instead of a salary. The second most popular petition addresses animal rights equal to that of human rights.
Mexico City is writing a constitution after winning a legal fight to remove it from the grips of the Federal Government. Mexico City has been ruled by the federal government much like Washington D.C. is ruled by the senate. Recent changes allows Mexico City to have it’s own constitution and function much like an independent state.