Société Civile


On "Starting and Finishing a Fight"

Dear Mr. Mathews,

In launching the debate on Islam and Democracy during the forum, such reactions were to be expected, especially from a Tunisian audience. It awakens a Tunisian political schism that has cornered the political debate, the consensus on which (if we can afford to speak of consensus) remains fragile and for which the majority vote has not really decided (but does it ever really permit to decide ?).

Within and beyond the Tunisian context, some political groups push to a "laundering" of Islam in a context parasitized by the global religious terrorism, others, claiming that same context, want to remain in a secular context (especially in forum claiming itself as global).

Personally I would have completely accepted the initial paragraph on the "Shura" but I'm not completely disappointed by the paragraph finally adopted. And as a secular citizen living in Tunis but claiming myself as citizen of the world, I really do understand your discomfort.

Nevertheless and on different topics of the Tunis Declaration, I would have liked, as a member of the Tunisian Pirate Party, the paragraph on democracy's most excluded fringes to be more explicit: focus on youth, which in the Tunisian context is perhaps much more marginalized than women. Maybe also pointing some directions regarding new democracy tools, that might interest young people.

Best Regards.
Mohamed Anis Mekki

 

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Commentaire sur l'article de Joe Mathews:  "Starting and Finishing a Fight"


18/05/2015
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TUNIS DECLARATION ON MODERN DIRECT DEMOCRACY

Photo de Groupe du Forum Mondial sur la Démocratie Moderne Directe

 

Some of the more than 600 participants at the 2015 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

“Tunisia is in transition.

So is direct democracy around the world.

We are Tunisians. We are Africans. We are Europeans. We are Asians. We are from the Americas. We come from all kinds of communities, from every corner of the globe, and from all walks of life. Among us are scholars, trade unionists, journalists, activists, campaign organizers, philanthropists, elected officials, election administrators, NGO leaders, lawyers, businesspeople, farmers, students, citizens, engineers, and the unemployed.

We have met for four days at the University of Carthage’s INAT campus to discuss direct democracy, participation and decentralization at a free and open forum in Tunis, Tunisia, to which the entire world was invited. Those of us who came from other places were impressed to learn more about the successes of the revolution and the progress Tunisia has made. We also were reminded that Tunisians have a very long way to go on their journey to a better democracy.

But don’t we all?

We see this shared journey as taking our societies not only from dictatorship to democracy but also from democracy to true participatory democracy. We know that representative democracy, while essential, is not enough by itself. We are in transition from low-turnout elections to robust new forms of participation that give us more power, but also ask more of us.

We believe that the development of democracy requires decentralization of power. And we know that such decentralizations are so challenging that participation must be more than a goal. Participation must itself be part of the decentralizing process at every level. And to make that a reality, we need better participatory tools — and better assessments of how well direct democracy and other participatory tools work.

Participation requires more than words in a constitution, or provisions in a law. It requires a supportive infrastructure – freedom and transparency (especially to counter corruption) and secure spaces (including online) and independent citizen media and strong social movements and economic resources and civil society organizations — that allow people to connect to each other, and to make their voices heard. We are encouraged by the articles on participation in the Tunisian constitution and by the participatory budgeting experiments in Tunisian cities, but there is much more to be done.

Participation means that economic decisions, whether they involve the world’s largest trade agreements or small city trash services, are based on democracy, not money. Participation and democracy demand equality for all and leadership from all, especially for and from those who have been excluded in the past—most urgently the young and women. It is long past time for women to rule in democracy.

Let’s also be clear: We wholeheartedly reject the idea that democracy is a garment that only fits some people, or some societies, or some faiths. Democracy is a shirt that can stretch to fit us all.

There are people who have said that democracy is impossible in the Arab World. But here we are in Tunisia, the Arab World’s first democracy. There are people who say democracy and Islam are not compatible. But here, again, we are in Tunisia. And we have heard here that Islamic principles do not need to be in contradiction with democracy, and vice versa.

Direct democracy should have no single home. We hope and pray for the day when democracy resides wherever people form communities. Democracy must be the right and responsibility of every individual, whoever you are, whatever your economic or social status.”

We offer this statement, the Tunis Declaration, on the 17th day of May, 2015. We welcome the suggestions, corrections, and contributions of the world. More than 600 participants from more than 40 countries from across the world. The next Global Forum will take place in Donostia/San Sebastian on November 19-22, 2016.

 

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Lien d'origine:  Déclaration de Tunis


18/05/2015
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Forum Mondial sur la Démocratie Moderne Directe

Du 14 au 17 Mai 2015 se tient à Tunis le Forum Mondial sur la Démocratie Moderne Directe. Le forum est coorganisé par l'Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT) et l'Université de Carthage, en collaboration avec la Radio Swissinfo, Democracy International et l’Institut International pour la Démocratie et l’assistance aux élections (IDEA). Il se déroule principalement à l'Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie (INAT).

 

Plus de 500 personnalités du monde de la politique, des sciences sociales, des médias et du journalisme assisteront ce forum, pour animer des ateliers de travail et discuter de thèmes aussi variés que l’islam et la démocratie, le libre-échange et la démocratie, l'infrastructure de la démocratie participative et directe, le rôle des mouvements jeunes et des partis politiques dans la démocratie directe ... etc. Le forum donnera lieu à la "déclaration de Tunis" qui résumera les décisions prises et les perspectives futures du forum. 

 

Le choix de Tunis pour la tenue de cette cinquième* session du forum est une reconnaissance des efforts de la Tunisie dans la cadre de la transition démocratique qui anime le pays depuis Janvier 2011. Bruno Kaufman, co-président du forum l'a rappelé, ce matin, en insistant sur le rôle clé joué par l'Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT). Lassaad El Asmi (Président de l'Université de Carthage), Houcine Abassi (Secrétaire Général de l'UGTT) et Habib Essid (Chef du Gouvernement) on successivement pris la parole lors de l'ouverture du forum. Ils ont respectivement souligné la valeur symbolique d'un tel événement dans un contexte tunisien hanté par le fléau du terrorisme, le rôle d'une démocratie plus représentative du peuple dans un développement régional impartial et non biaisé et l'intérêt porté par la constitution de la deuxième république tunisienne à la démocratie participative.

 

C'est en tant que membre du Parti Pirate Tunisien que j'assiste à ce forum: la démocratie directe étant au centre des intérêts et des projets du parti qui vise à mettre les technologies de la communication au service d'une démocratie citoyenne et participative. J'ai eu le plaisir d'y rencontrer Slim Amamou, co-fondateur du parti, qui intervient dans le forum en tant que Speaker. Nous discutions d'une initiative prise par l'organisation du forum, celle de faire voter les lois à l'adoption en utilisant les téléphones portables (SMS), quand ce dernier m'a notifié de l'activité d'un Mobile Phone Jammer : nos portables ne captaient plus aucun signal durant la cérémonie d'ouverture du forum ! Slim Amamou m'a aussi signalé que des propositions de lois pouvaient être soumises via internet et ce jusqu'à la veille de l'ouverture du forum, mais que cette information n'avait pas été convenablement partagée.

 

Liens externes: StreamingArticle de Bruno Kaufman


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* : Les quatre dernières sessions se sont tenues à Aarau/Suisse en 2008, Séoul/Corée en 2009, San Francisco/USA en 2010 et Montevideo/Uruguay en 2012.


14/05/2015
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