Instytucje demokracji bezpośredniej w dyskusji sejmowej przed uchwaleniem Konstytucji marcowej
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INSTITUTIONS OF DIRECT DEMOCRACY IN THE SEJM DEBATE PRECEDING THE ADOPTION OF THE MARCH CONSTITUTION
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The main aim of this article is to answer the following question: What role did the framers of the March Constitution envisage for direct democracy? In an attempt to answer that question reference was primarily made to the ideas presented during the parliamentary debate which took place before the adoption of Poland’s Constitution of 1921 (March Constitution). During the constitutional debate, great caution was evident as regards the submission of proposals to incorporate direct democracy into the constitution. Finally, the March Constitution did not provide for any form of direct citizens’ participation. One of the reasons for this negative attitude to the institutions of direct democracy was criticism from constitutional law theorists who pointed to the irrationality of the use of referendum and popular initiative, as well as to the lack of sufficiently educated civil society. Of course, we should accept the argument concerning the lack of sufficiently educated civil society. However, complete renunciation of direct democracy was not accompanied with the creation of any important mechanisms for the development of civic competence. It seems that the best solution for reborn Poland was a gradual introduction of the institutions of direct citizens’ participation to the political system. Therefore, it was necessary to start from the constitutionalization of the procedural form (e.g. legislative initiative of citizens) and, then, the development of civil society would create appropriate conditions for extending the scope of available institutions of direct democracy.
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