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How should civil society be allowed to speak?

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The current question:

"How should civil society be allowed to speak?"

If politics and state institutions miss the necessary measures, it needs a responsible civil society. But how can this be shaped?

What do you think?


Photo / Video: Shutterstock.

#1 Look & have a say

In a developed democracy, the government speaks in accordance with the wishes and interests of informed civil society. That would have spared us some disgust with poverty-endangered people and asylum seekers. Fortunately, this misanthropic symbolic policy was not in the majority in Austria. Not yet. It is of the utmost importance that we look closely at and co-opt citizens. The belief in being unable to do anything politically is fatal - and desired by right-wing populist forces. Fortunately, he is wrong too. Our vote counts!

Dominika Meindl, writer and board member of SOS Human Rights

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#2 Free participation

A good life for all is only possible if all spheres of life are democratized. All people should be able to organize all the institutions that affect them together. This allows them to be directly involved in all areas that affect their individual and collective rights and freedoms. For these areas, alternatives such as energy devices, food coops, tenant collective, etc. are developing. They contain the utopian potential of a society without the need for growth, profit maximization and competitiveness - and without separation between ruling and civic institutions, because government becomes superfluous.

System Change, not Climate Change

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#3 Engagement

Civil society, we are all! We should and must have a say, at all levels: use your political suffrage whenever possible. See alternatives at school, at university, or at the company if something should change. Talk to your families, children, and friends about a constructive and positive lifestyle. In your daily shopping, think about the conditions under which the products were made and, above all, whether consumption is really necessary. Because every human being can make the world a little better according to his possibilities. No matter to what extent and on what occasions - only doing nothing is not an option.

Hartwig Kirner, Fairtrade Austria

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#4 Democracy 4.0

The basis for economy and state is the collective reproduction of civil society. It is the one that has to pay for market and state failure - currently particularly visible in the area of ​​climate protection / waste of resources. Therefore, it must be the last resort corrective for market and state. The state and the private sector have to serve the common good; this has to be ensured by instruments of civil society control such as EIA, party status, etc., and further developed into active co-creation - this also includes basic public funding from NGOs. We need a 4.0 democracy to rebalance the power imbalance from the financial sector and corporations to civil society!

Matthias Neitsch, repanet

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#5 Cooperative

Cooperatives today are a great way to get people involved in changing our economy - towards sustainability and justice. Carefully managed and maintained, the cooperative structure makes it easy for individuals to enter into complex issues such as the design of the monetary and financial system and take responsibility. This includes participation in the political discourse in order to align the legal framework with the common good in the long term.

Anna Erber, Genossenschaft für Gemeinwohl

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#6 Citizens * inside-convents

We live in a democracy. This means that we are all together the "sovereign". Nevertheless, we can not make all political decisions together. That is why we have elected representatives who will do this for us.

It becomes problematic if these representatives: a) make decisions against our will or b) do not or insufficiently address important topics. These situations require a corrective.

An example of this are citizens' convents: there can be every * citizen * in 1. Themes and 2. bring concrete solutions. About this can then 3. to vote for all citizens. In Graz there are already the first tests: www.konvente.at

Christian Kozina, common good economy

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#7 All involved

Civil society represents participation in policy-making and decision-making processes in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, again and again structurally disadvantaged groups are "forgotten". Despite international obligations such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), implementation is often lacking. At public meetings or consultations, interpreters in sign language are often absent. Information in plain language or other accessible measures are hardly available, although essential for people with disabilities, so that they can speak for themselves. Because they are an essential and enriching part of society.

Magdalena Kern, light for the world

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#8 Great Political Framework

A responsible civil society is an important basis for the energy transition. For the most part, the consent of the general public now needs a wind farm. But without the basic conditions of politics it is not possible. A system conversion is just not feasible with small steps. Here it needs the big political framework. If politics does not act, the population has to generate so much pressure that ultimately political measures are taken. The energy transition without involvement of the population is inconceivable, but without politics, it would be decades too late. A time that we no longer have available in the climate crisis.

Martin Jaksch-Fliegenschnee, IG Windkraft

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#9 angstfrei

It is particularly important that civil society can contribute its criticisms and suggestions without fear or fear. A strong democracy with active freedom of expression is, therefore, in my opinion, a great asset. Autocratic tendencies should not prevail.

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Written by Helmut Melzer

As a long-time journalist, I asked myself what would actually make sense from a journalistic point of view. You can see my answer here: Option. Showing alternatives in an idealistic way - for positive developments in our society.
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