The People’s Assembly, or Rahvakogu, a grass-roots initiative designed to find solutions to political sore spots such as party financing and electoral laws, will hold its general debate on various proposals this Saturday.
During the one-day session, 500 members of the public, selected to proportionally represent all (voting) age groups, regions and nationalities and both genders, will discuss bundles of proposals distilled from the nearly 2,000 collected by the project’s organizers at the beginning of the year.
The more popular proposals will then be presented to the Parliament by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
At the beginning of the year, the assembly’s website collected proposals and comments from the public in five topic areas: party financing, political parties, the electoral system, civil participation in politics and the politicization of public offices. Those signing into the site were also presented with an “other” option. Experts on the various topics worked through the proposals in February and March to create the items for Saturday’s debate.
The assembly is an initiative proposed by President Ilves last November during a meeting he called with decision makers in light of widespread criticism of the government.
The assembly is organized by volunteers from NGOs such as the Estonian Cooperation Assembly, the Praxis Center for Policy Studies, the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations (EMSL), the e-Governance Academy and the Open Estonia Foundation.