Mongolia to test direct democracy

Mongolia to test direct democracy

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The Financial Times reported today that Mongolia has decided to hold a direct democracy vote on an industrial (mineral deposits) development proposal that has a significant affect on the county’s economy. They feel it is the only way to make the decision in a satisfactory way after interested parties cold not come to an agreement.

“The prime minister, who explained the referendum this week on television, was trying to appeal to the general public “over the heads of squabbling factions in parliament and break the logjam”, said one person who advises investors in Mongolia.”

The vote will be done using texts and should put to rest the arguments of direct democracy’s detractors who argue it can’t be done here. If it can be done in Mongolia then it can certainly be done in Ireland where we have the world’s highest per capita ownership of mobile phones.

Sadly the establishment newspaper couldn’t write the story without trying to ridicule the concept with an x-factor comparison, however the Mongolian people will be having the last laugh.

January 29, 2015 6:14 pm

Mongolia holds text message vote on mining v austerity

Rio Tinto's Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia©Bloomberg

Rio Tinto’s Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia

Mongolia is holding an “X Factor” style referendum by text message after the prime minister turned to direct democracy to help shape the country’s economic policy.

Saikhanbileg Chimed’s plan has echoes of television talent shows but could help solve a stand-off over one of the world’s biggest mining projects, with voters being asked whether their country should develop more of its mineral resources or resort to austerity to support the faltering economy.

At the heart of the four-day text poll is Mongolia’s lengthy and increasingly urgent dispute with Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian mining group, over its Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper mine.

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