This article is a publication of Swiss info. Here is an excerpt:
“Participatory budgeting” – where everyone can have a say on how public money is used – has become an increasingly import global feature of modern democracy. Citizens in Madrid and Paris have already had several opportunities to decide how multi-million-euro budgets are spent.
But to this day, Switzerland is the only country in the world where the participatory method is applied as a binding rule, according to the Italian research group Politis.
This is the case in Aarau, for instance, a town between Bern and Zurich. It holds mandatory referendums on financial matters if the expenditure exceeds CHF6 million ($6 million). Voters may also have a say on any other budget item through an optional referendum as long as 10% of residents sign up to hold a vote within a specified time period.
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