Sitting on the World Wide Web like some prehistoric fossil waiting to be rediscovered is the NCID (National Citizen’s Initiative for Democracy) proposal that was finalized in 2002 by former Senator Mike Gravel. Exploring the website was like uncovering a hidden relic. Clicking deeper into the site I found many links no longer work, but the core of the message was still intact. I was uncovering a document that had been buried for years.
This document I was now reading would have allow representative democracy, and direct democracy to coexist together. Gravel had worked on this proposal during the late 90’s. At that time, it was called the National Initiative proposal. He sent invitations to organizations, professors, media, elected individuals, and anybody else he could think of. The Democracy Foundation ultimately accepted at the 2002 Democracy Symposium that was held in Williamsburg, Virginia. Taking feedback from the conference into consideration, a final draft on the proposed amendment and act was published on September 17, 2002.
The proposal started to get some big-name endorsements in 2008, and this continued through 2012; and then it seemed to just disappear, it vanished from the public eye. It just died…
The NCID is being resuscitated through the Yellow Vest Movement. It is a fundamental legislative proposal that will allow citizens, independent of Representative Government (Congress, Executive and the Judiciary), to propose and vote on laws. NCID consists of a Constitutional amendment and a federal statute.
As it stands now there are only 26 states in USA that carry some type of Initiative and/or Popular Referendum. This is only at a state level. There are no Initiatives or Referendums at the federal level.
The NCID was brought to my attention through a colleague who runs the American Yellow Vest Facebook group. Like the rest of the 65 countries around the world who have joined the Global yellow vest movement, they are demanding some form of Citizen Initiative and Referendum. The United States Yellow Vests are demanding their own version. Who knew there was one that had already been drafted and endorsed, buried on the WWW for 17-years, waiting for the Yellow Vest Movement to come to the USA, to breath new life into this old proposal?