Abolishing All Mechanisms for Fixing Elections: The Citizens Initiative of Change the Electoral System of Croatia

Original scientific paper

Robert Podolnjak ; University of Zagreb

Fulltext: english, pdf (273 KB) pages 101-123 cite

In October 2014 a citizens’ initiative called ‘In the Name of the Family’ collected more than 380,000 signatures demanding a constitutional referendum on comprehensive electoral reform in Croatia. The Initiative aimed to introduce preferential voting for MPs; new criteria for the establishment of electoral constituencies; a lower electoral threshold from five to three per cent; a ban on pre-electoral coalitions and joint lists of several parties; and postal and electronic voting. The constitutional referendum demanded by the initiative was not held due to the organizers collecting an insufficient number of signatures for the referendum petition to be valid, and only a limited reform of the electoral system was enacted with the introduction of preferential voting for MPs. What had started as a bottom-up citizens’ initiative (or ‘mass imposition’ in Renwick’s terminology) finally ended as an ‘elite majority imposition’ of an electoral reform.

Citizens’ Initiative; Electoral System; Croatia; Referendum; Civil Society