This city is crowdsourcing a new constitution

What Mayors in the region can learn from Mexico City.

Mexico City is asking its 9 million residents to help the Mayor draft a new constitution. The campaign involves various levels of citizen participation. Citizens can petition for ideas to be included in the constitution via, or comment on constitution drafters’ proposals on document editor PubPub. They can also answer a 10-minute survey ranking the biggest issues in the city. 240 petitions have been launched so far on, with a total of 11,831 supporters. “We begin a new stage in our city, based on a constitution according to our values ​​and aspirations, which will be the product of an extensive consultative and deliberative process,” said Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera. The Mayor has created a group of 27 citizens, including human rights activists, journalists, a sportsman and politicians, to help write the draft. The committee gets a weekly summary of crowdsourced ideas and evaluates whether they can be included in the draft, according to Quartz. Citizens with more than 10,000 signatures on can make their case in person to three members of the drafting committee. Those with more than 50,000 will meet with the entire committee. The campaign was launched at the end of March and runs till 1 September. This year Mexico city won a legal battle to change from a federal district into a more autonomous entity. The newly set up city will submit a constitution on 15 September this year to a constituent assembly - a body which has the final word on amending and approving the constitution. However, it is under no obligation to consider citizens’ input. Finland has seen success with an initiative to crowdsource new laws. The government’s “Citizens’ Initiative Act” allows registered voters to propose new laws. It requires the parliament to treat citizens’ proposals equal to those from politicians. Proposals that get support from 50,000 citizens must be put to vote in parliament. Signatures are collected online through a government-approved electronic ID system . Since launch in 2012, one law proposed through this act has been passed. In 2011 Iceland tried to crowdsource a new constitution, but failed when the process stalled with opposition from the Supreme Court. Image by Eneas De Troya, licensed under CC BY 2.0