The Démocraticas : a record without point or hits

We are rolling out the red carpet today to introduce you: the winners of Démocraticas these prices sewn entirely by the review team. Put on your tuxedo or your high heels to see these good practices that reinvent the citizens / public institutions dialogue.

“World Heritage to protect”

Having surpassed the two decades of existence, the participatory budget in Porto Alegre stands out as an ancestor venerated and respected in the genealogy of participatory democracy. Follow his trail and challenges.

Participatory budgeting is a popular device for controlling the municipal budget which was set up in 1989 at the instigation of the residents associations Union of Porto Alegre and the Workers Party (PT) in Porto Alegre. Through its influence on the budget, the population is directly involved in decisions relating to taxes and the allocation of resources of the city.

According to Luc Rabouin, three conditions have favored the emergence and consolidation of the participatory budget in Porto Alegre:

  1. The prior existence of an urban movement, Porto Alegre is known for the strength she has offered to the dictatorship and in 1970 was organized “around the struggle for possession of the land, the development of urban infrastructure and public services in outlying areas of the city. “;
  2. The political opportunity. The opening of the political and institutional system following the democratization of the early 1980s, the movement in the alignments and political and partisan allegiances have created the base;
  3. A support political elite.

It is important to note that these three conditions limit potential repressions that could cause such a “challenge to the state.”

The complexity of the institutional structure and the impact on the redistribution of wealth and on citizen participation in Porto Alegre are still unmatched, and even if the players in several cities or districts around the world have tried to replicate features.

However, the participatory budget, as it was thought, was threatened. In 2004, the Workers’ Party was ousted from power and the coalition that replaced (consisting of 12 parties) is led by the Partido Popular Socialista that challenges Since 2008, the achievements of the participatory budget. The consequences are: the return of patronage and declining participation. The risks of instrumentalization of the initiative are very real.