Debate a citizen initiative

So, you want to debate and support a citizen initiative, to help decide on a certain issue! For this purpose you will need to locate that initiative. The initiative has to be brought to the attention of the organization that has authority over that issue. The initiative is on a website prepared for that organization. So, assuming this website was already created, first you will have to
locate the site of the organization, where you will then look for the initiative. But you may have to register, and sometimes pass through a tedious process to prove that you are an eligible citizen. If the desired initiative is not found, or not perfect for your tastes, you can propose a new initiative. You can provide a justification for the modification and link it to the old initiative. Other people looking to it will see your enhanced proposal, and support it. You can write answers to other people's justifications.

Registration Process

To register, you will have to first follow the corresponding link from the website of the organization. There you will have to provide the data requested by your organization, as well as your email. You will have to use the applet on that page to generate a standard X509 request for credentials. You will receive immediately a first email to verify if you provided a correct email address. You will have to follow a link from that email, which will enable your request. The request will then be sent to administrators who can decide whether to autorize you or not. They can even decide to give you administrator rights. Once they authorize your request (which may take time), you will get a new email message with instructions for downloading your authorization certificate. If the organization requires authorization for viewing the pages of the assembly, then the acceptance email will instruct how to load the authorization certficate in your browser.

Submitting support

For current use of the initiatives site you can save a link directly to the constituent assemblies of your organizations. You can go to the site of those assemblies and post any new initiative and any support and justifications that you want. Only the last support and justification will be retained for each initiative to which you react! Therefore, if you submit a second support/vote, the previous one will be erased. The submission of the initiative is a vote and therefore any subsequent vote to your own initiative will delete your first justification.

Participating in the debate

Each initiative and each justification will have a title, to be displayed in lists. You cannot provide a reaction without a title. The title can be at most 200 characters long. When you edit a new initiative, you can request that it be formatted as in your text browser, by clicking on preformat. Below the text input widget, you will see how the initiative will be formatted in browsers. From an initiative you can link to other initiatives and justifications by providing their number (e.g. I#10, J#20). You can also ask to have your text linked into an existing initiative or justification, by submitting it as an enhancement to that initiative or an answer to that justification.


If you become an administrator, then you can authorize other requests, and you can also see the list of organization members. If you see that somebody is registered against rules, you can revoke their registration.


Create a new organization's constituent assembly

The organization's authority might have
registered with us an official website, shown on our lists by the markCertified!, but having policies with which you disagree (for example, allowing verified members to post anonymous initiatives). Then, here you can create a second site for that organization, with the settings that you prefer.

If that organization has not yet set up a site for receiving initiatives, you can set up a new website now for them, here! If you get enough people to sign initiatives on this site, the corresponding authority will be compelled to look into it. If you have decided to create a new site for an organization, you will have to select the data by which you will verify who is a member with voting rights. You should first check the rules of your organization and find the parameters that they want collected, such that initiative support be considered valid. For countries and states, that is typically stipulated in their constitution. You will have to find their constitution and locate the specifications. Some countries only need names and addresses of signing constituents. Others need birth dates, unique numerical codes, social security numbers, Passport series, etc.

If the organization for which you set up a site does not legally sanction citizen initiatives and does not specify data to be gathered, then you will have to decide it yourself. You have got the chance to design the missing rules. Please keep the gathered data to a minimum, for privacy considerations, for which you become responsible. Still, gather enough to be able to prove that members are legal. Each member is automatically verified by his email address, but that may not be enough (other then for institutions with strict email rules). Let organization members help verify each other, since everybody knows his neighbor. For this purpose you can register some trusted citizens with administrator permission, to help you verify their neighbors. And so on, recursively, they can register others with administrator rights, in a web of trust. If you see that somebody misbehaves and registers non-members, you can revoke his certificate, and anybody registered by them will be revoked automatically, as well as any text that they have submitted.

If you so desire, submitted texts in your organization will be visible only to registered members. But for this purpose they will have to pass through a tedious process to load their authenticated membership certficate in any browser that they use to access the site. So, use with care!

The access to the list of the members can also be restricted to registered members, or even only to administrators, function of how you configure the site. Note that, once configured, such features should not be changed, since they are a privacy contract with the other citizens. We may enforce this to avoid mistakes. Well, some of this is still in work...

Once you create an initiatives website for an organization, you should send it to your friends and link it to your pages, to help with easier locating it. For example, as set of sites follows below:

CS Students Debate forum at FIT

Loading client certificates in browsers

Since your organization hides its activity then, in order to use your organization membership you need to load your keystore file in your Internet browser, as client certificate.

IE7 and Chrome

Mozilla Firefox 3 or 2, go to

1. menu Tools (Edit in Firefox version 2),
2. then Options... (Preferences in version 2),
3. then Advanced,
4. then Encryption (or Cryptography),
5. if this is the first certificate that you install, select "Select one automatically", otherwise select "Ask me every time",
6. then View Certificates,
7. then Import...
8. then browse for your home folder. If you are in a folder such as "Desktop" or "Documents", change to its parent folder; typically called with your name: C:\Users\yourname\. Alternatively go to Computer and there select "C", then "Users" on Vista or "Documents and Settings" in XP, and then "yourname". It should also contain a folder "DebateDecide". Move into it. There browse and select the .p12 file that you created during registration, e.g., $HOME/DebateDecide/CERTP12/certForOrg_"Organization"_ID_Your_Name.p12. In general, the $HOME folder is found as follows:

You will be asked for a password. The password is 1234567.
View the certificate and check that the Issuer is not yourself, otherwise it means that you did not download correctly your authorization and have to read again the authorization notification email.
9. Then close and reopen your browser, specifying that certificate when working with your organization on Debate...Decide!

Chrome & Internet Explorer:

1. close your browsers (may have to close even Firefox), then go to
2. Start
3. My Computer
4. Documents
5. Click on parent folder in location.
6. DebateDecide/CERT12
7. Click on the certificate that you have just created. e.g., certForOrg_"Organization"_ID_Your_Name.p12
8. Click Next in the window that pops up.
9. Click Next again.
10. In the password field type 1234567
11. Select: Place all certificates in the following store. Then Browse. Personal. OK
12. Finish.
13. Then close and reopen your browser, specifying that certificate when working with your organization on Debate...Decide!

With Safari keys are handled by Applications/Utilities/ There your keystore is to be imported in MyCertificates. The password of your keystore is: 1234567.
The simplest is to first go with Finder to your keystore. Its default location is in, $HOME/DebateDecide/CERTP12/certForOrg_"Organization"_ID_Your_Name.p12. View the certificate and check that the Issuer is not yourself, otherwise it means that you did not download correctly your authorization and have to read again the authorization notification email.
Then you will have to associate this certificate with the location:
For this you will have to right click in Keychain on the newly inserted certificate found in the tab MyCertificates, and select "New Identity Preference"
There you will have to type the name of the website as: