What Type of Organization is the IQA?
The IQA is similar in various ways to several existing forms of organization that can serve as a reference point, but non describe it precisely:
- It fulfills a similar function to initiatives signature petitions used in many states. This is granted as a right of the People in the State, and is not normally given a formal organizational status. However, the IQA goes beyond signature petitions by accepting Citizens’ feedback on proposed initiatives, ranking them, ensuring their quality, avoiding special interests’ control, and ensuring that the Voters are not overwhelmed.
- It is also similar to other Citizens Assemblies on other issues, except that their powers are generally defined by government and they generally serve to advise government on specific issues.
- In the U.K., it might be referred to as quasi non-governmental organization. The rough equivalent in the U.S. might be an Independent Agency of the United States government—e.g., the FCC, EPA, Federal Reserve, and NASA. However, the Federal Government would then have some effective control over the IQA thereby defeating the watchdog function of the Initiative process.
The IQA is created by the Constitutional Amendment as a permanent autonomous organization responsible only to the People. Since the Constitution is the supreme law of the nation, it is legally constituted and does not need any additional authority or categorization. If, however, it is found that a legally defined entity becomes desirable for practical and administrative reasons, the Amendment permits the IQA to incorporate under state law, which it would probably do as a nonprofit corporation.
The Amendment also grants the IQA and its Members the same protection as Congress and congresspersons for legal action against them, and it non-taxable status. In this way, the IQA can be convened and the Initiative process started. Direct Initiatives can then be used to create legislation that can correct any structural deficiencies that may appear later.