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Switzerland: Model of political wisdom for the whole world

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posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:12 AM
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Having spent some time in Switzerland I became convinced that the way politics, economy and social issues were handled in Switzerland is at near perfection and could serve as a succesful Model for the rest of the world.

These people enjoy almost all freedoms imaginable, they never engage in war, they have an extremely high standard of living for all, crime rates are extremely low, health care is near universal, the country is clean and beautiful, they have through their 3 nations and 3 languages a multi-ethnic culture who lives side by side without problems.

So what are their secrets? Some excerpts from the Encyclopedia: offer a few hints.



Direct democracy

Swiss citizens are subject to three legal jurisdictions: the commune, canton and federal levels... The instruments of Swiss direct democracy at the federal level, known as civil rights, include the right to submit a constitutional initiative and a referendum, both of which may overturn parliamentary decisions.

By calling a federal referendum a group of citizens may challenge a law that has been passed by Parliament, if they can gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days. If so, a national vote is scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law. Eight cantons together can also call a referendum on a federal law.

Similarly, the federal constitutional initiative allows citizens to put a constitutional amendment to a national vote, if they can get 100,000 voters to sign the proposed amendment within 18 months. Parliament can supplement the proposed amendment with a counter-proposal, with voters having to indicate a preference on the ballot in case both proposals are accepted. Constitutional amendments, whether introduced by initiative or in Parliament, must be accepted by a double majority of both the national popular vote and a majority of the cantonal popular votes.




The 1999 Swiss Constitution declares the preservation of Switzerland's independence and welfare as the supreme objective of Swiss foreign policy. Below this overarching goal, the Constitution sets five specific foreign policy objectives:

* further the peaceful coexistence of nations;
* promote respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of the law;
* promote Swiss economic interests abroad;
* alleviate need and poverty in the world;
* promote preservation of natural resources.





The Federal Constitution adopted in 1848 is the legal foundation of the modern federal state. A new Constitution was adopted in 1999, but did not introduce notable changes to the federal structure. It outlines basic and political rights of individuals and citizen participation in public affairs, and divides the powers between the Confederation and the cantons and defines federal jurisdictions and authorities. There are three main governing bodies on the federal level:[10] the bicameral parliament (legislative), the Federal Council (executive) and the Federal Court (judicial).




The Swiss government has been a coalition of the four major political parties since 1959, each party having a number of seats that roughly reflects its share of electorate and representation in the federal parliament: currently there are 1 Christian Democrat (CVP/PDC), 2 Social Democrats (SPS/PSS), 2 Liberal Democrats (FDP/PRD), and 2 representatives of the Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC) in the government. This traditional distribution of seats is called the "magic formula", and is not backed up by any law


If there is any disadvantage in switzerland then maybe that some would become bored by all the peace and prosperity.




posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:31 AM
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A symbolic representation of "the feel" in this paradise-country:







And guess what...come election times, they are near-free of political smear campaigns against their opponents. The Swiss dont like to make themselves look good at the expense of others.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:39 AM
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lets move! only problem is im only 5'10, i have black hair, and i weigh 250lbs....id stick out like a sore thumb!!



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:43 AM
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I have black hair too and didnt stick out.

A large portion of swiss are Italian, most of which have black hair.


[edit on 1-6-2008 by Skyfloating]



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:54 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
I have black hair too and didnt stick out.

A large portion of swiss are Italian, most of which have black hair.




I think he meant Sweden...

My hair is grey already. Just thought I'd mention that.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:57 AM
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So much for intelligent discussion.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:00 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
So much for intelligent discussion.


Haha, sorry. I just don't see what hair colour could possibly have to do with swiss political wisdom.

What are the firearm laws there? I once heard Alex Jones rant on about everyone having machine guns, or something.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:02 AM
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Yeah, Hair colour has nothing to do with anything. My last post refers to the first response. I had to look this up at wikipedia, didnt know it myself:


he gun policy in Switzerland is unique in Europe. The personal weapon of militia personnel is kept at home as part of the military obligations. This, in addition to liberal gun laws and strong shooting traditions, has led to a very high gun count per capita. Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world. In recent times political opposition has expressed a desire for tighter gun regulations.[1]



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:30 AM
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I had read a long time ago that they are all required by law to serve a short period in their armed forces, and that they all are required to have a home arsenal

[edit on 1-6-2008 by pexx421]



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:32 AM
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Switserland looked the other way during worldwar 2. Nazi Germany sold gold to Swiss banks that was robbed from the jews and the Swiss banks knew it was stolen. (Jewisch) Refugees were not alowed to enter during the war.
How can a country stay "neutral" when theres so much suffering around, then and right now worldwide?

It stinks, just like their cheese.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:34 AM
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ah, nobody's truly neutral. The united states was selling arms and oil and steel to germany even after the war started. We were selling chemical weapons to saddam even as he was killing the kurds.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:39 AM
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reply to post by pexx421
 


Good point. That makes up for your first post here



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:40 AM
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reply to post by ahamarlin
 


We´re not discussing WW2 or History here but a political model that works for its citizens and how it might be applied to other countries.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:48 AM
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Having spent some time working in Europe, Switzerland has managed to maintain a social accord by restricting immigration. This is going to sound like a right-wing scaremongering but the facts stand for themselves.

Germany "had" a very good social model from the 1950's onward, however, mass immigration has led to a breakdown in social values. Whether you want to believe it or not, it is fact that the majority of anti-social behaviour is caused by the immigrant population, especially from Eastern European countries - some of the people have a "chip on their shoulders" from "previous events".

There is also a large amount of discord in the whole community - still - concerning the way the fall of the Berlin Wall was handled. East Germans were winners of course, but at too much expense of the West Germans.

There are, of course, social problems indigenous to all societies, however, the social problems of rising street crime, drunkenness and public violence is generally perpetrated by immigrants - I have seen this first hand so know it to be valid.

This is not to say immigration is a bad thing, but the way it is handled and controlled must be looked at to ensure that it can be implemented without causing social chaos and disharmony to the extent that we see in the UK.

Germany had a great social harmony and this has benefited from the immigration of Greeks, Turks, Russians, you name it, however, it is now reaching levels whereby the society cannot handle the influx.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:09 AM
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Hey isn't it true that they have a bomb shelter for everyone over there built into a mountain or something in case they ever got nuked..

I heard this along time ago..

But ya I think the people in Sweden are a role model for the rest of us.. They do alot for the people and are good at being nice.. most of the time..



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by SugarCube

Germany had a great social harmony and this has benefited from the immigration of Greeks, Turks, Russians, you name it, however, it is now reaching levels whereby the society cannot handle the influx.




Thanks for adding that slant to it. Id say thats part of the reason, but not the major reason.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:28 AM
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I agree with Skyfloating. There is not much I can add, the Swiss policies speak for themself!

However to the chap who said that Swiss neutrality was a bad thing, please go and read any major history book and you will see the real benefits that a neutral Switzerland had to the allies. Wounded allied soldiers traipsed back into Switzerland for safety and medical treatment etc...



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by Cadbury
What are the firearm laws there? I once heard Alex Jones rant on about everyone having machine guns, or something.


If I recall correctly, because SW doesn't have a professional military, every head of household male is issued a machine gun and can be called on for defense of the nation.

As for the rest of this topic, the problem with these types of democracy's is that, with current day technology and logistics, the systems collapse and are subject to abuse when scaled up to larger nations.

Also, as someone else noted, Germany used to have a rather fine system too, untill it was kicked out of balance by a massive influx of immigrants.

Over here, in Belgium, the welfare system is one of the better in the world and has taken a massive hit, over the last few decades, because of immigrants specifically choosing to come here and get the Belgian nationality, just to be able to leech from the welfare and unemployment system.

For westerners the method of exploitation of these systems doesn't seem to be able to earn them enough money, because they look at it as a singular person, but for most of these immigrant families it does, because they look at it as family revenue instead of personal revenue.

This way a household can bring in well over 2000€ (3109$) NETTO per month. This while doing absolutely nothing. On top of the unemployment, child bonuses and other money they manage to get from the government, they do illegal work and bringing in even more money.
To keep the amount they get from unemployment up at the highest levels, each family member that receives unemployment has to go work on the record for a few months a year, or have ample evidence that they tried to get a job, but failed.

Because its known that the system is exploited like this, naturalizing(getting Belgian citizenship) has gotten a lot harder over the last decade or so, but the damage has already been done.

Democracy, like all other ideologies, only works on small scales and becomes increasingly subject to abuse, from both lechers and power mongers once it gets scaled up.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by SugarCube
Having spent some time working in Europe, Switzerland has managed to maintain a social accord by restricting immigration. This is going to sound like a right-wing scaremongering but the facts stand for themselves.


They have had some problems with immigration and realized that it was causing a crime problem. Hopefully the swiss (my mother is Swiss born so I have a special interest in them) will address the problem before it gets out of control. I believe the right wing faction wanted to introduce a law that said if immigrant children started committing crimes the government would simply deport the whole frickin' family. The idea being to put the responsibility on the families, and not on the state.

Pretty darn good idea in my opinion. Immigrants will start taking the issue MUCH more seriously.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 08:49 AM
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The idea of the "commune, canton and federal" levels of Government is a good one I think, any Government that finds the majority of its power at the top is likely to become a Government where those at the top rule with only a nationally based outlook forgetting to look at how decisions affect those on a more local scale.

I'm not sure whether the Swiss method of Government could be easily transfered as it is into a country such as the United Kingdom for example, I think with some changes we could see benefits over current models.

A translation of the commune, canton, federal system could be:

Local Council >> Commune


County >> Canton


Country >> Federal


UK >> Super Federal



I'd like to see a system where the lower tiers such as the commune and canton equivalent have more powers and the highest level which we can refer to as federal having powers that focus more on national issues such as the defense of the realm.

In the Mars trilogy they refer to the Swiss methods of Government and certainly makes for some interesting reading.




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