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Switzerland: Model of political wisdom for the whole world

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posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 09:10 AM
Re: UK Wizard

Thanks for pointing out Switzerland being used as a Model in science-fiction novels.

To most nations this still seems like science-fiction.

In any case, the point is exactly as you say it: Other Governments trying out the "Canton-Model" including more localized Government and the ability of all people to vote on all issues.

I think the Internet could be utilized for this type of direct-voting.

[edit on 1-6-2008 by Skyfloating]

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 10:26 AM

Originally posted by UK Wizard

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

Local Council >> Commune

County >> Canton

Country >> Federal

UK >> Super Federal

Yes, thats about right.

In Switzerland the local governments have more power, basically.

Its a self-responsibility based system and it works perfectly...

...well, maybe not perfectly but still better then most of the systems out there.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 10:27 AM

Originally posted by thematrix

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.

Which is why we ought to return to small-scale government. All of us.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 10:49 AM
reply to post by SugarCube

I do not have any special knowledge of Switzerland except for what already has been posted. However I do have some knowledge on racsism and how it has developed in the last decade in Europe, and what is said in linked post doesn't fit with the actual Swiss reality. It sounds more like some North European and Scandinavian countries (note: don't mistake Swiss for Swedish).

I just stumbled on this all fresh BBC article about a referendum held in Switzerland on tightning the immigrations laws. It was rejected. A move I find very sympatic to the Swiss voters. If in Denmark or Holland such referendrum was held I'm sure it would had passed.

Swiss reject new citizenship rule

Voters in Switzerland have rejected a move to make it even harder for foreigners to obtain citizenship.

In a referendum, they voted 64% against a bid to revive the practice of approving citizenship candidates by secret ballot and scrapping appeals.

Secret ballots were outlawed five years ago by the supreme court, which judged them to be discriminatory.

Switzerland has one of Europe's highest numbers of foreign-born residents - more than 20%.

Tolerance seems to be a keyword about the Swiss. Let's not forget the more dark side of that, their banking system, accepting any kind of money without asking questions, when tolerance becomes discretion.

That discretion has contributed to their wealth, and kept the holdings of many shady figures safe. From dictators, tyrants to mafia bosses and drug dealers.

[edit disturbing typo]

[edit on 1/6/2008 by khunmoon]

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 10:56 AM
reply to post by khunmoon

Its good that you post that. Switzerland was starting look really racist according to some of the posts here.

They are not racist though.

They are pretty discrete about their banking business however.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 11:09 AM
Not to turn it into a drug thread, but should also be mentioned in favour of their tolerance, Switzerland was the first (and I do think still the only one) to give free heroin to heavy drug users in controlled programs, so they in fact --despite of being users heavy drugs-- can function in society.

Though I've never been to Switzerland it seems to be pretty humanitarian in their tolerance.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 11:27 AM
reply to post by khunmoon

One reason I opened this thread is because I knew posters from a right-wing and from a left-wing perspective would use Switzerland as an example for their ideology working.

Thats precisely what makes the country a healthy and succesful model.

A Multi-ethnic, tolerant, rich, hard-working, clean, proud, multi-lingual, not-involved in war, gun-owning, small-government, capitalistic, drug-tolerating nation.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 11:47 AM
Yes, they seem to be a proud freedom loving people (Wilhelm Tell) without the greed of expansion (I don't think they ever had a colony).

Trustworthy and respected for their reliability (their banking system again), and what is more saying, The Swiss Guard now only used by the Vatican.

With a pinch of sarcasme their motto could be "Let others do the fighting, we do the profiting."

A very pragmatic people for sure.

Edited to link the story of Wilhelm Tell, who in English is William Tell

[edit on 1/6/2008 by khunmoon]

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 12:31 PM
I totally agree here the Swiss system is very effective in my opinion.

I think it shows that if we had a major devolution of power i.e. have lots of small independent states within a nation that govern themselves under with the assistance of the national government, that alot of problems could be avoided, especially the corruption and dishonesty of a centralised and dominant government.

If Situation X were to occur and we had to rebuild society, I would be taking as many leaves out of the Swiss book as possible!

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by khunmoon

Sure. Their neutral stance allows them to be a financial "free zone", friend to all, foe to no one.

They say "Its none of my business where this money comes from. Lets be discreet".

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:51 PM
I recently posted some details concerning our relationship to weapons and our Army, please see here .

What I can add is that our "paradise" isn't that great once you realize some little facts... for example that we are utterly and completely dependent on imports of food, gas, and just about ANY other resource. About the only thing that we currently have enough of for the whole population is water, but with our melting glaciers, who knows for how long.

Furthermore, our politics are going haywire since a few years. For a long time, our parties worked together to find a common ground in all issues and to work out a solution that everybody could agree with. This has changed a lot, the parties are polarizing to an ever greater scale. Compromises don't happen anymore and some sort of political extremism has taken place in our Bundeshaus (basically our White House).

If there are specific questions that I can answer, please ask.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 05:54 PM
reply to post by Swordbeast

When did it start changing and what was the cause?

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:15 PM
Coincidentally i just spent the whole of last week in Switzerland on business travelling all over. Now im not going to say what my proffession is here on ATS but it goes along the lines of crime reduction and prevention. I was absolutely shocked by the low crime rate in Switzerland and was also shocked by their lack of CCTV on every corner like here in the UK

My trip meant meeting up with both Military and Police personnel and after many a conversation i am impressed with their structure and way of dealing with law and order.

I am going back in 3 weeks on business again but after being impressed i promised the Mrs i would take her there in August.

The only part that had me puzzled was the private jet enclosure at Zurich Airport. Now being a light aircraft pilot myself im always intrigued by foreign airports should i wish to fly over myself one weekend. The amount of private jets at Zurich was overwhelming and on one occasion i saw armed guards escort what looked like a VIP businessman from his jet to a lenghty motorcade. Only then did i realise that many a global rich men must be using Switzerland to hide serious amounts of money. Thats the impression if got anyway

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 06:47 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Hard to say, because I only became aware of the whole politics in around 1998, in business school.
I only recently became aware of the potential turning point and I will have to check this out in more detail, but it looks like in 1999 the Swiss people voted a new, reformed constitution into place. I'm not sure about this as I wasn't interested in politics at this time. A little more aware of the happenings, yes, but not really interested.

Anyways, it seems to have started big time when Christph Blocher was elected into our Federal Council. He is a right winger with a lot of experience as industrialist.
He is a master of rhetoric and managed to appeal to a lot of people with clear and direct statements. Ever since he entered politics on this scale, everybody took him as example and copied his style, which led to a seeming downspiral of "positive politics", if you will.
In conclusion, he has brought some much needed change to our Bundeshaus, but he was also the source of some negative trends, the aftereffects of which we can still observe today.
It now looks like everybody tries to force his personal note or agenda into politics, like Miss Calmy-Rey who recently made a much disputed gas deal with Iran (of which I think as a mistake of epic proportions, imho) or Miss Widmer-Schlumpf, whose election drove a wedge into the whole SVP-Party, and the circus ain't over yet.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:07 PM
Hello Swordbeast, nice you joined the discussion.

I would like to ask you are there among ordinary people i Switzerland today a widespread sense of xenophobia like you see in Holland, in Denmark, and also I think in the UK?

The kind that's based in envy against immigrants, arguing:

"those [*usually some degatory term*] they take from me what rightfully belongs to me" or
"they only come here for the benefits, they don't contribute anything"

Are there this strong sense of "them" against "us" nourishing a basic fascist feeling?


RE to the Saint:

Interesting observation you did in Zurich airport.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:40 PM

Originally posted by thesaint
Coincidentally i just spent the whole of last week in Switzerland on business travelling all over. Now im not going to say what my proffession is here on ATS but it goes along the lines of crime reduction and prevention. I was absolutely shocked by the low crime rate in Switzerland and was also shocked by their lack of CCTV on every corner like here in the UK

Its fantastic isnt it? Its shocking how low the crime rate is without any police-state-like enforcements. I noticed that too.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 07:43 PM
reply to post by Swordbeast

It is my personal opinion that everytime extreme bias toward either left or right comes into play, things spiral downwards. You see it happening all over the place.

However, you are living there. For an outsider coming in, the comparison to his native country is still a strong contrast and still has a very positive effect.

A few months ago I was in Zurich again and a few months before that in Lugano and Im always impressed by the "vibe" in Switzerland.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 08:12 PM
reply to post by khunmoon

Well, there are some that have those fears, but I don't think its on a broader scale than the "usual suspects", i.e. a few paranoid, uninformed ignorants. The bigger problem seems to be the perception that foreigners get Swiss citizenship but never truly integrate into our society and then at some point commit crimes.
This has been pushed somewhat by our media, in light of some recent knife-fights and massive speedings with multiple lethal accidents, that involved mainly people from the Balkans and Turkey.

However, the common people don't seem to fall for this kind of emotional propaganda, just today an initiative has been sawed off by "us the people "
that would have people vote on a communal level if somebody gets Swiss citizenship or not. This was a huge point of concern due to the possible arbitrariness of the voting process. Now, becoming a Swiss citizen remains a formal act instead of becoming a "democratic act". I'm putting "democratic act" into "" because I think this way would have opened some doors for abuse by our xenophobes. And to clear this up: I'm not against immigration, but I think we need some better controls of who we let immigrate/gain citizenship. Today's initiative would have been the wrong way.

See also here under "Controversies" for some interesting facts concerning immigrants and delinquent foreigners, the numbers seem to be consistent with the numbers I'm aware of.

Reply to thesaint:
We do have cctv cameras on some neuralgic points, but all in all, we value our privacy, so we oppose cameras in places where they are not needed.
As to Airport security, well, I can't say much about it as I'm not "in the know", but I guess we DO take the safety of our guests seriously.

posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 08:27 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Yeah, well, luckily, the whole political circus hasn't had a big influence in our daily life yet, so the vibes remain positive.

Should you visit Zürich again, drop me a line, we could meet for a chat. I'd love to exchange some views with other ATS-People face to face.

Btw, we're currently in the buildup for the Euro 2008 European Football Championship, so that would be a nice occasion for a visit.
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posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 10:24 PM
I personally think it is a case of "apples and oranges"..

Taking into consideration the geographical differences, political histories and foundational history as well, one can not really compare the two or effectively determine if either form of government will function within the boundaries of the other.

As was mentioned previously, the Swiss import many of the things we have here in abundance. That makes our associations with other countries completely different and on a different scale than that of the Swiss.

Our geography runs from the tropical to the frozen arctic. This gives us the unique and often troublesome quality of MANY varied cultures under "one roof" so to speak.


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