Monday, 12 March 2012

People power

Richard North, EU Referendum, posts about an interesting referendum which was recently held in Switzerland, under the requirements of their direct form of democracy and while expanding on that theme very kindly links to an article of mine. That the Swiss rejected yet more 'time off' is probably due to their inherent work ethic, a characteristic which our politicians have almost managed to breed out of us.
For those readers not acquainted with the idea of direct democracy perhaps it is necessary to repeat that the matters for which the Swiss federal government (comprising of just 7 people -yes just 7) is limited in that which they are 'responsible' for, ie they have a limited portfolio. Any one of their proposals, within that limited portfolio, can be 'challenged' by the people by means of the ability to call for a referendum. All matters outside the federal 'government' portfolio are handled by Swiss cantons or communes resulting in the people of Switzerland actually having 'power' to decide the 'internal' course those within the 'locale' wish to follow - along with the course they wish their country to take internationally.
Here I must, perforce, digress slightly to explain that while Richard North and I are, I believe, in complete agreement on 'Referism' (the need for politicians to ask for our agreement to supply the funds they require - be that nationally or locally) we diverge slightly in our views of how 'deep' the requirement of direct democracy is needed. Having said that, consider:
Suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to control the 'proposals' of 'government', locally and/or nationally; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide what changes were made to the constitution of your country; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide by whom and how you were 'governed' - and whether that should be by you or some supranational 'foreign' body; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide what treaties your country entered into; suppose you the electorate, had the ability to decide whether your country should go to war; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide the education system you wished your children to receive; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide who can and who cannot remain in your country; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide what type of law & order you wanted; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide who should and should not receive any form of state benefit; suppose you, the electorate, had the ability to decide who can and who cannot receive citizenship of your country; suppose you, the electorate had the ability to decide.... but need |I continue?
Which would you, the electorate, rather have? The ability, as detailed in the preceding paragraph, or the present system wherein a select few decide what you can and cannot have?
Bit of a 'no-brainer' is it not?


Just asking...............

8 comments:

TomTom said...

Switzerland is a Confederation - that requires Britain to dissolve into regional 'republics' with a Confederation on top. It would mean creating a Council of The North and splitting off for which a new Political Party is required

DP111 said...

We had a party last night and among the guests were a Swiss couple we have known for a long time.

In my my most disingenuous manner, I posited the question how we would vote if asked in a referendum, whether we would like a 6 week holiday each year.

The answer was yes from all except the Swiss. They gave the following reasons

1. The work would still have to be done - Protestant work ethic, Swiss style.

2. The 6 weeks would be on top of other holidays such as Christmas, New Year and sick leave.

3. This would entail the company having to hire more people and thus make it uncompetitive. They might move to elsewhere, thus increasing unemployment. The corollary of this is that companies are more likely to move to Switzerland, not just for tax reasons, but for a workforce committed to work.

It was clear that these were answers of responsible grownups who are accustomed to making decisions, not just for short term selfish reasons, but for the larger good of the community and nation.

From this it was clear, that due to government policies, we have been deliberately or otherwise, reduced to irresponsible adolescents.

DP111 said...

Now here is something that is going to rile the EU elite

Voters in Solothurn, north-western Switzerland, voted on Sunday for an amendment to the law requiring police and judicial officers to record the nationalities of offenders and suspects.


The people of Solothurn voted yes to the controversial initiative with some 46,869 votes to 19,852, representing an overwhelming acceptance to the proposal by a little over 70 percent of the electorate, news agency SDA reported.

The vote means that amendments will need to be made to cantonal police laws, the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure and the Swiss youth crime code.

http://www.thelocal.ch/2802/20120312/

The EU will bring out the ECHR, as well political pressure, to remove this most blatant un-PC law.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TT: It would be possible, methinks, to create a system of direct democracy without federalising the country........

DP111: So your Swiss friends obviously voted no in their referendum.

Thanks for your second link. So now the Swiss Fed govt have not only the problem about minarets but also this one - that's two holes from which they have to extract themselves. Love it when plans come together!

DP111 said...

WtW

The Swiss Federal government would love to join the EU. They will then become the elite rulers of Switzerland, whereas now they are mere coffee makers for the Swiss people.

Minarets, and now this referendum that the nationality of the criminal is made public, is going to cause no end of headaches for the Feds, vis-a vis the EU. But a referendum in Switzerland carries all the weight of tablets of stone from Mount Sinai. Question it, and your political career is over.

DP111 said...

WtW: So your Swiss friends obviously voted no in their referendum.

Yes. All done electronically.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

DP111: "But a referendum in Switzerland carries all the weight of tablets of stone from Mount Sinai. Question it, and your political career is over."

And that is how it should be!

DP111 said...

And the first commandment is this

Thou shalt not question the result of a Swiss referendum.