Switzerland has been the central theme of many of my articles and the things I talk about. It’s because I love Switzerland, I’ve been there twice and I’m going to do a road trip in May and visit Switzerland again.
But the beautiful nature and the delicious coffee and cheese are not the only things that draw my attention to the country.
Switzerland has a beautiful system of governing its country.
This is the word that scares all our current politicians in power. People who are in power of their nation.
Our current rulers like to rule the country without any influence from the people except in elections from time to time. In Switzerland, we don’t do it like that.
The Swiss are really in charge.
There are three systems in the Swiss democratic system:
- The Confederation (The Country)
- The Cantons (The States)
- The Communes (The Counties)
The confederation is the country itself: Switzerland is a federal state, like the United States. Then there are the townships, you can compare these to the states and the municipalities are comparable to the counties.
Each canton makes its own decisions, basically. Since the country is so diverse in terms of culture, language and location, it is almost impossible to create a unified policy written by one or more “political parties”.
You see this problem with many republics or “united states” like the European Union.
General policies are drawn up by the European Council, which does not work for each country in this union. The Spaniards are very different from the Dutch or the Hungarians.
Economically it is even more difficult to manage, the countries of southern Europe are much poorer than those of the north, so the development of a general economic policy attracts money from the north to the south, which everyone is poor.
Well, at least everyone is equal, right?
In Switzerland, they realize this. This form of direct democracy is possible by referendum.
4 referendums each year
In Switzerland, four times a year, the population can vote on certain subjects on which the government is developing policy.
This guarantees the participation of the Swiss people in the legislation of their country.
Why does this system work so well? In general, people are unable to evaluate a complete political party and its ideas, unless of course they are very politically educated.
But, voting on a certain subject is very well to manage. You can organize debates and information portals all around the area where you are promoting your ideas.
This way, someone can easily decide on a subject, and it becomes more personal.
People vote for what they really want.
The last Swiss referendum was held in November 2021, 3 policies were presented to the people including one to improve the judicial system in Switzerland regarding selection of judges.
Another ensured that those most affected by measured COVID-19 are helped, financially.
The third focused on improving the working environment for nurses in Switzerland.
Not everyone is equal in Switzerland
There is a big problem for some people with this system.
As the Swiss are very attached to their country and their culture, they will not let anyone from outside their borders come to obtain Swiss nationality. You can live there, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to vote.
In general, Swiss integration is very difficult, unlike the rest of Europe.
This process can take up to 10 years before obtaining Swiss nationality. But this varies from canton to canton.
Even though it’s a tough policy, I think it’s fair, since you get the right and the privilege to vote for your country.
The Swiss really see citizenship as a privilege that you have to earn through descent or live there for a very long time.
Man, I would like to go back to the land of lakes and mountains.