Switzerland: Direct democracy and obligations under international treaties – Considerations in civic education after the referendum of 9 February 2014, on Current Concerns, by Dr iur Marianne Wüthrich, March 21, 2014:
- It is a characteristic of direct democracy that after a referendum some people may not be happy with the result. Everyone is free to express this. However, what has been rather unusual after the referendum on the Mass Immigration Initiative of 9 February is very unusual; it is the direct attack of certain circles on the Swiss direct democratic system. The voters must take the responsibility for the end of the bilateral approach – this is what some politicians in the country claim. And we hear from Brussels that the free movement of persons is not negotiable.
- Actually, the legal situation is crystal clear, and there is no reason to produce such fuss. What we have to begin with, first of all, – in this case as in any other case – is the implementation of our constitutional provisions by the legislator. It is the Federal Council’s task now to prepare these provisions and to concentrate on them. The possible modification of agreements with foreign countries is a step that will follow later, and the Federal Council cannot and should not say anything definite today. If single Federal Councillors make statements abroad on the Swiss sovereign’s vote, they have to confine themselves to explaining the Swiss model to the governments of our neighbouring countries or the European Commission and to fully support it.
- On 9 February the Swiss people said ‘yes’ to the Mass Immigration Initiative. In a referendum held in the Confederation, in the cantons and communes a simple majority of votes is usually sufficient. For a constitutional amendment, however, a double majority is needed in Switzerland, hence the popular majority and the majority of the cantons. The latter was evident in the vote on the Mass Immigration Initiative: In 14½ cantons the majority of voters voted in favour of the popular initiative, only 8½ cantons were against it.
- What did the people and the cantons agree upon? A vote for self-determination and sovereignty …;
See again: Die Schweiz sagt Fuck the EU, (inkl. mein Kommentar), on this blog, Feb 11, 2014;
The historical roots of Swiss direct democracy, on this blog, Feb 13, 2014;
still the Swiss vs. EU, on this blog, Feb 14, 2014;
Is the MSM (Main-Stream-Media) Blackout on Inequality, Plutocracy, and Oligarchy Ending? on New Economic Perspectives, by Joe Firestone, April 4, 2014: All of a sudden MSNBC cable commentators are talking about plutocracy and oligarchy. Surprisingly, the first occurrence of this I’m aware of was Chuck Todd, reacting on his Daily Rundown show to the spectacle of Republican candidates traveling to Vegas to seek funding from Sheldon Adelson and his group of hugely wealthy Jewish Republican donors. Todd began to explore the implications of that event …;
Metamorphosis: A Hungarian Extremist Explores His Jewish Roots, on Spiegel Online International, by Jan Puhl, April 3, 2014 (Photo Gallery): Csanád Szegedi was a prominent right-wing extremist in Hungary until he discovered his own Jewish roots in 2012. Since then, he has undergone a radical reinvention and is even learning Hebrew. His grandmother, though, continues to hide her Auschwitz tattoo …;
Disaster Centennial: The Disturbing Relevance of World War I, on Spiegel Online International, by Jan Puhl, Jan 8, 2014 (Photo Gallery): It has now been 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, but the European catastrophe remains relevant today. As the Continent looks back this year, old wounds could once again be rubbed raw …;
Book: Inequality and Instability, A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis, by James K. Galbraith, on amazon;
more books by James K. Galbraith on amazon.