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calendar   Friday - December 04, 2009

A number of words about Switzerland from the Conservative Voice of Europe

I was led to this site via Europe News.
The guy writes exceptionally well BUT .... I know it’s a serious subject and I do find it interesting except it’s so darn long.  So I haven’t posted all of it here.  In fact, I can’t read all this at one sitting on line and am going to print it out. But what I have read is well worth my trouble.  I think you will be interested in what he has to say as well.

The site is The Brussels Journal, which calls itself the Conservative Voice of Europe.

BRUSSELS JOURNAL

SWITZERLAND: THE GOVERNMENT -VS- THE PEOPLE

Brussels Journal 3 December 2009
By George Handlery

George Handlery about the week that was. Even in small countries, major trends can unfold early. About noble leaders and their reluctant peons that refuse to follow.

International protest and its use to the tottering local leadership. Security, fear and freedom. Radicalization as a face saving device. Immigration then and now. Imported prejudices, failure and the allegation of discrimination.

1. Small country, major issue. Normally, Switzerland is not of much interest to the international reader. Already by standing falsely accused of having invented the cuckoo clock, she is automatically downgraded. The neglect can also be attributed to her size, a functioning system – a juicy crisis brings attention.

Not being on the map is also the consequence of her ability to keep out of armed conflicts. Switzerland did not even need to be liberated in WW2! Some myths shatter on Swiss reality.

Effective armed neutrality invalidates a peacenik thesis that arms lead to war. Per capita Tell’s land has a huge army – 600,000 in WW2 out of 4.5 million. Reflecting her industrialization and armament industry, it is largely self sufficient and excellently equipped to exploit the best defense positions nature can provide.

Complete the achievements with Switzerland‘s top rating regarding the quality of life and the top earned per capita GDP coupled to being a leading financial center. In the case of a landlocked and no-resources country, this should not be the case. Besides bank secrecy – which is a settled issue and gone by now – Switzerland is currently getting perplexed attention because of the consequence of her direct democracy.

On a regular basis, the unique system enables the people to perform executive functions. The voter can make laws and invalidate legislative action. Therefore, if you want to know what the “people” want, then you might find out by consulting the results of the numerous referendums and initiatives. The people’s uncensored voice expressing its real opinion is a good indicator of what comparable societies would say if they would be able to speak up.

The latest, and internationally widely commented, Swiss initiative forbade the erection of further minarets. Expressly not effected are existing structures and new temples as well as the exercise of any religion.

image

To the surprise of all, the initiative passed in what is rated here as a landslide. The decision went against the will of the executive, the legislature, all but one of the political parties, the churches, the economic and social elites, “business,” the media and, belatedly, the Vatican. Why “surprise”? Opinion surveys predicted rejection. That teaches us right away something about surveys in general.

People give PC responses to surveyors who are themselves PC. This is what makes surveys into useful weapons in the hands of those who can afford them. More important is another insight. It suggests that the governments, parliaments and the elites of western democracies might not quite express the will of those they claim to represent.

Additionally, thanks to the media control of the political class, real public opinion does not always equal what little people are made to think by pundits that have the power to determine what proper views must be.

Now, “the day after”, Europe’s governments and institutions condemn the vote’s result and the voters who “committed” the outrage. Amnesty International finds that the Swiss voted “against religious freedom”. “Scandalized” France’s Foreign Minister bemoans the same – while his government forbids burqas. Those veils express in textile what the minarets say in stone.

(Oddly, with eight times the population, France has 5 minarets and 500 mosques while Switzerland has four minarets.) Indeed, governments and the governing elite’s shock and outrage might have a simple reason. It flows not from principle but reflects interest. They attack the frightening precedent created by the Swiss because the political classes fear their own peoples. Just take a fresh opinion survey from Germany. There 70% (sound too high to the writer) of the “barefooted” would vote – if their system would let them – the way the Swiss have.

GOOD TO KNOW: THE FINAL CHAPTER IS NOT YET WRITTEN

The defeated leadership chides the voters about their mistake. In addition, the disavowed local political class tries to assert itself against its recalcitrant people. One way to do that is to encourage international pressure to demand that the new law not be implemented. The minaret-builders are not idle either. Emboldened by the angered local elite, they will ultimately turn to international courts – such as the one that forbade the display of crosses in Italian schools – demanding that religious freedom be protected. Naturally, that bold and principled pronouncement will limit itself to Switzerland as representing Europe. So as to avoid insult, the decision will ignore Middle Eastern states or Taliban ruled areas.

2. A sign of the times. A friend has submitted a letter to the editor. Without mentioning the minarets, the note raises questions regarding demonstrators that protested the vote’s result. He was advised that, in the interest of his own safety and the careers of his children (one is married to a Muslim), he should desist. While the fears moving him seem to be exaggerated, the man wrote to the paper requesting that his submission not be published.

It is not conceivable that, had he supported the after-the-fact demonstrations or “minarets for all”, anyone would have discovered a risk implied by turning to the Editor. The case suggests two points to be made here. 1. Without security there is no freedom. 2. Fear cancels out liberty.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/04/2009 at 05:44 AM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsGovernmentHistoryIllegal-Aliens and ImmigrationInternationalMedia-BiasPoliticsRoPMA •  
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