In my last post I wrote about how I believed that the Swiss System of Direct Democracy was the best Democracy on the planet, and I would add perhaps in the history of the planet as well. In the last post I laid out their system of Initiatives and Referenda (the plural for referendum), and lauded the benefits of those mechanisms for Democracy and for democratic change. Today, I intend to give the democratic dreamers food to dream. Here are 2 recent activities of the Swiss people as Initiatives to change their societies in ways that we could only dream to do in the inequity of our countries, Canada and the USA. I know that I have been promoting the idea of Canada adopting a Swiss styled Direct Democracy for almost (I have to squint to figure this out), since the late 80’s when I sent out brochure under the name of Citizens’ Referendum. And despite the fact that I am still promoting the Swiss System in Canada, I am admittedly green with envy at how democratic they are. Now, can you imagine in your fondest dreams where Canadians could have such control and say in our Democracy that we could limit the outrageous pay of the Super Rich? Or could you contemplate that we could effect change so drastically that we could bring about equity to the poor such that there would never be poverty again? Of course not, in Canada it is a fools mission to think of such things, but in Switzerland they can not only imagine, and dream, they can make such dreams exist. A Limit to Executive Pay Earlier this year, the Swiss initiated an Initiative (see past post to explain) to limit the amount of pay that CEO’s in Switzerland could be paid. Click mouse on the news article from the BBC : Swiss electorate to vote on executive pay curbs So, what was the result of the Referendum? The Initiative was voted down, but it is still telling that the Swiss people themselves control their Government and the Nation’s agenda. Here is the article:http://www.indiatimes.com/news/europe/swiss-reject-plan-to-limit-pay-of-top-executives-113640.html And inasmuch as the Swiss could dream such a dream it got other nations moving into that same direction: “Swiss outrage over executive pay sparks a movement in Europe”. http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/11/15/swiss-outrage-over-executive-pay-sparks-a-movement-in-europe/ The anger over inequity of pay had the belief come this side of the pond; “U.S. should copy Switzerland and consider a ‘maximum wage’ ratio, too”. http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/21/opinion/sutter-swiss-executive-pay/index.html Initiative for a Minimum Wage In Switzerland From the CBC and a show called “The Current”, hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti, you can listen to a podcast to a show called “Switzerland considers a mandatory basic minimum income for everyone” Here is the introduction of the show,
In Switzerland, they were counting coins, dumping 8-million coins before the Swiss parliament buildings in a push for a Basic Minimum Income for all citizens. The Left says it will fight poverty, the Right thinks it will reduce bureaucracy. The concept was tried in one Manitoba town in the 70s. Click on the link to listen to the podcast: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/current_20131202_59886.mp3 The Impact of Having Real Democracy First of all, in a past post I explain that due to the people of Switzerland having Direct Democracy having the right to make major decisions for the country, the people of Switzerland are challenged to think bigger than in other nations where the people have no say ( like in Canada). Although Switzerland is landlocked and not a resource based nation, the Swiss people enjoy the highest standard of living of any country in the World. With an article called “Switzerland – the Highest Standard of Living in the World” http://www.studymode.com/essays/Switzerland-The-Highest-Standard-Of-Living-951319.html And because of the high standard of living, lowest government debt and lowest tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, lowest unemployment rate, lowest inflation rate, highest life expectancy, and second highest average level of education, the Swiss people, in 2013, were declared the most satisfied with their lives in the World. http://global.christianpost.com/news/better-life-index-switzerland-ranked-1-for-life-satisfaction-in-the-world-us-outside-of-top-10-96784/ I hope that Canadians will consider that prosuing a better Democracy would improve your way of life and the lives of your family and beyond, it is a battle worth fighting for. The Swiss have had much of this Direct Democracy since 1291, their system makes our so-called Canadian Parliamentary Democracy down right primitive.
- The Swiss System of Democracy (pushinback.wordpress.com)
- A Primer on Swiss Plebiscites (anelusivehero.wordpress.com)