Monday, 30 November 2009

How Democracy Works (To a Degree)



Switzerland has voted, in a national referendum, to ban the construction of minarets by a majority of 57%.

The Swiss have a democratic system. Where a petition requesting a referendum is lodged with 100,000 signatures or more, it has to be acted upon by the government. This petition was organised by the Swiss Peoples' Party.

The government opposed the ban saying it would harm Switzerland's image, particularly in the Muslim world. In a statement, the government said it accepted the decision.

Presently there are 4 minarets in Switzerland but planning applications for new minarets are almost always refused.

Amnesty International said the vote violated freedom of religion and would probably be overturned by the Swiss supreme court or the European Court of Human Rights.

Wouldn't it have been much more sensible to have sorted this out at the planning stage?

Why did they decide to ban the minarets as it seems to play right into the hands of the extremist clerics? Wouldn't it have been far better to agree with Swiss muslims that their minarets will not be taller than any other religious building in Switzerland? Wouldn't it have been far better to explain to the muslim community that Switzerland is not a dhimmi state and no religious building reigns supreme and come to some consensus from there?


16 comments:

tris said...

Yew to all of these questions I guess SR.

I've always thought that the Swiss were pretty sensible people, although a little eccentric. To be fair my own experiences of Switzerland are faily limited, and nearly all of them from Geneve, where some mates of mine live, and which I love. But my uncle lived and worked there for many years and knew Switzerland pretty well.

The idea of referenda for almost anything is perhaps not everyone's cup of tea. Not only does the country have referenda, but cantons can organise them, or towns, or even villages. Obviously the number of signatures to set them off gets smaller as the area of the referendum does.

It seems that what they have voted for here may well be against the constitution of the Federation, and as such illegal given that Switzerland has freedom of religious observation.

It must have cost a great deal of money to organise this one over the whole country. It seems very unSwiss to have gone to all that expense over something that may well be overturned by the Supreme Court.

RogueTrooper13 said...

Should you make decisions based on how other people will feel with the result?...or do you just be honest and say what you feel

subrosa said...

It may seem daft to go to the expense of the referendum Tris, but it's written into their constitution and they don't seem to mind paying for the privilege.

I like the idea and have seen it in action - of course that was quite a time ago. The next village to mine was miserable with racing cars roaring through their village day and night (the road was very straight from mine, past theirs and for some kilometers more). It was particularly good for filming as cameras could be based up the hill and it was very popular for car adverts (usually cinema ones in those days).

Of course there weren't any mini camcorders then.

The whole village signed a petition asking for the road to be barriered every day between 8am and 8pm to avoid this speeding and the danger it caused. They had their referendum, won and as a wee prize they negotiated with each company who wished to use the road outwith the set hours, that they received considerable fees. Not bad.

I'm sure the minaret petition was scrutinised against the Swiss constitution but many say it will be overturned by the Supreme Court right enough.

subrosa said...

I'm just stating my thoughts Trooper. Why this couldn't have been settled at the planning stage I don't know and can find nothing to explain.

The Swiss have spoken and 57% voted in favour of the ban. They have their reasons I'm sure. The Swiss don't take referenda lightly even though they are, what we may call, 'easy' to attain.

Warren said...

I may only be a Canadian redneck, but I would tell the EU and the Muzzies to piss off in short order. Direct democracy is the most beautiful thing in the world. It keeps the sense in the people that they still have a voice and control of their government. It should spread everywhere.

subrosa said...

Warren, there's nothing too wrong with Canadian rednecks believe me. I know someone Scots who thinks they are the salt of the earth.

We should have control of our own affairs but that's not how our politicians see it sadly. Too late now I think.

banned said...

Good for the Swiss but this will have reminded our evil masters why they will never permit us Our Referendum on Europe, or anything else.

subrosa said...

Maybe you could organised a constitution for Region 4 banned and include referenda in a system similar to the Swiss.

Just an idea.

Apogee said...

All the petition says is no minarets
Not banning the religion.

D.

subrosa said...

Very true Apogee, but you can hear the Islamist extremists twisting the fact can't you.

scunnert said...

Islam is a political movement dressed up as a religion. Why stop with minarets - ban the whole damn shebang. This will end in tears.

Tcheuchter said...

'Why did they decide to ban the minarets as it seems to play right into the hands of the extremist clerics? Wouldn't it have been far better to agree with Swiss muslims that their minarets will not be taller than any other religious building in Switzerland? Wouldn't it have been far better to explain to the muslim community that Switzerland is not a dhimmi state and no religious building reigns supreme and come to some consensus from there?"

Subrosa, do you not think that the Swiss did try to find a compromise? Dealing with people who know that they have a patent on the word of the Almighty is somewhat more than fraught with difficulties. Argument is blasphemous and discussion is but a sign of weakness.

The Swiss remember Zwingli, the 30 Years War and the religious upheavals of the 16th & 17th centuries and the reasons they have ever since maintained an armed neutrality. They are absolutely right not to allow any (let alone alien) religious fanaticism to attempt to dominate either their way of life or their landscape.

subrosa said...

It will end in tears in every non-islamic country scunnert.

subrosa said...

Techeuchter, glad someone pounced on my little controversial paragraph. Of course I think the Swiss could have done their best to find a compromise but I thought I'd just stick that bitty in to see if someone like you brought up their history.

Thanks for doing that. I would have had to have posted similar details because what you say is correct imo.

I was going to post a video after I published this post. May just put it up tonight and see the reaction in comments.

banned said...

Look forward to 2056, EUistan prepares for Jihad against the viper in its midst; unholy Switzerland.

subrosa said...

Auch don't say that banned.

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