by Ron Holland
The American Time magazine article headline asks, “Will Switzerland Vote to Ban Minarets on Mosques?”
Swiss citizens are becoming concerned about the threat that Islam presents to their traditional culture, economy and religious institutions. As an American, I know how I would vote were I Swiss but the decision will be made by the Swiss electorate as they have this referendum right on all issues.
In Switzerland, the people still rule and have the ultimate right to decide decisions above the government or parliament. Through the right of referendum they can cancel legislation and with the initiative they can pass or create legislative action on issues parliament refuses to act upon.
The bias and closed statist views shown in the article is business as usual for the US media elites out to protect the American political establishment and are so evident in this headline and article. It isn’t the question they asked but rather the question they didn’t dare ask is the “700-lb gorilla in the room.”
Quoting from the article, “Critics say the SVP, the largest party in Switzerland’s coalition government, has taken advantage of the country’s unique brand of direct democracy to push its populist, anti-immigrant agenda on the Swiss electorate. Citizens have the right to propose new laws in Switzerland – the only thing they need to force a nationwide vote on an initiative is a petition of 100,000 signatures.”
The question not asked is why doesn’t the American electorate have oversight over legislation and unpopular government regulations in the United States like in Switzerland? Imagine if 4% of the American voters signed a petition requiring a nationwide vote “yea or nay” on the banking bailouts, going to war in Iraq, auditing the Federal Reserve, nationalized health care or on the trillions in new Washington debt added because of the financial meltdown. The United States would still be a decentralized republic with limited government had we had the political option to hold back Washington and the special interests.
How America would be different if we had Swiss-style political rights to restrain government where the people rule instead of the special interests. Imagine an America where the billions in graft and political influence that control Congress could still buy legislation but not ultimate control if we as a people could overrule their actions.
What if the will of the people still ultimately controlled the political system and direction with true limited government at the federal, state and local level? Imagine the American electorate overriding Congress and demanding a strong dollar backed by real gold reserves, an audit of the Federal Reserve, a rollback of the bailouts, a declaration of war for foreign military intervention, the abolishment of the Patriot Act and a return to banking privacy.
Yes, a Swiss political party (The Swiss Peoples Party) promotes a nationalist agenda to the Swiss voters and they will ultimately decide in referendum yes or no on the issue. This is currently impossible in the United States but Swiss direct democracy and limited confederation government have worked in Switzerland for hundreds of years.
This is far superior to the two-party monopoly in America where the elites controlling both parties can push their self-serving agendas without restraint. Currently, short of the Tenth Amendment movement, state nullification or outright state secession, there is no real effective way to push back against Washington.
Until the American people can find a way to restrain the Federal government, the bureaucracy and the judiciary, the best place for Americans to secure and safeguard their wealth is outside their own country. Switzerland is one of the best jurisdictions to consider because their political system has preserved the rights and freedoms we once had as Americans. Still the ultimate problem for Americans is the necessity to restore our liberties at home because history has shown that wealth without liberty is only a temporary condition at best.
I say, it is time to take a real look at direct democracy in the United States or else Americans who value their property and liberties will have little choice but to first transfer their wealth to safety outside the US as it will be lost in the coming crash of treasury debt and the dollar. Next we must stand and fight the Washington leviathan through the political tools of the 10th amendment and John C. Calhoun’s political ideal of nullification both of which the Feds will probably just ignore. Our final democratic political tool is to exercise the political right of state-by-state secession with all the political and historical baggage this entails.
Trust me, Swiss style direct democracy in the United States would be an easier way to control Washington and the special interests but we only have a few years before the Washington debt and dollar collapse is upon us. Therefore I’ll close with a question. Is anybody here for secession?
Ron Holland works in Zurich and is a co-editor of the Swiss Mountain Vision Newsletter.
Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com.