Tag Archives: Switzerland

Adolescents May Vote In Switzerland

Voters will decide whether 16 year-old Swiss youth can vote in Basel elections. Parliament voted clearly with 62 versus 39 in favor of such a motion and passed it on to the government. If passed, the sixteen year-ols would be allowed to vote on cantonal issues, but they would not be allowed to nominate themselves for public office. A goal of the move is to brdige differences and issues between generations by actively involving young people in the democratic process while still in secondary school.

One could raise many issues concerning the “maturity” of adolescents, but just look around at the Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush mess that older people created for 300,000,000 people. It is difficult to imagine youth being more incompetent than what passes for “maturity” in the Bush administration. We suspect the normal range of intelligence in voting will be displayed by adolescents since they are not that far different than their elders.

Peace In Kenya– Or Else, Warn Powers

The British government has warned any individuals who stand in the way of the Dr. Kofi Anan-led mediation talks that any obstruction would “face the consequences.” The Swiss government also supported the tough stand of Great Britain by saying it would cancel visas for obstructionists. The mediation effort has reached a critical point and there is need for all parties to work with Annan on completing the task of reconciliation and peace. England’s Foreign Minister David Miliband is encouraged that Annan has been able to usehis panel of Eminent Persons to make the process of peace work.

The concerns expressed by Great Britain and Switzerland revolve around Annan’s proposal that, after a two year period of coalition government, there would be a new general election for president. This has upset the Kibaki government which does not wish to relinquish power before its completion of office. Reality is there must be an election in the near future if peace is finally to arrive in Kenya.

Swiss Election Marked By Violence And Hatred

Christoph Blocher, Switzerland’s Minister of Justice is a small man with a big belly and a fire in his belly to keep Switzerland free of foreigners and migrants. Each time he enters a voting rally, a goat follows behind with men and women ringing cowbells to symbolize the traditional values of Switzerland and its people– good solid rural folk. Street violence and shouts of racial hatred against foreigners are commonly heard in the electoral process currently underway. Blocher envisions himself as a lone man holding off the mass of foreigners who threaten to over run his pure land much as the Swiss people held off the Hapsburg Empire in the 1300s to win their independence. “A good politician must be able to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the country,” shouts Blocher.

Switzerland is ruled by a coalition of several parties and Blocher represents one of them. He has used this complex situation to expand his power by threatening to leave the coalition and force elections. Blocher opposes membership in the “foreign dominated EU” as well as seeking to deport “foreign criminals.” He is a populist leader who plays upon feelings of xenophobia to stir up hatred and uses this weapon as a means of maintaining power and forcing the government to adhere to his views.