Daily Prompt: Dear Leader – now what’s the name again?

If your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing this year, what would you like that to be?

Solothurn Altstadt, restaurant Leu

Just a moment, we are Swiss, we do not have a leader. We are a direct democracy which means everyone has his say and so we all go voting about it. That is where the confusion begins. We do not vote once a year or once every few years, no we vote most of the time. I even found a link about it: The Swiss Vote more than any other country. I would really advise reading this, it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – I live with it. Why should we complain. It is fun receiving your voting papers 3 or 4 times a year, sitting down and reading all about it. If you have a Mr. Swiss at home who studies the documents, understands it all and even makes important decisions, then why worry. He often fills out my voting papers, no he always fills out my voting papers. It is a Swiss hobby. So his decisions are also mine, and having a handicapped son he also fills out his papers as well. It would say that I do ask what it is all about. We are the same opinion some of the time, perhaps not all of the time.

All the details are explained, your yes or no is to be thought over. I am sure that the following video was based on the Swiss system and as you know it needs a lot for me to post a video, but confusion reigns when you have to decide in our little country.

This morning we ventured into the local supermarket which lies in the next village towards the North. The first thing I noticed were the workers on the corner of the road. You could not miss them actually, there was a large wooden barrier painted in red and white (the Swiss national colours?) and it was to show “do not walk here, otherwise you might fall into the pit we are creating”, the survival of the Swiss citizens being priority. Yes, they were again digging a hole: this time it was just before the local railway station where our little train chugs back and forth every half hour to and from the town of Solothurn. There were at least five men busy constructing this hole: to be exact one was digging, two were standing on the edge probably deciding if the hole was big and deep enough and another two were spectators looking on. The main thing is that they were employed, had a job to do and a purpose in their daily life.

We drove on further. It would be a straight road to our destination, but there they were again, the men digging the holes in the road. We had to swerve to avoid the holes until there was only one lane free. It was then we saw a car approaching us on the same side of the road, but no problem. The Swiss had organised everything and one of the men responsible for the digging operations had been appointed to control the traffic. He was standing on the side, one hand raised forming a stop sign. We assumed it was for us, as the hand in question was the nearest hand to us and the man dressed in the orange working overall was looking at us. We then noticed the other hand on the other side which was beckoning, telling the traffic approaching us to carry on moving. It was all organised, the swiss are masters at organisation. We encountered this situation at least twice more. Yes, it was the mole season in Switzerland when the holes were being dug. I would say they are mainly filled in again until Autumn. In Winter we have the cold icy season where the temperatures again make cracks in the road surfaces and so it all repeats itself next year.

Basically our leaders do not do a bad job. There are seven ministers, each with his own department and are voted for annually. They usually keep their jobs every year, unless they pass away or are deemed unfit. The real big boss, known as president, only has the job for a year. Around Christmas a new leader is elected for the next year. That is direct democracy. The problem might be that you actually forget who is leading the country, but by the end of the year his or her name (yes, we have women as well) will appear so much in the daily news or the person will appear on the TV, that you realise who it is.

Dear Leader, carry on regardless. Oh about the accomplishing – well perhaps make fewer holes in the road?

Daily Prompt: Dear Leader – now what’s the name again?”

18 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Dear Leader – now what’s the name again?

  1. This video is amazing. I can’t imagine how long it took to make it. I didn’t know that Switzerland had their very own Ron and Nancy! So glad that era is over, although it has been replaced by other problems world-wide. I was fascinated by the info on how the Swiss govern. Pardon me for not knowing that before!!! Enjoyed your post both written and video! Judy

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found the video fitting, if only in the title. I think most of us live in Lands of Confusion. We Only have a population of around 8,000,000 so it is easier to make decisions and many of the eight million are not Swiss citizens so they are not allowed to vote.

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  2. The US could do this, too, if it would let go of the centralized government a little bit, but I’m a federalist and I think Abraham Lincoln ruined the country with his philosophy of a strong centralized government. I might be alone in this…

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  3. Reblogged this on lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown and commented:
    My post today is directly influenced by Anglo Swiss’s post, so I am reblogging it here for you to see the video and read her blog before reading mine. Thanks, Anglo Swiss, for educating me as to the Swiss form of govenment. If I ever knew this before, I had forgotten. And, the video is amazing. I had never seen it before. Recognize anyone?????

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. American government (??) is based on a hodge-podge of Enlightenment era ideas … and the British parliament and limited monarchy. The combination of these various (sometimes incompatible) ideas forms a not-half-bad kind of indirect democracy, at least on paper. U.S.A. was NEVER a direct democracy, not from the get-go.

    In reality, the whole election process has become so commercialized it is difficult to see candidates as people. They are, instead, products of their parties, their handlers, their contributors. Direct democracy doesn’t work in a country this size. It didn’t even work when the U.S. was a confederacy (and tiny), before the Constitution turned it into a republic (NOT a democracy).

    Our law is largely based on British Common Law and our original concept of President was along the lines of the British limited monarch. There was some question about what to call George Washington and “King” was a strong runner-up to “President.”

    Swiss government is remarkably tidy. Israel, when I lived there, had an even smaller population, but the government was (is) anything but tidy. It was contentious, disorganized, fragmented, partisan, and infuriating. Very much like the British parliamentary system in concept, but without the good manners, traditions, or formality. I wish we had a local government around here. We have a board of selectmen, no mayor, no “head” of anything. Somehow, we stagger along.

    Great post. I never knew anything about Swiss government. Most interesting.

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    • I think the Swiss government is one of the easier to understand. What I do know, based on information from my legal eagle No. 2 son, is that Swiss law is based on Roman Law and in England everything is sort of based on precidence cases, which I believe is also the case in the States. We are a small country with a small population – I think we have more cows than people, but am not sure. I was always astonished (perhaps a little shocked) at the American way of voting. It all seems to have something to do with how much you pay to get supported and it is very commercialized as you say, something like a television show. Our politicians appear now and again on the TV when we have a big vote about something, but it is all very friendly. It is generally one of the ministers and we all listen and do our own thing. This year we have general elections for our members of parliament. We do have our political parties and naturally you are faithful to your own party, but in the end it is the 7 ministers that make the big decisions. I found this explanation in Wikipedia which just about sums it up “In Swiss politics, the magic formula (German: Zauberformel, French: formule magique, Italian: formula magica) is an arithmetic formula for dividing the seven executive seats of the Swiss Federal Council between the four ruling parties. The formula was first applied in 1959. It gave the Free Democratic Party (now FDP.The Liberals), the Christian Democratic People’s Party and the Social Democratic Party each two seats, while the Party of Farmers, Traders and Independents (now the Swiss People’s Party) received one seat.[1]” although it might have changed a little since. In any case everyone knows where they belong.

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    • It is the advantage of having a small population I suppose. We can afford to do it that way. If something is wrong, you collect a lot of signatures and when you have enough you can bring it to the vote. The government might bring a contra suggestion and then you can choose.

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  8. I really enjoyed this one. Thanks for all the information on Swiss government and bureaucracy. I enjoyed learning about it. A very entertaining way to make your points!

    Like

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