A debate is needed
The quintessence of Georg Kohler’s article in the August issue is the assertion that national state democracy is no longer capable of guaranteeing the solid foundation for an internationally acceptable system and development alone and without taking account of transnational interests. However, the following question needs to be raised before addressing this claim: How are an internationally acceptable system and development achieved? The EU is responsible for this task in Europe and illustrates how decisions are made by small groups. It is sufficient to mention Greece, TTIP and CETA. Policy on the issue of Greece is determined by the most economically powerful EU partner – Germany and its Chancellor. Secret meetings are held over TTIP and CETA, and an EU-wide vote, which is possible in principle, is being prevented. I am not in the position to propose the best solution but the Swiss method of finding solutions through referenda meets more interests and is also feasible internationally.
I find the sluggish pace of progress with electronic voting exasperating. I’ve been unable to vote since I moved to live in central Brazil. I receive the voting material only a few days before the ballot or even after it. It is pointless to even consider sending it back. I don’t understand why those responsible have been unable to agree on a workable system despite quibbling for so long. And once again, instead of there being a national project, each canton is working separately. The only people being discriminated against are the Swiss Abroad who are unable to exercise their constitutional rights.
Just a few pied pipers
There is not a section on one single website of Switzerland’s major parties where the Swiss Abroad are taken seriously or which might be of interest to us as Swiss citizens abroad. We simply don’t exist. At most a few isolated pied pipers (politicians) are carrying out self-promotion for the election in October 2015 but not one of them is providing any evidence of what he or she really intends to do for the Swiss Abroad. That is the reality of the situation.
Zimmerwald and Switzerland
I discovered the anecdote about Zimmerwald in a book by Jean Ziegler with the French title “Le bonheur d’être Suisse”. This book can contribute to the debate on the history of Switzerland, and I recommend reading it. I believe it would be of interest if “Swiss Review” were to interview the author.