Swiss Model

Author: Faris Nejad

If all else fails, to get your MP to do his/her job right, bribe them with some Swiss chocolate and tell them about the queen.

The most common excuse we hear from our MPs these days for not attending to their duties properly is them saying:

“My job is to represent the people’s will and respect the outcome of the referendum.”

Nothing could be further away from the truth. This excuse may, just may, work in countries that practice, ‘direct democracy’, like Switzerland. The Swiss, apart from making very desirable chocolates run their political system via referendums and that is why their referendums are binding where as in Britain, although we also make good chocolate, our rare referendums are not binding because we love Mars bars and practice ‘representative democracy’. In our democracy the MPs are paid and have a responsibility to protect our democracy and scrutinize, debate, challenge and even block laws that seem inappropriate or damaging to the interests of a section of the society or the nation as a whole. Although I do not know her preference in imported or domestic chocolate, the job of confirming or in her case, ‘royal assenting” of already determined new laws belong to the British Queen and we don’t need to pay a bunch of MPs just so that they would momentarily interrupt their parliamentary snooze and force themselves to a nod.

Now going back to fine chocolates of the world, because referendums are binding in Switzerland the possible consequences of all referendum decisions are clearly defined in absolute detail before the vote and referendums, depending on their importance have THRESHOLDS. For instance even though simple majorities are sufficient at the municipal and cantonal level, at the federal level double majorities are required on constitutional issues which means further dialogue, further scrutiny and further examination of all facts and also the involvement of Swiss Cantons in making the final decisions. Most importantly, it maybe that Swiss chocolates are so delicious (which is why they maybe the queen’s favorite too) because even in Switzerland which practices Direct Democracy and is run by binding referendums, there have been several occasions that referendums have been rerun in hindsight of the fact that the information provided to the public before the vote was either not detailed enough, was vague or not sufficiently accurate.

In short, if you think your MP is finding it too much of a hard work to attend to his/her duties in the British Parliament suggest that they would try getting a job in the Swiss Cantons but only when referendums are not about important federal and constitutional matters because again they would have use their heads for things other than nodding. One thing for certain though is that over there they can get as much Swiss chocolate as they want…. I think I just saw a nod! Faris Nejad (British political scientist & novelist)

If all else fails, to get your MP to do his/her job right, bribe them with some Swiss chocolate and tell them about the queen.

The most common excuse we hear from our MPs these days for not attending to their duties properly is them saying:

“My job is to represent the people’s will and respect the outcome of the referendum.”

Nothing could be further away from the truth. This excuse may, just may, work in countries that practice, ‘direct democracy’, like Switzerland. The Swiss, apart from making very desirable chocolates run their political system via referendums and that is why their referendums are binding where as in Britain, although we also make good chocolate, our rare referendums are not binding because we love Mars bars and practice ‘representative democracy’. In our democracy the MPs are paid and have a responsibility to protect our democracy and scrutinize, debate, challenge and even block laws that seem inappropriate or damaging to the interests of a section of the society or the nation as a whole. Although I do not know her preference in imported or domestic chocolate, the job of confirming or in her case, ‘royal assenting” of already determined new laws belong to the British Queen and we don’t need to pay a bunch of MPs just so that they would momentarily interrupt their parliamentary snooze and force themselves to a nod.

Now going back to fine chocolates of the world, because referendums are binding in Switzerland the possible consequences of all referendum decisions are clearly defined in absolute detail before the vote and referendums, depending on their importance have THRESHOLDS. For instance even though simple majorities are sufficient at the municipal and cantonal level, at the federal level double majorities are required on constitutional issues which means further dialogue, further scrutiny and further examination of all facts and also the involvement of Swiss Cantons in making the final decisions. Most importantly, it maybe that Swiss chocolates are so delicious (which is why they maybe the queen’s favorite too) because even in Switzerland which practices Direct Democracy and is run by binding referendums, there have been several occasions that referendums have been rerun in hindsight of the fact that the information provided to the public before the vote was either not detailed enough, was vague or not sufficiently accurate.

In short, if you think your MP is finding it too much of a hard work to attend to his/her duties in the British Parliament suggest that they would try getting a job in the Swiss Cantons but only when referendums are not about important federal and constitutional matters because again they would have use their heads for things other than nodding. One thing for certain though is that over there they can get as much Swiss chocolate as they want…. I think I just saw a nod! Faris Nejad (British political scientist & novelist)

LERAN ABOUT COUNTRIES THAT PRACITICE DIRECT DEMOCRACY AND HOW THEY RUN THEIR REFRENDUMS.

The Swiss run their political system via referendums and that is why their referendums are binding where as in Britain, our rare referendums are not binding and we practice ‘representative democracy’. In our democracy the MPs are paid and have a responsibility to protect our democracy and scrutinize, debate, challenge and even block laws that seem inappropriate or damaging to the interests of a section of the society or the nation as a whole. Their job is not to count the votes after referendums and vote accordingly. The job of confirming or in her case, ‘royal assenting” of already determined new laws belongs to the British Queen and not the MPS.

Because referendums are binding in Switzerland the possible consequences of all referendum decisions are clearly defined in absolute detail before the vote and referendums, depending on their importance, have clear predetermined by law THRESHOLDS. For instance even though simple majorities are sufficient at the municipal and Cantonal level, at the federal level double majorities are required on constitutional issues which means further dialogue, further scrutiny and further examination of all facts and also the involvement of Swiss Cantons in making the final decisions. Most importantly even in Switzerland which practices Direct Democracy and is run by binding referendums, there have been several occasions that referendums have been rerun in hindsight of the fact that the information provided to the public before the vote was either not detailed enough, was vague or not sufficiently accurate. We can safely conclude that even according to the Swiss Direct Democracy system which is based partly on the outcome of referendums, the British referendum was run more like an opinion poll with no determined consequences of any decisions made, no clarity on prosecution of false promises made by the politicians and those with conflicts of interest and was based completely on vague assumptions. The outcome of this nonbinding opinion poll, was treated as a referendum and later evolved to the ‘will of the people’ who now apparently wish to exit the Single Market which not even a question was asked in the said opinion poll. The decision was later made by the head of the ruling party who according to the courts, undemocratically tried to bypass the parliament. The other difference with the Swiss model and the UK is that in case of wrong decisions made by referendums and the Cantons with damaging results for the country, the Swiss are offered a chance to have a rerun of the referendums where as in Britain, once the country is out of the EU there is no guarantees of it to be allowed back in even if ‘the will of the people’, changes heart. Faris Nejad (British political scientist & novelist)