Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Switzerland: New Muslim Minarets banned

In the latest Swiss referendum, voters initiated a new law to ban the construction of any new Muslim Minarets. For the full NZ Herald story click here

Interesting how the NZ herald seem to be running an anti referendum campaign at present. Just about all reports coming out of the NZ Herald have been negative or mostly negative. They don't seem prepared to offer both sides of the story as to why referendums are more democratic. The Herald certasinly seems to have an agenda here. Meanwhile they are happy to accept massive advertising fees from the march for Democracy's Colin Craig!

It would appear that Swiss voters have stomped their feet in regard to the growing fear around the world of extremist Muslims and this is their way of saying they don't want extremist beliefs getting a toehold in Switzerland? They obviously don't want to become multicultural. To some people this may appear racist, however, does a society have the right to decide what they will tolerate or not tolerate if it is completely incongruent with that society?

Bruno Kaufmann, from the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe, which is a transnational think-tank dedicated to research and education on the procedures and practices of modern direct democracy suggests that what is behind the referendum is ....

1. The "smart" idea of the main right-wing party to instrumentalize the
symbol of islam
2. The fears and emotions of many people in the country after years of
intense muslim immigration from former Yugoslavia
3. A current diplomatic row with Lybia
4. The feeling that a yes does not give economic disanvatages
5. But also a procedure greyzone, as the decision may not be compatible
with international law

He also says, "Basically there is a conflict in Switzerland between a pre-modern and
modern understanding and use of direct democratic procedures. The vote offers however the opportunity to discuss many things more openly
and intensively."



Dominic Baron said...

Yes, it is very interesting to see how so many of the "correct thinking" opinion peddlers of the media and of the political class dwell exclusively on the "Minarets" referendum, whilst studiously ignoring rhe other referendums that the Swiss people voted on last Sunday!

Of course, this contest between European values that derive directly from Christian beliefs, and the values of Islam meant that that referendum result was bound to attract high international attention. We must be deeply grateful to the Swiss People and their magnificent Democracy for having stated firmly that they do not wish to see any proliferation of the symbols of Islam on the skylines of their cities.

What this referendum result also demonstrates is the widening chasm between what we ordinary citizens think and feel, and that of the tiny groups who claim to be our leaders. It shows up quite starkly the tension that exists between democracy and those "leaders" who impose their views upon us. We can see these types all over the political spectrum, from the Leninists like Sue Bradford who believe they are "the vanguard of the proletariat" and for that reason impose their diktats upon us, to the Patrician right-wingers who believe they are "born to rule" and for that reason impose their diktats upon us.

We have to recognise that virtually the whole political class and their minions in the media and government institutions are determined to stamp out our clamour for real democracy. What happened in Switzerland last Sunday has filled them with rage because it has shown the world the example of the ordinary citizens of a stable and prosperous European society instructing their government and that government having to obey their commands.

There are comments coming from organisations like Amnesty International claiming that the Swiss Federal Tribunal will strike down this command from the people. They are misinformed: the will of the people stands constitutionally above the Federal Tribunal. It has no powers, such as those of the US Supreme Court, to strike down the will of the people.

Various other international bodies, such as the UN, will huff and puff at the bold Swiss voters. They will be totally ignored by the Swiss, especially the UN, dominated as it is by various expressions of fascism, from China and Iran through to Zimbabwe and Venezuela!

Steve Baron said...

Feedback and discussion about minaret referendum. click here