Magazine article The American Conservative

Democracy in Europe

Magazine article The American Conservative

Democracy in Europe

Article excerpt

GSTAAD - It seems ironic to be writing about the bureaucratic dictatorship of Europe from this bucolic Alpine village, once upon a time a true paradise on

earth but now getting crowded from glitzy nouveaux riches, oil-rich towelheads, and a few-thank God, only a very few - Russian oligarch crooks. The reason it's ironic is because Switzerland is the world's only direct democracy, a country whose citizens speak four different languages, whose politics are unencumbered by pollsters and lobbyists, and where campaign spending is nonexistent. In most Western countries, people mistakenly believe they have a say in decision-making because they go to the polls every four years or so. The Swiss actually pass their own laws, judge the constitutionality of statutes, and even amend their constitution by popular wUl.

Just think about it. In most so-called democracies the people make only a small number of decisions, namely by voting in those they judge to know better than themselves. We all know the result. We don't mistrust and hate poUticians for nothing. But not in good old Helvetia, where each village or hamlet decides, and where Berne concerns herself only with foreign policy and some regulation of things that don't readily come to mind. (One exception: in 1970, Appenzell voted not to give women the franchise, a move that was reversed by Berne. I, for one, called it an outrage.)

The Swiss have regular referendums about important decisions and any petition that draws 50,000 signatures can be put to a ballot. For example, the Swiss regularly vote against joining the European Union despite blatant pressures, even blackmail, by the crooks in Brussels. When those nice guys the Saudis decided Swiss mosques needed minarets, the Swiss people held a referendum and said no. The crooks in Brussels caUed the Swiss primitive and haters. Which brings me to Europe and Islam.

Polls show that miUions of French and Germans consider Islam a threat to their national identity. Majorities in France and Germany beüeve Muslims have not integrated properly and never wUl. And as Islam becomes an increasingly conspicuous fixture of European societies, public opinion is tensing up, but it is totally ignored by those elected to represent the wUl of the people. France has 7 million Muslims, Germany 3.4 million, and Britain 3 million. Holland and Belgium are totally overrun, and there are no-go areas in most Dutch and Belgian cities where Islam rules. Last time I was in God-awful Brussels for a judo tournament two years ago, I witnessed Muslim youths playing soccer inside a Catholic church courtyard. …

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