last edited 2012/11/05 07:42 (*
A little brain storming . . . .
I live in Switzerland, a small if not tiny country in the heart of Europe. It has been taking advantage of its neutrality with questionable ethical and moral integrity, e.g. after World War II when it was withholding money from jewish refugees and their descendents, or later helped dictators to bring money out of their countries, or these days being a safe haven for tax evasion all over the world - but aside this, and chocolate and cheese, there is more to Switzerland.
Switzerland has 40,000km2, 7,500,000 inhabitants, whereas 22% do not have swiss citizenship, it has four main languages: swiss-german, french, italian and swiss-romansh. It has 23 districts, so called "cantons", which each has a parliament, police, school system (slowly federal coordinated), taxes - together they build the Confederation of Helvetica (CH).
It has strong built-in democratic structures:
- national council: depending on the population of each canton, delegates are sent, total delegates: 200
- council of state: each canton sends two delegates, total delegates: 46
- federal council: members of this entity are elected by a joint session of the national council and council of states, and each political party is loosely represented proportionally there, total delegates: 7
Additional there is a direct democratic tool available: a so called "referendum", you require to raise 100,000 registered signatures in order to bring in a proposal which then all swiss citizens can vote on - this makes up a fine grassroot democracy.
There are many reasons why this system has been working quite well - in Switzerland a strong sense of consensus rules politics which has many advantages:
- minorities aren't ambushed as hard
- narrow losing in votes are still considered accordingly
- decisions made by politicians are reviseable
but also disadvantages:
- slow political processes
- lobbyists still make their way into politics quite strong (e.g. advertising for referendums)
That culture of consensus aids the fine grained democratic setup. Impressive examples of the grassroot democracy: 1978 a new canton (state/district) was voted for, later in 1987 even a referendum of abandon the military gained 33% of the votes.
Currently (2009/04) EU is in a political crisis where the new european constitution
has been denied in various countries, and in general great skepticism regarding Europe as felt by the citizens of its participating countries. The reason for such are manifold, but it can be said it's also because of the huge distance and lack of influence of the people regarding the larger body of the EU, a lack of democratic transparency.
Now, economically the globalization has brought the world together to a village, the Internet enables everybody with access to communicate without borders - just people are prevented to travel borderless, and the migration pressure isn't decreasing as boat people from Africa reaching Italy as present example (2008/2009).
My proposal is a multi-leveled world government with following properties:
Each level has its own democratic structure, whereas
- a district isn't larger than 10,000km2 or 1,000,000 people
- each district, country has its own parliament, police and taxes etc
- each district, country is permitted to split or join into larger body if people vote accordingly (e.g. via referendum)
- require 2% of registered signatures in order to invoke a referendum brought to district, country or world population
Those few key points list the core of my brainstorming: most nations have local structures to delegate the details to local authorities, but often those local authorities lack of the referendum tool.
The country parliament is composed by two chambers:
- population propotional max 500 members, min 50 members (or have smallest district to send 1 member at least and then scale total delegates accordingly)
- district proportionally, each district sends two delegates
and so is the world parliament:
- population proportional, total delegates 1000 (or have smallest country have one delegate at least and then scale total delegates accordingly)
- nation/country, total delegates double of number of nations/countries, each nations/country sends two delegates
Every law applied to the district, country or world-level must pass both chambers, if one chamber rejects, law must be negotiated until both chambers ratify it. So, as I mentioned above, not only a fine grained structure, but also a culture of consensus to have all interests be considered if possible.
Having the referendum available on district, country and world level makes people get involved in the political processes, and rules from politicians operating detached from the people they once voted those into power is no longer possible, or much harder.
2% of the registered voters on district, country or world level and you get all to vote on the referendum on that particular level, that's one of the key elements of my brainstorming: get people involved, and have people also bring ideas and ideals into the political process aside of "professional" politicians. This mix would also support the grander participatory wideness within politics, which I would consider essential.
Get people realize, "We Are One World" - it needs tools to make those words be reality, not just remain nice words.
That would be a swiss-made world government . . .