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Swiss news 2

More on the pay initiatives http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Are_the_Swiss_having_second_thoughts_about_capitalism.html?cid=37157138

Debt classes for Swiss youth http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Helping_Swiss_youngsters_avoid_the_debt_trap.html?cid=37126476&link=cto



Freezing ex-dictator assets http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/New_legislation_on_restitution_of_dictators_assets_.html?cid=37059746&link=cto
"OECD estimates every year some 850 billion dollars are transferred illegally from developing countries to tax havens elsewhere." Foreign aid is like $140 billion.

Increasing foreign interest in Swiss democracy, as people start to feel republics/representative democracy is failing. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/The_run_on_direct_democracy.html?cid=33536622
Mentions Uruguay as "the Switzerland of South America"; I think I mentioned last time having learned they used initiatives.

Increasing Swiss interest to: initiatives are used more and more; 2011 was a record year. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/internal_affairs/The_Swiss_have_a_vote_for_it.html?cid=31851270
Most still fail. 184 have come to a vote since 1891, 20 have passed. That's for federal initiatives, which amend the constitutions; referendums and local probably do better.

Slovenia also has direct democracy, though with a constitutional court override. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng//Specials/Elections_2011/Political_System/Direct_democracy_is_not_just_Swiss.html?cid=30997044

Conservatives call to expand the treaties that need referendum. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/The_people_s_rights_in_an_era_of_globalisation.html?cid=32838634

A few examples of cantonal and communal votes; also the VAT rate is in the federal constitution. *boggle* http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/The_Swiss_vote_more_than_any_other_country.html?cid=36286970

Cautiously trying out electronic voting http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Direct_democracy_enters_new_phase_of_digital_era.html?cid=36655004

Constitutional changes need a double majority: majority of all votes, majority of cantons. As with the US, the largest/smallest population ratio has gone from like 8 to 100, though the power difference is 50 (Appenzell is a "half-canton"). Tension results. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Reconciling_majority_and_minority_interests_or_not.html?cid=35509384



Fallout shelters for everyone! No, really, it's mandatory. Photos show colorful bunkers used as storage, living room, or hostels. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Bunkers_for_all.html?cid=995134&link=ers

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Damien Sullivan
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