In part 1of “A New Ireland Blueprint” if you haven’t read it I suggest you do so before continuing. You will find it here on irishpeople.ie. I said that the present political system is broken as should be obvious to everyone by now. It’s like Humpy Dumpy except all of us are suffering the consequences. “All the king’s horses and all the kings men can’t patch the old system back together again.
We have a ‘theatre’ of deception in Leinster House ‘acting’ as our government while the ‘actors’ only real interest is in feathering their own nests. They take greed, averse and the abuse of power to a new level.
A new system must and will take its place whether we participate in its creation or not. That’s just the nature of things. You are now in a position of choice. You can allow a new ‘slave master hierarchy’ to take up where the old one have left off or you can express your sovereignty by participating in the creation of a new system.
Presently there is no effective working system, just a chaotic attempt by the present despots to hold on to and maintain power at all costs. Surely you can see the results of that all around you. The old centralised system was constructed as an invitation to the corrupt to participate in the country’s main theatre of corruption. So what is the alternative?
A Model for a Prosperous New Ireland
Government in Ireland doesn’t work in the people’s interest and rarely has. The present divisive and divided systems of government in Ireland both north and south are so centralised and unaccountable to the people that they inevitably breed graft and corruption. This can and must be changed not just for viability but for a prosperous Ireland.
Adaptation of a modified version of the Swiss model for Ireland would turn that pyramid of corruption and abuse upside down and return power to the people from whom all institutions, all power and sovereignty itself are derived. It would also make the present ‘Two States’ division of the Irish Nation redundant because this system respects both traditions and allows them to flourish without intruding on one another and without conflict.
We in Ireland don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create a smooth running political and economic future for our nation and all of our people. The current bumpy wheels of administration are on an increasingly bumpy road that is getting us nowhere fast other than into repeated cul de sac’s of austerity, misery and conflict. The solution we offer includes a modified version of the Swiss political model. That is one that Michael Collins was considering for reuniting Ireland but never had the opportunity to develop.
The Swiss Model
Let us look at a model we can examine and use to create the framework for an effective working system. Switzerland comes closest in the world to embracing truly republican principles in their form of direct democracy where its citizens can directly challenge any parliamentary law. It provides us with one model that together with five others we can create the foundation for the development of a New Ireland.
Switzerland consists of 26 independent republics working together in harmony, each with its own parliament and constitution protecting the ethnicity, the language, the religion and the ethos of its people. This effectively makes Switzerland a confederation of independent states and indeed Switzerland is known or described as ‘The Swiss Confederation’. As a result of this decentralised system the consequent diversity and unity of its people makes Switzerland prosperous and unique.
All of Switzerland’s Executive, Judicial and Legislative institutions are organized on Federal, Cantonal and communal levels.
Unlike most European states, Switzerland does not have a President or a Prime Minister. The country’s citizens are at the pinnacle of the decision making power and decision making is as it should be and can be in Ireland.
Model for a New Ireland
Our model for a New Ireland embraces modified versions of:
- the Swiss political model together with
- the German Community Banking model,
- the revived Irish Co-Op movement and
- an Irish model for Economic Nationalism would create the first four conditions to turn a divided, impoverished and distressed Ireland into both a united and prosperous nation.
- A Transactional Tax model as described in detail below would eliminate the present outdated penal tax system and stimulate the other components beyond recognition.
- A National Constitutional Oversight Commission would safeguard those initiatives from corruption as well as rooting out existing corrupt practices.
Those six components would together create jobs, wealth, rural, urban and national revival as well as virtually eliminating emigration. They would provide the foundation and basis for a new and prosperous Ireland. This model of decentralised accountable political power would return wealth and wealth creation to its true source, the Irish people. The Swiss model is by no means perfect but it does provide us with an excellent working model from which we can develop our own Irish model.
Federal Assembly of Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Constitution declares the Cantons to be sovereign and independent since they are not limited by centralised federal law. Areas specifically reserved to the Confederation or central government are the armed forces, the currency, the postal service, telecommunications, immigration and emigration and the granting of asylum, conducting foreign relations, civil and criminal law, weights and measures and customs duties.
The Federal Assembly or the legislature is comprised of:
- The National Council and
- The Council of States.
The Council of States consists of 46 members representing the Cantons. Every four years Switzerland’s citizens vote for 200 members that constitute the National Council. Both chambers of parliament undertake legislative duties. Sessions of both chambers are open for citizens to attend and any citizen can challenge any law or amendments proposed by the Federal Assembly.
Federal Council of Switzerland
Six members elected by parliament occupy positions somewhat similar to cabinet ministers. They constitute the Executive branch that is the Federal Council of Switzerland. Their role is that of a collective presidency. Each member leads one or two of the country’s seven federal departments or ministry which are:
- Economy and Education,
- Internal Affairs,
- Defence and Sports,
- Traffic and Environment,
Members of the Federal Council come from the country’s four leading parties. This according to them helps to insure and maintain government stability. However, political parties are by nature divisive self interest groups. When you hear the expression “It’s up to the parties to form a government” the people and the people’s interests have already been marginalized or completely excluded. Political parties should either be banned altogether or at least have the ‘whip’ system outlawed. Political parties are the weakest part of the otherwise excellent Swiss Political System.
No limit is placed on a Federal Council members’ term of office. However the people can remove any and all of the above at any time should they choose to do so.
The revolving role of the Swiss Confederation’s President is largely a ceremonial one that rotates among the members every year. The President represents the country at international conferences, sets the discussion agenda for the weekly conferences and addresses the citizens on national holidays.
A Swiss Style Future for Ireland
All Swiss Cantons have a republican form of government. Being a a diverse confederation of very different groups, the 26 cantons of Switzerland consist of German: Kanton, French: canton, Italian: cantone, Romansh: chantun. They constitute the diverse member states of the Swiss Confederation.
The Swiss model of independent localised people led government’s is closer to the true meaning of republicanism than any other in today’s world. Each Canton has its own ethnic, religious and linguistic independence protecting its people’s uniqueness with their own government and constitution.
This is not far removed from Ireland’s ancient system of Tuatha’s and petty Kingdoms. It grew out of the need for solutions to similar religious, political and ethnic divisiveness that has long divided the two traditions of Irish people. We have a pressing and a long burning need for solutions to Ireland’s differences and divisiveness now.
Deliberately neglected and ignored regions of Ireland would have the self governing opportunity to undo and put right the economic and social neglect wrongs inflicted on them by successive and uncaring Dublin centred administrations.
Self governing Irish Language Tuatha Poblachta would be able to support their community and nurture the language in their own unique and independent way.
Under such a system Ireland would become both more divided and more united than at any time since the ancient system of Tuatha’s and petty kingdoms that constituted the Irish nation.
A 32 County Irish Confederation
This model of unity through diversity is worthy of our attention in whole and in its constituent parts. All presently expressed aspirations for Irish unity are rich in rhetoric and empty of substance and lend themselves to even greater disunity and continued potential conflict.
When considering a workable model for a future United Ireland, a 32 County Irish Confederation with the politicians, the banks and the judiciary answerable directly to the Irish people both individually and collectively provides us with the best possible model.
In such a United Ireland Unionists would have a true and permanent guarantee of independent self government that could even make international treaties. That would enable them to copper fasten their desire for a continued special connection to and relationship with the United Kingdom.
This model allows us all to nurture our differences within an Irish Confederation rather than being in conflict with or trying to subsume one another. That is the ideal solution for an agreed United Ireland.
Cantons in the Swiss Federations are self governing republics. Every canton has its own constitution and parliament. Both the Confederation and the Cantons have a directorial system of government in which the executive power is divided among a select number of individuals who are equals or de facto equals. Most Cantons’ legislatures are unicameral or one chamber parliaments varying in size from 58 to 200 members. Two legislatures also involve general popular assemblies known as Landsgemeinden.
In Ireland we could abolish county councils and replace them with ‘Canton’ style parliaments based on the Swiss model.
The Cantonal executives
The Canton executive consists of either 5 or 7 members depending on the canton. The Cantons retain all administrative powers and competencies not delegated to and by the federal constitution. Most significantly the cantons are responsible for:
- Law Enforcement
- Public Education
Each canton defines its official language(s). Cantons may conclude treaties not only with other Cantons but also with foreign states.
The Cantons constitution determines the internal organisation of the Canton, including varying degree of autonomy accorded to the municipalities that almost always includes the power to levy taxes and pass municipal laws. A number of municipalities have their own police forces. With regard to taxation our own tax proposals are more equitable, collect more revenue and are neither burdensome on or enslaving on the individual nor are they a millstone around the neck of business. More specific details on that later.
Citizens in Switzerland
Swiss citizens are citizens of their municipality or their place of origin and their Canton of origin. Cantons set their own requirements for the granting of citizenship. That procedure is typically undertaken at a municipal level and is subject to federal law. Switzerland provides a model that has much to offer to us in our divided Ireland however sovereign people should never be reduced to the status of a citizen which has all the trappings of enslavement.
Citizenship for Irish people would be abolished and instead they would be recognised as nationals, which is a far higher status than that of citizenship.
- Citizenship is a government granted privilege.
- Nationhood or nationality is a Nationals birthright.
Citizenship would continue for those not born in Ireland or of Irish descent and they would remain as citizens subject to government regulation for four generations.
Citizens could not hold any public office unless they were fluent in Irish or English. They could not hold senior public office positions. They could not vote in a Presidential election as that would become a National Institution. Those positions would be held only by Irish Nationals for the protection of the Nation from foreign influences or infiltration.
Switzerland’s Federal Constitution
Switzerland’s Federal Constitution was completely changed in 1874. The importance of the cantons was somewhat lessened in favour of the country’s central administration. People moving between cantons were given full voting rights after three referendums. Referendums at a federal level were introduced. The revision of the constitution was voted on and approved with 63% of the vote.
The current federal constitution of Switzerland establishes the Swiss Confederation as a Federal Republic of 26 Cantons (states) containing a catalogue of individual and popular rights including the right to call for referenda on federal laws and constitutional amendments. It delineates the responsibilities of the Cantons and the Confederation and establishes the federal authorities of government.
Switzerland’s present Constitution was adopted by referendum on the18th of April 1999 following a majority of the people and the Cantons voting in its favour. It replaced the 1874 federal constitution which it brought up to date without changing its substance.
The Swiss Constitutions Preamble
In the name of Almighty God! The Swiss People and the Cantons, mindful of their responsibility towards creation, resolved to renew their alliance so as to strengthen liberty, democracy, independence and peace in a spirit of solidarity and openness towards the world, determined to live together with mutual consideration and respect for their diversity conscious of their common achievements and their responsibility towards future generations and in the knowledge that only those who use their freedom remain free, and that the strength of a people is measured by the well-being of its weakest members; adopt the following Constitution:
Elections and Referenda
The electorate elects members to both their Canton government and the Federal Assembly. They can also vote in referendums at least four times every year on national proposals. The Swiss electorate has more say and more power in both National and Canton affairs than anywhere else in the world.
Swiss Direct Democracy in Action
Politically Switzerland is best known for its unique system of ‘direct’ democracy. It’s a legal framework that allows all Swiss citizens over the age of 18 to vote directly on how the country is governed.
It can produce unexpected results, such as vetoing the building of minarets or the proposed banning of all cars from the roads on Sundays.
Both the Federal Government and the Cantons provide for varying forms of direct democracy. Citizens can demand a popular vote to amend a Cantons constitution or laws and veto laws or spending bills passed by the parliament.
Other than in the general popular assemblies in the Cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus, elections are exercised by secret ballot. The right of foreigners to vote varies in each Canton and also includes whether citizens of a Canton living abroad can take part in Cantonal voting.
Facts about Switzerland’s political system:
- Switzerland has a population of 8.2 million people spread across its 26 cantons. A high of 24% are foreign nationals.
- The principle of direct democracy allows all citizens to take part in decision-making with a strong respect for minorities.
- In Appenzell Innerrhoden canton, the People’s Assembly (Landsgemeinde) chooses its representative in the Council of States by a show of hands.
- The government or the Federal Council is the executive consisting of seven Federal Councillors from the many Swiss political parties which are elected by the Federal Assembly every four years.
- The head of states role rotates every year with one Federal Councillor taking on the role of president.
- The Federal Assembly is dominated by four main parties: the Swiss People’s Party, the Social Democrats, the Liberals and the Christian Democratic Party. The Green Party has recently emerged together with a small number of minority parties.
- Direct democracy referendum style votes can take place up to four times a year. The Federal Council decides a couple of months in advance on which proposals will be voted on. All the dates have already been booked until 2034. This shows insidious manipulation to circumvent the people’s rights and is a weakness in their system that could easily be rectified by stopping the manipulators of the pre-booking system from pre-booking more than one year ahead.
Instruments of direct democracy
There are three instruments of direct democracy referendums:
- popular initiative and
How it works:
- Any amendment to the constitution requires a mandatory referendum as it does in Ireland. A double majority requiring a national majority of the people and a majority of the cantons is required to amend the constitution.
- Citizens can launch a popular initiative to demand a constitutional change. Any eligible voter can sign a popular initiative and a group of seven citizens or more (the initiative committee) can launch their own popular initiative. For a vote to be held, the initiative committee requires 100,000 valid signatures in favour of the proposal within an 18 month period.
- The Federal Council and Parliament will recommend acceptance or rejection of the proposal. They should not have that power which amounts to a veto. For the proposals acceptance a double majority is needed. If accepted, legislation or an amendment to existing legislation is required to implement the new constitutional provision.
Since popular initiatives were introduced at federal level in 1891 two hundred such initiatives have been voted on but only 22 were passed. In 2016, a popular initiative to give everyone in the country a basic income was rejected by 76.9% of voters. A six week annual holiday proposal for workers was also rejected at a polI in a 2002. In the Swiss Peoples Party’s popular initiative referendum less than 50.1% of voters rejected proposals to curb the asylum seekers numbers entering the country – just 3,000 more than those who were in favour of the initiative.
Any initiative that would further dilute the nation’s people that is already diluted by nearly 25% is like turkeys voting for Christmas. Such referendums with such momentous implications should require a 2/3rds majority of Nationals voting for it to be carried.
Parliament passes new legislation and amends existing legislation. Citizens can call for a referendum on new laws and against certain international treaties. The people’s right to initiate an optional referendum is an important balancing element of Swiss direct democracy.
To hold such a referendum, it must be requested by eight cantons (this is a cantonal referendum) or 50,000 eligible voters’ signatures which must be collected within 100 days.
A simple majority of those voting for or against determines the result. This type of referendum was introduced in 1874. Since then, 180 optional referendums were held with 78 unsuccessful.
Coming up in the next episode
The Swiss taxation system is just another inequitable and burdensome one. So instead of wasting time on it here, the next episode of this document will present you with a simpler and more equitable new tax system. The system we propose will raise much more revenue while at the same time stopping the encroaching enslavement of the people. It will completely remove your personal tax burden while at the same time stimulating personal, business and national prosperity. It will show you prosperity and abundance that is impossible under the present self defeating oppressive system. That will be the ultimate individual and collective reset.
We will deal with this comprehensively in the next episode coming up next week. Don’t miss it.