Is democracy always good?

December 9, 2009, 8 Comments

So the question everyone’s been asking is not ‘Did you vote yes?’ but ‘Did you vote?’. In Swiss terms the turnout was high, but chances are many of the people now building box-minarets and bemoaning the death of Swiss tolerance didn’t vote. I didn’t, but then I can’t because I’m a foreigner. For every one of the 46.4% who couldn’t be arsed: just say No next time.

And for everyone who wonders what the fuss is all about, here are some facts:
Muslims make up 4.3% of the population, a higher percentage than in Britain
Only 12% of Muslims in Switzerland are actually Swiss
76% of Muslims come from the former Yugoslavia and Turkey
There are just four minarets in Switzerland, none used for the call to prayer

Of course the vote wasn’t about minarets. It was about Gaddafi holding two Swiss men hostage in Tripoli. It was about the latent xenophobia against the Yugoslav population. Most of all, it was about a far-right party playing on people’s fears of a religious minority to win a national vote. Sound familiar? Sadly, it seems that Islamophobia is the new anti-semitism.

Letting the people decide everything seems like such a good idea, until they make the wrong decision. It would be like living in a land ruled by Daily Mail readers. Would you want that?

8 Comments on "Is democracy always good?"

  1. Martin Girven Thursday January 14th, 2010 at 09:42 AM · Reply

    Every now and then it’s okay for the people to make the wrong decision. They quickly realise their mistake and it helps to ensure that ultimately the right decision is made. Better a major furore like this, which will I believe lead to a more liberal law, than that the whole thing slips quietly through unnoticed.

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