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Women majority in Swiss Cabinet

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, September 25th, 2010 - 7 comments
Categories: equality, feminism, International - Tags: ,

Switzerland, where women only got full voting rights in 1990, now has a female majority in their cabinet.

Until now only 6 women had ever held ministerial posts – and now there are 4 out of the 7 ministers who form the inner sanctum of government.

They’ve got their work cut out though (from BBC article):

Swiss women lag well behind men in average salaries, the Swiss state spends less than a third of Unicef’s recommended minimum on childcare, and when it comes to maternity leave, Switzerland ranks as the least generous country in Europe.

Switzerland’s racism, xenophobia and women’s rights are the case I most often make against direct democracy (California’s gay marriage ban and some of our own less progressive referenda come into it too), but maybe there is hope of progress even here.  But I think I’ll stick with my preference for representative democracy as the best way to get a progressive future for now.

7 comments on “Women majority in Swiss Cabinet ”

  1. Jeremy Harris 1

    Switzerland’s racism, xenophobia and women’s rights are the case I most often make against direct democracy (California’s gay marriage ban and some of our own less progressive referenda come into it too),

    I wholeheartedly support direct democracy… Just because you don’t like people’s beliefs doesn’t mean forcing yours on others is the way to go… I think that attitude is why National is still polling so high – the public believes Labour still has that way of thinking…

    But I think I’ll stick with my preference for representative democracy as the best way to get a progressive future for now.

    I’ll stick with trying to convince people why gay rights, human rights, a sensible prison code based on reform, Republicanism etc is a good idea, rather than ramming through reforms against public sentiment which will only to bred resentment against liberalism, be reformed under the next conservative government and lead to goodwill toward authoritarian measures…

  2. KJT 2

    Representative democracy is a contradiction in terms. You either have democracy, which is rule by all the people, or you do not. Representative democracy is simply a change of dictatorship, possibly, at each election.

    Democracy is resisted by politicians of all stripes because they are all arrogant enough to believe they know better than the rest of us, being, mostly, self selected people who want power.

    They will resist giving any power to the rest of us to their last breath.

    A few cherry picked results of Switzerland’s or California’s system of voting are commonly used as an argument against democracy. The results are representative of their societies and would probably have occurred in the quoted cases under a revolving elected dictatorship anyway.

    In fact, in New Zealand, the public supported women’s suffrage. It was parliament who held it up. Under the Swiss system of direct democracy NZ would have most likely voted women the vote much sooner than we did . Same with gay rights.

    Politicians very often get it appallingly wrong.
    It is doubtful that a majority of the public would have voted to throw the baby out with the bathwater in the 80’s. Or to Ruthenasia in the 90’s, to name just two cases.
    Muldoon would not have been able to gerrymander his way into power for so many years with election bribes to a couple of minorities.

    Just because some people on the left disagreed with the majority on a recent referendum does not invalidate the principal.

    Wisconsin and some other American States have a good track record with BCIR. Why do opponents of democracy always talk only about California?

    Other arguments against democracy usually show an unstated contempt for ordinary people. They “dared to disagree with me they must be wrong” or “they cannot have understood the question”.

    Self determination means making decisions for ourselves, not having 120 self important, arrogant and mostly ignorant politicians making them for us.

    “If voting made any difference they would abolish it” Abe Lincoln.
    “Democracy is the worst system of Government, except for all the others” Winston Churchill.

  3. The Chairman 3

    In case some are interested, NZ First is offering us a form of Direct Democracy.
    http://www.nzfirst.org.nz/policies2.html#direct

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