Yesterday, Switzerland elected a new lower house of the federal parliament, the Conseil National. This has, since 1963, been composed of 200 seats, apportioned among the cantons based upon their population. Elections are held every four years, with all seats in play. Elections are by a curious proportional representation scheme called “panachage”, about which you can read more at the link if you haven’t filled your quota of confusion for the day.
The results were a substantial shift to the left, with the Green Party and its splinter faction the Green Liberal Party both gaining largely at the expense of conservative and centre-right parties. Here is the makeup of the new Conseil National.... [Read More]
Easter dinner at Fourmilab is usually the traditional Swiss repast of roast leg of goat, served over rice with vegetables. This is an easy-to-prepare, can’t fail meal which is suitable for any occasion. Goat is considered a “red meat”, but I find it most comparable to turkey dark meat in flavour and texture. The taste is unique and not at all gamey. (Of course, this depends upon what the goat was fed. Swiss goats are usually fed on grass and forage; if your goat was fed on garbage and fish heads, all bets are off.)... [Read More]
If polls are correct, the Swiss, who were once as liberty-minded as Americans were (past tense), are about to vote themselves a step closer to tyranny. They will vote, apparently, Sunday to kow-tow (cow-tow?) to the EU’s demand that, in order to retain certain touted economic benefits of the Schengen bilateral agreement, Switzerland must gut its existing gun laws so as to conform with those of the EU. It seems a thoroughly modern rendition of lèse-majesté perpetrated by an un-elected elite. That the Swiss would meekly go along would have been unthinkable not long ago.
All so-called media reports cite how the EU tightened its gun laws following the 2015 (Islamist is omitted) mass murders in Paris – “perpetrated by gunfire.” End of analysis. No matter that the fully-automatic guns used were already illegal everywhere; that they were illegally obtained outside the EU and illegally imported. The ready knee-jerk answer of EU unelected bureaucrats: disarm the general public so as to be absolutely certain their citizens can never even think of defending themselves! (against an unassimilable mass of individuals hostile to the host culture – intentionally imported by these same elites). So the venerable Swiss, threatened with some overstated economic penalties, are apparently about vote to surrender a right their ancestors fought and died to bequeath them. This seems to be the pattern by which liberty withers and fractional slavery encroaches upon the inhabitants of Western modernity. To my way of thinking, individuals who hand over more than half their earnings to government are fractional slaves. We can disagree as to the precise fraction.... [Read More]
Tonight was the annual concert of my village’s brass band, L’Avenir. The brass band has two major concerts per year, in the spring and at Advent, and performs at events such as the 1er août and Désalpe. The band often has joint concerts with other bands in the region, both in Lignières and their homes, and competes in regional and national contests and has historically performed very well for a volunteer band from a village of around 1000 people.
The concerts turn out a substantial fraction of the village. I’m not skilled at estimating crowds, but this one pretty much filled up the school gymnasium where it was held, and I’d guess there were around 350 people there. I rarely miss a concert, but this was one where attendance was obligatoire, because I was to be made an honorary member of the band due to my support over the last quarter century. (If you knew how rudimentary my musical talent is, you’d appreciate what an honour this is.) I got a specially inscribed magnum of Neuchâtel Pinot Noir and applause from the crowd.... [Read More]
Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups. Mountains and lakes are an important part of the boundaries between sharply defined linguistic areas.... [Read More]
As noted in an earlier post, on Sunday, 2018-11-25 Swiss citizens will vote on the contentious issue of whether to amend the federal constitution to prohibit the removal of horns from cows and goats. Also on the ballot will be the (French title) “Initiative pour l’autodétermination” (Self-determination Initiative).
This is also an initiative to amend the federal constitution, whose full text you can read [PDF] in French. The relevant language, with my translation interleaved, is as follows.... [Read More]
Raclette is a quintessentially Swiss dish whose origins date as far back as those of the country (a.d. 1291). Although cheese fondue is often considered the national dish of Switzerland, many Swiss consider Raclette more authentically Swiss, since fondue is equally popular in adjacent regions of France.