I have written in the past of the Swiss Confederation and its weak central government form (the presidency is a ceremonial office and rotates). The office has no powers above the other six members of the Swiss Federal Council. The entire Federal Council is considered a collective head of state. Switzerland is a neutral country with a low crime rate and a powerful national defense system. Instead of fielding a large standing army, Switzerland requires every man to undergo military training for a few days or weeks a year throughout most of his life. Each man is required to keep his assigned automatic rifle at home at the ready. The Swiss are powerful believers in individual liberty and freedom. They believe that there is no need for a higher legal authority to check people’s initiatives. In fact, federal court in Switzerland is not allowed to rule on any constitutional matter at the national level. The Swiss are all about keeping things at the cantonal level. Keep it local is the key in Switzerland.
There is a lot to learn for Americans from “the Swiss way.” Switzerland’s model is precisely the weak form of central government intended by our Founders. The best outline of what a constitutionally strong form of federal republic looks like is Ron Paul’s Liberty Defined. The chapter on “Empire” alone will amaze you.
Originally posted May 26th, 2016
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- Foundation Principles
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