Martin Sustrik

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Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (III.)

Thanks! Fixed. (I think the party is actually called "FDP.The Liberals" without a space.)

As for the video, it's kind of funny. She's currently the president, he's the minister of home affairs.

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (III.)

Fixed:

If FDP, CVP and SP each got two seats and SVP one seat - an arrangement that would later become known as Magic Formula - ...

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (II.)

But that would only push the upper limit on efficient governance downwards, no? So the limit would not be 100 people, but rather 30. Still, the question we are discussing is whether there's a limit somewhere between 8 million and 40 million, which is like five orders of magnitude difference.

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (II.)

As far as I know, most people vote by mail. There have been some back and forth with respect to the online voting. The rules probably differ between the cantons.

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (II.)

Portion of the budget paid by specific level of government. For example, if 100% of the "foreign relations" budget is paid by federal government, it means that cantonal and municipal levels pay no expenses related to foreign relations.

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (II.)

The way I have seen this idea stated in the past (e.g. quadratic cost of all-to-all communication) was that the organization lacing a hierarchical structure would fall apart at quite a small size, maybe somewhere around ~100 people.

If one wants to use it to explain the different outcomes between Switzerland and California, they have to explain why something would work for 8 million people (which is not at all a negligible number) and 40 million. What exactly happens at, say, 20 million boundary that breaks the system?

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (II.)

The owner of the block may have been willing to change the house rules if most of the inhabitants asked for it. Our block, for example, is owned by a bank and run by a company dedicated house-managing company. The company seems to be rather flexible and willing to resolve issues. That's another thing that I found unexpected in Switzerland: If something doesn't work, be it a person's behavior or an administrative problem, do complain (locals certainly do) and it will eventually get fixed. It's certainly not what I've learned at home, namely, that complaining if futile.

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (I.)

Legislative referendum happens if 50,000 signatures are collected within 100 days.

As for polarization, I want to address that in part III., but the gist of it is that opposition can almost block the normal political process by initiating referenda over and over again.

The governing parties can maybe live with it for some time but eventually it leads to a crisis. And once the crisis hits the solution is usually to give the opposition a seat in the government. But keep in mind that this is a really slow process, measured in decades.

Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (I.)

The thing about the cost is that it's already paid. Voting happens four times a year in any case and adding one more initiative doesn't change much. There's certainly a cost associated with government and parliament processing the initiative, but again, that's what they are expected to do, it can't be really thought of as an extra cost.

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