I have to say I’m a little shocked seeing that the Chinese are pirating the idea of a pirate party: the Wikipedia link says a Chinese Pirate Party is “in discussion” and is on the drawing board. I think that party’s pointless: nearly all of China is pirated. Don’t get me started on the trains: the CRH3C is a pirated version of the ICE 3 (albeit a legal pirate); no soul, obviously, would believe the propaganda that it is “Chinese because of technology transfer”. Even the doors still carry that invasive sticker: Made in Ybbs*/Austria. Unless the PRC colonised Ybbs (for the train doors, maybe), that’s still non-Chinese…
* How the hell do you pronounce “Ybbs”, by the way?
Ookie. So what’s all this talk about the Pirate Party all about? I was given a shock larger than electrocution (I think: I’ve never been electrocuted, and I think if I was, I probably wouldn’t be blogging here) when I found out that there was a REAL Pirate Party. Bang on the ballots for the Swiss National Council elections (to come 23 October 2011; I’ve, by the way, already sent my ballot back; I didn’t vote for them, for what it’s worth) — the one for the Canton of Zurich had it on page 10. I swear. Take a look at it. Right there — 18 potential “legitimate political pirates”. There are folks younger than I am on the list, and there are even a few sociologists amongst them. It’s crazy.
In China, people are flattened because they happen to stand in the way of a high-speed railway viaduct — and they failed to get the hell out of there in good time. This kind of polit BS would have been sent to Switzerland for a nationwide vote. We are finishing the Gotthard Base Tunnel in the mid-2010s because our people said so. Switzerland is part of the United Nations because I voted yes because I thought this nation had no more sane reasons to stay out of the freaking thing. Bank accounts in some deep, hidden-under-the-square safe just don’t get emptied out of the blue just because you’ve joined the UN. It just doesn’t happen like that.
The fact is, Swiss democracy works just like that. We are pestered up to 4 times every year just because some idiot couldn’t figure if it was OK building this stretch of freeway this way across this yard or that way. But that’s how we’d like it. We don’t advertise to the rest of the world that we are “most democratic” so-called, and we don’t bomb Afghanistan or Libya because they’re “unfree”. In fact, Moammar Gaddhafi wanted to declare “jihad” on the Swiss. Not a single bomb was dropped on Tripoli from the authorities in Berne — and this from a nation that was the target of a Gaddhafi-dictated “jihad”. We’re comparatively cool people!
About the worst thing that happens on Swiss ballots is the requirement that you choose someone who is alive, breathing, and Swiss. No foreign cultural imperialist icons — and by no means Donald Duck. That’s a sucker, given. And we don’t get to choose our Federal President. Rats. But that’s about all there is to it that sucks about Swiss democracy. The rest — is just neat.
Oh, and did I mention that you need “just” 100,000 valid citizens to amend the Swiss Constitution in full?