Switzerland Term Paper - Elisabeth Chramer PSC 102 Dr. Lisa...

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Elisabeth Chramer PSC 102 Dr. Lisa Sharlack April 18, 2011 Conservative Ideology Comparisons between Switzerland, South Africa and China In the United States, the terms liberal and conservative are often used in the modern political atmosphere, describing two completely opposite ways of approaching issues facing the nation. Liberal, representing the equal society focused mentality, and conservative, upholding the personal rights of the individual citizen. However, these familiar American descriptions are not applied equally around the globe due to the vast array of political styles. Many nations around the world are practicing conservative ideology, meaning that the government in power feels that the individual members of society are not as important as the whole entity itself (Shively 28). When using this path, actions are implemented in a way that protects the higher standard, with some even at the cost of the individual members’ happiness, family, livelihood and well being. When compared with the United States and other countries, Americans can see that their previous interpretation of ‘conservative ideology’ is much different than what they may be used to. To further expand on the topic, look at the European country of Switzerland and its correlation to the countries of South Africa and China. Switzerland’s unique history provides the opportunity to view the two global ideologies, but also shows evidence that the international pressure of one can influence the other over the years. Within its history, Switzerland has a strong record of being highly focused on the welfare and voice of her individual citizens. Not like the previously discussed conservative ideology, Switzerland is instead practicing the opposite: liberalism. Simply put, liberalism promotes the
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ability of a nation’s citizens to be the best that they can be in their individually chosen pursuits (Shively 26). Whether it is business, agriculture or manufacturing, the Swiss citizen is in charge of his or her own actions and personal success. The unique, liberal government structure of Switzerland is constructed to reflect this philosophy. As a federal democracy, there are several levels to the government. The nation is composed of 26 smaller provinces, or cantons, which hold substantial autonomy from other cantons and the federal government to ensure the protection of the individual cantons’ independent policies. Within each of the cantons are communes, the local municipalities which govern the towns and cities (Freedom House). The bi-cameral legislature, the Federal Assembly, combines together the two directly elected groups: the 200-member National Council and the Council of States (in which each canton is represented by two members and each half-canton represented by one). The lawmakers from both councils serve terms of four-years. For the judicial branch, the Federal Tribunal hears the complaints of constitutional rights as well as reviews the decisions of the cantonal courts. The Federal Tribunal is composed
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This note was uploaded on 06/21/2011 for the course PSC 102 taught by Professor Sharlach during the Spring '11 term at University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Switzerland Term Paper - Elisabeth Chramer PSC 102 Dr. Lisa...

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