Montag, 13. April 2015

K is for Konkordanz - or Consociationalism

Konkordanz is far easier to pronounce than Consociationalism. Perhaps that is why it is the swiss form of government and not that of an English speaking nation.
Consociationalism is also known as "majority democracy" or "power-sharing" (though those terms are less accurate.) Some people might say that this system makes the most sense in a country that might otherwise potentially be fragmented by diverse cultures and religions. I am such a person. The idea is that no cultural or religious group has the majority, and it makes sense in a country that is made up of cantons that are mostly one religion or another or speak one (or two) of the four national languages. All people should feel represented under the 7 parties in the parliamentary system.
Interestingly, another country with consociationalism is the Netherlands. I find this interesting because it's also another country that had the potential to be permanently divided between Catholics and Calvinists. (There's a Catholic/Calvinist similarity, as you'll see in the R entry.)
Konkordanz has been the rule in Switzerland since 1959. One might find coincidence in the fact that such an agreeable, diplomatic system was implemented at the same time as suffrage. That is, if one is a woman from the US who still can not believe how late women got the right to vote here.

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