Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Democracy?


Pondering the vote this week in Switzerland I couldn't help thinking that the people of France, Holland and Ireland voted against the Lisbon Treaty but they, and we, got it any way.

Then the bleeding heart liberals go all self righteous and condemn the Swiss for voting against more minarets going up than the four that already exist in that country. The chances are the decision will be overturned when the Council of Europe stick their long noses in anyway:

“Bearing in mind that it is a fundamental right of democratic states to debate and vote on issues of importance to their societies, the referendum held yesterday on the construction of new minarets in Switzerland raises concerns as to whether fundamental rights of individuals, protected by international treaties, should be subject to popular votes,” said the council’s secretary general, Thorbjørn Jagland, a former foreign minister of Norway. “The ban on the construction of new minarets is linked to issues such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion and prohibition of discrimination guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Therefore it would be up to the European Court of Human Rights to decide, should an application be submitted to the court, whether the prohibition of building new minarets is compatible with the convention.”


What I take exception to is the following:

“The ban on the construction of new minarets is linked to issues such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion and prohibition of discrimination guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights".


Like the veil, the burqa, the crucifix and other symbols, minarets are not a necessity. The vote not to allow the building of more minarets does absolutely none of the above. If churches were not allowed to be built with steeples it would be exactly the same, we could still practice our religion, minarets and steeples are not that important in religious terms.

So forgive me for asking, but exactly what type of 'democracy' are the forces in Afghanistan and Iraq fighting to impose on those poor sods? Is it the one that says the people can have their say, as long as they agree with the political class?

3 comments:

pagar said...

Gregg

I am a Muslim living in Switzerland and I want to erect a minaret (I have been granted planning permission and do not intend to break the noise pollution regulations by broadcasting the call to prayer).

Please explain to me how it is libertarian for the state to ban me from doing so.

I think you need to think this one through. There is nothing libertarian about Islamophobia.

Citizen Stuart said...

I've got to admit that I'm with Pagar on this one. It does me no harm if someone wants to build a mosque/church/temple/stone circle in aid of whatever it is they worship, so why should I vote to stop them?

Gregg's Blog said...

The point is that if you want the people to have their say through referenda, you can't then ignore the result if you don't like it. Unless of course it is the European Union.