ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: DEMOCRACY, RELIGION AND PREJUDICE

There are few countries where democracy really works, and usually it is because of a high level education, a unified general culture, and a high level of affluence, with little or no real poverty. Switzerland, with its four official languages, relatively high number of immigrants, many of them refugees from persecution elsewhere, is an exception, but it has a history unlike any other country: set up after the Congress of Vienna, as a group of small ethnic groups in an inhospitable mountainous landscape on condition it committed itself to specialise in highly individual products, such as watches, clocks and luxury chocolate, alpine carpentry, and a little later, touristic pursuits such as hiking, skiing, mountain climbing and elegant hotel keeping. read more —>