$290,000 Speeding Ticket: Is this fair?

Ok, while we are on the subject of philosophising, consider some of the questions that arise from the following news article:

A millionaire motorist clocked up a record fine of 299,000 Swiss francs ($290,000) after Swiss police caught him racing through a village at 100 km per hour in his red Ferrari Testarossa, Swiss media reported on Thursday. (Reuters Jan 7 2010)

Upon first reading this, I could not believe how a society might charge someone $290,000 for a speeding fine. After all, we always like to think that justice Continue reading

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Politics of Fear: 1. Minarets: 0.

The people have spoken, the results from the referendum are in, and the Swiss have voted to ban the construction of minarets in their country.

We pointed out yesterday that the referendum in Switzerland calling for this ban was going to be a close call, but that the proposal was likely to be rejected. Now the votes have been counted, we can see  how wrong the opinion polls were  Continue reading

Scared of an Islamic Europe? Let’s vote on it!

The Swiss are holding a national referendum today. Referenda are an essential component of democracy but, in the main, they are relatively rare occurrences, usually only appearing as add-ons to the ballot at general election time. In Switzerland, however, they are a national pastime as all you need is Continue reading