<<"I'm always amazed anything gets done here really - between their
democratic representation to the power of the average resident / hotel
If you can get a copy of Jonathan Steinbergs "Why Switzerland" it will teach you a lot. I have the 2nd and 3rd editions, and pass them out to some of my more thoughtful friends who are concerned about the direction of government behavior and political processes in the USA.
One of the ways that you hold together a country with multiple languages, different cultures, and a very wide income gap between the richest and poorest is to make sure that everyone gets a say. And, the consensus approach to doing things works...just slowly. In a consensus system as used in the Federal legislative bodies, you may not get your way every time, but you don't feel like you are being screwed.
The complex proportional voting scheme used for various elections makes sure that the minorities get a say. So, once things are settled, the objections are minimal. The Swiss learned something from the Sonderbund War. Instead of the adversarial "Winner Take All" approach, used in the USA, the system minimizes "losers" and protects their rights.
My limited experience is that the Federal bureaucracy works effectively, does not require bribes, and gets things done- once they are agreed upon.
Concerning the objections noted by Alpenrose....the Eiger Nordwand is a very big deal. Defacing the views is akin to a crime, in my opinion.
And, that big old hotel at Kleine Scheidegg is a wonderful old Swiss tradition. The owner has early breakfasts for those climbing various routes on the Eiger. And, Alpenrose's comments fully illustrate the power of individuals in a country with "bottom up" political processes.
Switzerland has a strong network of people in governement, business, universities. And, the Berner Oberland is an important tradition in its own right.
Just to illustrate some possibilities...I'd not be surprised if many swiss politicians had stayed at he hotel at KS, and have fond memeories, as wellas a connection the the von Almen family who run it.
And, the very special Hotel Schönegg in Wengen is managed by the daughter of Adolf Ogi, a well-loved and famous Swiss politician and former memebr of the Bundesrat:
His views on consensus are worth noting.