Inequality is an ever present phenomenon in all dimensions of life. How to combat it to ensure a more democratic society is always challenging and the success of any government depends on the strategy adopted. Handling inequality diligently, will gradually pave the way for a freer, more secure and fairer society.
On October 26, 2018, the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford held an event in which the President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, was the guest of honor. The President graced the audience with a speech on how democracies can deal with inequality.
The Swiss President explained how, what was meant to be an insult by Oscar Wilde who traveled to Switzerland in 1899 was warmly accepted as praise by the Swiss, iterating that “boring” as used by Wilde actually takes a lot of effort to get to.
He further explained how much good comes with “boring”. He is quoted saying “BBC recently named Tariq as one of the world’s leading cities in terms of quality of life while also stating that it was boring”. He continued, “boring can be good, stability is boring, but stability is good, continuity may be boring but good, reliability is good for our country as well as for the international system and today, I guess, in certain countries, people would be quite happy if politics as bit boring”.
Switzerland is a hallmark of success as far as democracy is concerned and the President Berset explains how, thanks to its unique election system, even the weakest are taken into consideration before any policy is implemented in Switzerland.
Drawing inspiration from decades of the optimistic post-war decades, he clearly stated that, “it is by strengthening others that we strengthen ourselves and that, one must not necessarily lose for you to win”. The event “President of Switzerland: How can democracy deal with inequality” lasted about an hour and forty minutes. Take a look: