Thursday, September 8, 2016

Focusing on things that really matter in politics

One of the reasons I love living in Switzerland is that politics here focus on things that really matter. You rarely hear about the sex life of politicians, their emails, or their emotionally disturbed and racist views. Here, the attention is placed on practical and constructive issues, and citizens get to vote on them.

Take one of the 2012 referendums, for example. It focused on music and youth. How cool is it that 73% of the Swiss voters chose to amend their constitution by including an article to promote music education?

This article encourages the cantonal and federal governments to provide music education, of high quality, at all levels in public schools, to ensure access to music education in specialized music schools for all children, regardless of their social or financial background. The article also ensures the financial and educational support of young talented musicians.

The Swiss get it. They focus on what's good for their country. And an educated youth is good for the country. Research has shown that music--specifically actively playing an instrument-- is very good for youth.  It improves their physical, social and academic skills as well as their brains (see TIME article on neurophysiology distinction) of children. It helps with discipline and patience. It boosts self esteem and it introduces children to other cultures.

So, while the USA and the world continue to read and watch about Trump and Hillary, the Swiss are focusing on the referendums coming this month: on creating a green economy, on increasing old-age pension payments by 10%, and on a new federal law on intelligence. Watch this space...

 

No comments:

Post a Comment