How does DIRECT DEMOCRACY work in LIECHTENSTEIN? – VisualPolitik EN

How does DIRECT DEMOCRACY work in LIECHTENSTEIN? – VisualPolitik EN

democracy it’s a tricky concept now yes
we all agree that people must have a say on governmental decisions but on the
other hands we’re kind of scared to see what happens when these citizens are
manipulated by a populist politician this is why direct democracy and
referendums are quite so controversial I mean in theory it seems like a great
idea to ask the voters directly about the very laws that affect them but what
happens when we actually put something like this into practice well occasionally you do get a rather
nasty surprise but not always indeed there is one country that made a direct
democracy a cornerstone of their political system no to the earth despite
what you might think we are not talking about Switzerland here this time we’re
talking about Liechtenstein alright alright I I know I know I mean
why should you care about such a small country well look Liechtenstein it has a
population of less than 38,000 inhabitants but despite their size their
political system is one of a kind despite being a constitutional monarchy
most of the political decisions in this Principality are done through
referendums this includes economic policies social spending and even
citizenship yes that is right if you want to become a Liechtenstein er your
neighbors get to choose whether to accept or reject you through a popular
vote even the right to self-determination can be guaranteed by
referendum this means that any of the eleven municipalities inside of
Liechtenstein can hold a popular vote to decide whether they want to stay in the
country or become an independent nation all sounds pretty crazy right well it
certainly seems to have served Liechtenstein incredibly well along with
Qatar Liechtenstein is the wealthiest country on the planet
at least when it comes to GDP per capita at purchasing power parity this country
is also known for its political stability its rule of law and its
business friendly policies and well at this point in the video you might be
beginning to wonder well how is all of this possible how can you manage to
guarantee such a stable political system when people can vote in any crazy law
they want simply with a referendum well this is what we were wondering here at
visual politic – and to figure out the answer to this question we decided that
the best thing was to go to the country and ask so we did just that the town of Regal is a village with no
more than 2,000 inhabitants that technically could become an independent
sovereign country if it wanted to so we wanted to find out exactly how
about what happened so we spoke with the mayor of the town Maria thank you for
joining us today I appreciate you taking the time to meet with us and just answer
a few a few questions if we could start off if I could ask what is the legal way
that the town of Rogalla could separate from the country of Liechtenstein and
how could how could regale hold a self-determination referendum the system
denk per hour is very moogly thus to be Felker on any initiative a griffon word
on Danaher there is Melissa’s fiance parry Rankin a
brief desist unrealistic I was – it somehow chickens I punked varoom the
oddest Daruma stank part well we are foreign UN’s so white Tatsuki hurich
zuly inch time Winston Eastern kleiner start on the stanky escaped kine and
groomed symmetric and type Punk’d on those
offseason baboon doubt such tagging and as far as far as I can see here we’ve
been in Liechtenstein for a couple of days the Prince is very well-respected
here isn’t it yeah their first is directly any respects persone own 10k
via sin doc we can’t tortoise first in-house does recently
Rao in Liechtenstein Andreea tank and the first at how heavy
sigh onin astonished at over helped me Twizy Onan on the cistern unshown oft
soo cuute a common some bashful behavior by trait the hot air – requisites thus
the optimum for – rights to the filtrate thus far say right cystic relish White’s
Walter done it by trading them area own in Topeka trading on the cloud that cc+
house correct the gap is not nearby HP Prince hans-adam ii is the wealthiest
monarch in all of europe with a net worth of more than four billion American
dollars but make no mistake his wealth doesn’t come from his political role but
instead from his business career he is the owner of the lgt banking group one
of the biggest asset management firms in Europe he inherited the principality in
1989 and you can say that he is the father of the direct democracy system
here in Liechtenstein in his book the state in the third millennium he
outlined a way to implement this system in a larger country and well this is
what we wanted to talk to him about your serene highness thank you once again for
being here I really appreciate you taking time to talk to us and inviting
us to your hyoeun what what do you mean it’s a really broad question but what do
you mean by the state as a service provider I think the state should really
concentrate on those jobs which the state can do better than private
industry or better than the local communities and for me it was also
important when I proposed those changes of the of the Constitution to also
introduce the right of self-determination at every village in
leaking stan has the right to leave standard principality if they think that
they get a better offer from another country or if they can make more money
or lower taxation or god knows what if they become independent and that was for
me also important you know also for my successors and for the politicians to
see really do deliver very good service on low cost and therefore low cost with
low taxation do you think that lower cost is is driven by competition yeah
between because the my understanding is the local governments of Liechtenstein
as you know they have a lot of self-determination they’re also
competing with each other yeah is that could you tell me a little how that
works yeah the different we have eleven
villages basically they compete on on on taxation they compete on the way how
they offer the infrastructure for instance they give building sites to
some industry knows what day so there is a certain competition that the services
or whatever so so they compete on these issues basically so if I was elected
onion and I was living here and I was looking at eleven different villages I
feel you know again relating into my experience you know I basically have
like one country where I grew up so I’m always gonna relate things to the UK but
I think about it if I if I I grew up in a village called head corn and if like I
guess in the next village over town or Canterbury or whatever I get pretty much
the same deal is it’s not gonna be any different you know whether I’m working
for someone or starting a business or applying to the government for a permit
to do something it’s always gonna be the same that here in Liechtenstein if I I
can look at what the different villages are offering and make a decision yeah
some villages said all we have now enough manufacturing industry or also
enough foreigners it was also quite an issue and because if you attract being a
service the service instead manufacturing industry with it you
attract those the workforce also from outside because we cannot provide all of
the workforce here not specialists and so on so basically so there was then a
resistance know we have to stop and others took up the chances and we’re
able then to attract manufacturing or service industries and they forget more
income for the village and then offer I don’t know
lower taxation or build a new road or a new school
renovator church or God knows whatever ideas their head this works
fantastically here but in a country as large as the United States the UK Spain
do you think this is you know that right to self sovereignty and that right that
works so well here in a small country do you think they can work in in the
constitution of of a much larger country yes yes I think yes I have seen it in
Switzerland they have it they have this direct democracy they have this
decentralization sometimes the pen hunter can’t on down to the small
villages I’ve seen it to a certain degree also in the United States of
course they’re from state to state it’s a little bit different but that
influenced me very much and thought that’s basically a good system and to
give the people some say because usually especially in a very centralized states
as a politician or as monarch being nor a monarch or president or prime minister
it takes so long until you realize that there is a problem yeah
and with that problems pop up and suddenly you see oh I didn’t realize
that they suddenly have an initiative being locally being on statewide level
and then you can solve those problems puncher earlier okay and Liechtenstein
for reference about 40,000 people so you go out there you can gather these things
it’s interesting because I feel this should be something Thea like if I can
get a thousand of my friends together and then put something forward and then
Parliament have to discuss it and if it’s quite a smart idea a constitutional
change at 1500 could happen which you know prima facie you think this is gonna
be less stable right you know the immediate thought that comes into the
mind because anyone can change this right away but this doesn’t happen here
and it doesn’t seem to happen in other places that have a similar thing
why do you think that is because many of those things are discussed on the local
basis and you have people who are in favor of it or against it and so those
things are much more discussed within the population within the voting within
the voters and I think that has turned out to be an advantage added to the
stability if I look at Switzerland for instance nevertheless I think that we
have even a best system in the Swiss with the possibility of a veto power by
the reigning prince just to clarify the Swiss system they also have a similar
system of direct democracy but obviously no prince to veto it now before continuing with this
interview we wanted to get in touch with some politicians from Parliament’s the
friar Lister party is the most critical voice inside of Lichtenstein’s the
little sister lately Vince only has once actually used his
veto power in 1961 it was a hunting law I have no idea where it was a little
baby then but it was about the hunting lawyers and he didn’t like that and he
didn’t sign the law and that was it he doesn’t even have to say why he doesn’t
sign it just doesn’t sign and since then it has never been necessary not of
course a threat to have to make use of the meat powers of course has an effect
on the workings of the Parliament so we have to get or we have to reach a
consensus in the end I thought that it would be worthwhile to keep the veto
power of the reigning prince except for an initiative way the people want
abolish the monarchy because I saw that sometimes you had in Switzerland votes
which were perhaps not in the long-term interest of the country of the people
the reigning prince we think in generations we had 15 or 20 years ago we
had discussions about this dualism system and people wanted more power but
at the end there was a there was a referendum and 65% of the people said no
let’s keep it like it is he could argue and I would argue that democracy should
overrule the monarch the monarchic system but it’s the other way around at
the moment and that has been decided by the baby referendums they often are you know with
brexit it was like you just had the people who wanted to leave calling the
people who wanted to stay calling the people who wanted to leave done and it
was kind of this ongoing theme in relation to that how do you think you
know in a country that has so many referendums that people can make
informed decisions they had two things which we have to take you have to take
into account before you introduce it one is that you have to start on the local
basis but people can read really get trained in those kind of direct
democracy referendums initiatives and so on where they can see what’s the effect
of a stupid decision on the village the city whatever so that I think is is is
one aspect the other aspect is that you have to inform the people quite a lot we
have in the law and also Switzerland that you there’s a duty to inform give
the order information to have enough time for the people to before vote
discussions and so on so that that’s very info and and you have to hand out
all the information and neutral basis I wanted to ask about that because it
seems often the information at least I’ve seen is handed out by whichever
newspaper you tend to subscribe to how does that how is that neutral
information disseminated to the population government or the village
administration if it’s just on their local vote has to hand out the
information a neutral information where both sides can put this information
there then they can also put their own view into there so that’s handed out to
all the voters so they can look it up they organize
meetings and so on so before such a vote it’s really betting the people of
well-informed yeah those I don’t know whenever I tend to read stuff written by
government it’s I don’t know I think of myself as reasonably intelligence and I
read some of this stuff and I’m like huh like it’s government’s could be verbose
and they’re not perhaps the best at writing things in an easy-to-understand
way is this information presented in a way that you know it doesn’t require a
degree to understand it’s kind of like here’s how it is for the everyman it’s
your in your own interest if you’re really in a stupid way or in a way which
nobody understands is going to be rejected right yeah of course you have
to check that they D write it in a correct way and you can appeal to that
2/3 to the courts so if there is wrong information in there as I ventured Lichtenstein by by various
measures the highest GDP per capita in the world so a very very wealthy country
and you know we’ve been walking around and it’s reflected in you know
beautifully clean streets just a lovely looking place but it wasn’t always like
this was it it was it was quite different so I think I read kind of
agrarian was the term can you tell me a little bit about about the history of
Lichtenstein kind of before you know it’s it’s relatively recent economic
success well one of my previous around 1700 bought the governing rights of
those they were two counties in the Holy Roman Empire it was basically a vote
buying exercise because you voted to Emperor and so for him to get more
influence in the Holy Roman Empire as a prince of the Holy Roman Empire he
bought those voting rights because it was very pruned and the families who
were raining and were always went bankrupt he could have caused support by
his huge estates there was no problem those two counties and put them together
made the Principality out of it so if he he buys the lands because the
possession of the land is what gives him the voting rights not really the
possession of the land but it was the reigning powers over the land okay sir
the length will still be partly in private ownership that was separated it
was some kind of private would bought some counties there were accounts here
who went bankrupt and to pay for the for the people what they owed money then
there was a court in the Holy Roman Empire where they just sort of auctioned
it off the governing rights and my predecessor 17 century was
very rich and he paid the highest price for that so I wasn’t in wait there was
still private landownership it was he was buying the the governing rights over
what is today election shine yes yeah nobody was really interested in the land
the first one to moved here to lift an horse my father in 1938 and the first of
all to whiz it what one of his answers a pretty safe support he came there I
think when a railway was built throughout Austria sometimes in the
middle of the nineteenth century so hundreds of estate now I could go
visit this is like that I purchased what’s that yeah they of course they
always denominated someone to represent them and they paid for the people they
introduced reforms they paid for the education of people one of the first
countries to introduce more less free educational education on a statewide
basis so yeah well try to develop it yeah so it existed at that point you’re
you said your father was the first one to move here why what changed is was it
at some around the time of the war or what caused yeah what basically the
family lived on the huge estates what is now the Czech Republic and all their
palaces in Vienna anyway whole summer states in Austria
still but then when Hitler took over Austria one didn’t know what would happen with
leash mastitis and when the German troops marched into Austria my father
who was not yet the reigning prince his his great uncle was married to a Jewish
Baroness the family was very much anti-nazi for probably not it was best
friends the rainy Prince fled to Czechoslovakia over the border and my
father drove to liechtenstein with his car met German troops marching towards
Vienna and tried to stabilize it here yeah and luckily he succeeded we were
not the next there was a small there was a small
attempt of a coup d’etat he unleashed in the way a Nazi Party yes when my father
I think in 1938 just before the outbreak of world war ii the small naughty nazi
party by the support of some Nazi people outside as in the governor of Tyrol and
fall back or southern Germany supported they tried to make a march on reduce
like the march on Rome but the duche it was a bad copy in both
both yeah but then the people heard about it it’s not so much of course you
couldn’t keep it secret so people came together the farmers at that time you
know with all the instruments Taconic at the forks and all the walks which was
its own they surrounded them we don’t have a country your father was was here and he
established what exists today essentially that’s right when the
reigning princes came to visit before they build
Villa up here but they came with a settlement it was only built in the
second half of the nineteenth century when the first came to visit but then
people wanted to have the castle which was before a museum adapted so that it
will be the residence of the reigning prince and this is where we are and
that’s why now most people think that Liechtenstein
just became rich because of their low taxes and their secret banking laws but
this couldn’t be further from reality now of course the financial sector does
play a big role here but in fact the industrial sector is the biggest
economic power in Liechtenstein have you heard of the company Hill T or IVA carve
evidence well if you haven’t heard of that last one the next time you go into
the dentist have a look at the brands of tools they use most likely they were
made in Liechtenstein well it’s a hit the company that is still in the
Buckingham Palace I I’m guessing that they updated it from this version
already but yes the buckingham palace is heated by a heating system out of
Liechtenstein so we were we were kind of talking and we spoke with other people
as well about the employment situation in Liechtenstein cos about 40,000 people
in the country but a lot of people come from around to to work here kind of as a
commute right lelouch line actually has more working places than we have
inhabitants so we have roughly 38 thousand inhabitants and 39,000 chops
that means we’re heavily dependent on commuters that come into the country
each day I think it’s about 20,000 people that come here each day and what
are these people typically doing most of them work in the industries and like for
the biggest companies like Hilty like the Evoque law or the to synchro questa
relates to the economy of Liechtenstein and you know I appreciate the history
things I didn’t didn’t even know after doing the research for all of this
what what kind of drove the change from the agrarian Licht engineer from I
suppose how it was before your father arrived and then set things up here to
Lichtenstein as it is today because while it was at 60 or 70 years it’s in a
way it’s it that seems like a lot of time but in a way it’s and not a lot of
time for such a dramatic transformation I seen there were several factors which
were important one factor was or in the 19th century when one of my predecessors
introduced general schooling
we have one of the first states to introduce it I think worldwide I sing in
Europe because on thought because it was a poor country relying on the subsidies
of the reigning princes so at least we should educate the people
so they can’t find a job outside of Liechtenstein if they don’t find one
inside yeah one kept the taxation as low as possible so to attract business one
was then able to make double avila the customs treaty with the austin hungarian
empire that opened up the big market before you know for the local market
hopeless is very small it was too small so with the access to this large market
or one could attract the swiss textile industry yeah because if we are across
the border but next to it but there was a free trade with that otherwise they
would have had to pay taxes its I’m just thinking if the similarities with today
kind of how in the past it was we’re a very small country we want to trade with
austria-hungary and now it’s like European Union in a way a similar thing
you have just more country and we we saw healthy the the tool manufacturers the
dental stuff of course low taxation which is something we’ll discuss in a
bit people I think often have these these
notions where they’re like they think of something and they’re like why is a
place rich and Switzerland rather the Liechtenstein as an example low taxes
right but the reality is it’s it’s often more than that whether it’s education an
education and then also access to the markets yeah if you don’t have access to
markets we couldn’t even feed our own people they were dependent on subsidies
by the reigning prince and of course it became better with Valley it was fine
with also knowing they’re an empire and then after it collapsed luckily we got
the same treaty with Switzerland and I was able to push through thanks to the
éric rohmer cracy the European economic market because
there was a lot of resistance government in Parliament and would not have got
through that but with direct democracy I was able to put it into a popular vote
you know about this drawer we have several advantages here in Liechtenstein
one is this that the taxes are not too high the other is we are actually in the
middle of Europe well if you’ve seen the distance since you’re everywhere within
no time right we’re staying in Switzerland while we’re here in
Liechtenstein just over the border there’s you were mentioning the people
commuting from Austria and Germany so right in the middle we are also located
in two different economic areas at the same time so we have very easy access to
the Swiss Economic Area and but we’re also part of the European Economic Area
right right next door to the EU right next door to you yes and we have both we
have contracts that makes it very easy so if you like for example if you have
an insurance company and it is based in Liechtenstein you just need one office
to work in Switzerland and in the EU well if you don’t have it in
Liechtenstein then you need two separate offices do you think that the removal of the
secret banking that was there was here before do you think that do you think
that affected Lichtenstein’s economy much it reduce for short terms a tax
income but against my more pessimistic look at it I was very much in favor of
opening it up because it exposes so much criticism it
none of those banks or the financial industry they recovered after two three
years perhaps also because I always said we are not going to be able to uphold
this banking secrecy which was introduced some time before world war
two but the Swiss and so on so that that’s changing yo you have really to to
if you want to survive in the long term as a bank or in the financial industry
you have to offer good service for people who are willing to pay also their
taxes in their home country I think that’s another thing that I picked up on
was with these smaller states you can really focus on you know instead of you
like you say the reality is this is the way the world is going people need to be
open with their finances this is how it’s going to how it’s going to be and
then you could switch to a focus on let’s do really good banking let’s be
really excellent banks let’s not be you know generic and giant bank who won’t
pick up the phone on Saturday morning to let’s be really good at this which is do
you think that’s another one of the reasons why you know Liechtenstein as an
economy has done so well because you can focus on doing things really well rather
than I think so yes I think it was the education system it was low taxation it
was a realization that you would only be able to survive in a small
as a small country in an economic with no home market
you had to compete on the world markets to survive and nobody’s going to protect
you the government cannot afford to support
one of our larger manufacturing companies we would be just then we would
have to raise taxes and there would be a media initiative but the people in the
popular world why why should we pay more taxes to support mr. Osterberg mr. hefty
mr. mayor mr. whatever moolah this is well like your system because like I
feel this sometimes happens in in other countries maybe my earth at least we
don’t really get a say it’s like yeah we um we just gave them loose of money
because they were in trouble lepen Trump you Kip why now do you do
you have an opinion on why why do you think this is happening now
we see changes in the whole system of a direct democracy people get more
detached everything has become complicated you have globalization
there’s not so much possibility to decide only for your state all that
makes people to a certain degree unhappy and therefore populism easy solutions
that people never really had looked very much in why this law that law like
Switzerland over here there was also in Switzerland populist movements to a
certain degree on on immigration but that quieten down when it was solved
more or less and here there were also some but not very much and and that I
think is something that has somehow worried me for quite some time that
those states who are my opinion to surgery over centralized are not
fulfilling any more duties which are spected from the people and that creates
populism and and and easy solutions and things like this
the middle of easy solutions the appeal of easy solution here is the solution
their often their catastrophes yes narrowly avoided sometimes do you think
increasing globalization you know maybe is going to lead to more of this do you
think this is is something we’re gonna see continue or do you think this is
kind of something we’re gonna see fade away as people perhaps realize that you
know once we’ve elected a populous they’re not or they cracked up to be
it’s I don’t think it’s going to fade away because globalization is going to
increase you really I think you have to adapt to this new situation and really
you know the old nation-state and socialist state told the people that we
are going to produce heaven here on earth and that doesn’t turn out like
that and so there’s a resentment on that and people have the feeling that people
up there they don’t contact anymore with us they’re detached they are just
looking for their own positions their own money and that creates these kind of
populism and and that’s icing a danger for democracy and that worries that’s
one of the reasons why wrote by book I just wanna has been a real pleasure
it’s a it’s a skeevies and have you give me your thoughts and everything that you
– it’s been a pleasure it was an interesting discussion for me talk glass
thank you very much thank you now as we often say here a visual
politic not everything is perfect and despite the success of Lichtenstein’s
model there are still many questions is it legitimate that the head of state is
not chosen by his citizens could this system really be implemented in bigger
nations well now it’s your turn please do leave your answer in the comment
section below we’d love to hear from you and perhaps many of you right now you’re
hungry for a little bit more well if that is the case we do have a bonus for
you you can watch the entire interview with The Prince and it has many many
more questions in it in that video we talked about history the war on drugs
and of course immigration especially to rich people moved in before it put their
deals restrictions because of the low taxation they would buy nice houses nice
building places whereas the local people couldn’t afford it now this video is
only going to be available to you our patreon supporters and if you do want to
become a supporter and get that bonus material please do check out our patreon
page we really appreciate it for less than the price of a cup of coffee per
month you can help us to continue this project called visual politic and also
make it bigger and more ambitious and as I mentioned you will also get access to
the whole Prince hans-adam interview as well as other exclusive content that
we’re going to be publishing in the future so please do check that out
there’s a link in the description below and also if you like this video please
do give it a thumbs up and as always I’ll see you in the next one


  1. Post
    Yuvraj Patil

    Toooo long…. I realised that I kinda prefer the usual visualpolitik video length than watching these boring interviews!

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    China Expat

    Democracy works when the population is educated and rational. Ideology appeals to people who are incapable of thinking for themselves

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    Tamas Sisak

    Is this a classic paradox: do you need first to have educated citizens, well informed people, and then give them the possibility of direct democracy? Or the other way around, let's have direct democracy all over the place and ta-dam! people will start behaving responsibly and take wise decisions for their little communities?

    Needless to say, I'm pretty sure only one of those measures can come first… and it's obvious there's so many-many places everywhere IT JUST WOULDN'T WORK because people are so ignorant and misinformed.

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    Gary McCoy

    Makes a good argument for the U.S. to get back to what our founding fathers wanted with the States haveing the power over the Federal Government…not the way it is now.

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    Patrick Lloyd

    Watching videos on countries like these…

    Really makes me curious as to why Reddit and 4Chan chose the not-all-that-notable FINLAND, of all places as the non-existent one, when this (Liechtenstein), Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, etc. are the ones successfully using the policies that the internet has touted as being completely impossible on a fundamental level… Unlikely to be a related subject, but I feel the web had missed an opportunity to make a really clever jab there.

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    Konstantinos Kotsomytis

    This prince guy really looks like Palpatine. I will not be surprised if he implements order 56 and become the emperor of the european empire.

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    Eric Dannug

    I don't like to call this a Direct Democracy but the politically correct term should be a GOOD DEMOCRACY! And the best formula of having a GOOD DEMOCRACY in a country like Liechtenstein is the way the people they act, behave, to educate, to respect, to unify & to discipline themselves in order to make Democracy works in a right way! Its the people in a country themselves who are responsible to run for the democratic system & not the government. Now if the people themselves use democracy in a wrong way like the right to kill people, the right to hate the minorities, the right to rape women & children, the right to use illegal drugs, the right to steal money, etc., etc. then democracy of a country is a sham, a huge BS!!! 😩

    So its the people themselves who are responsible to make their country of bringing a GOOD DEMOCRACY in their land & not their own government, because they are just a tool for that political system, and this is what the country of Liechtenstein do their country on having a GOOD DEMOCRACY unlike other democratic countries out there like USA, South Africa, India, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, UK, France, Greece, Nigeria, Kenya, etc., etc.

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    Maurice B.

    I wonder if the prince has, in his lifetime, shaken the hands of nearly all of the citizens in liechtenstein

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    Such an interesting video. Anyone has any idea/recommendation to secure an interview with HSH The Prince? Is he really that people-friendly? Simon, what are your tips? 🙂

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    Ruby Doobie

    My ideal Monarchical system would be one where the monarch holds a third of the power, parliament (elected through proportionate voting) holds a third and the general populace holds the other third. Bills/Laws/Budgets could be proposed by the Monarch, Parliament or by referendum and would need the support of two of the branches of power allowing the populace and the Monarch to overrule the government, or Parliament and the populace to overrule the Monarch or for the Monarch and Parliament to enact something that lacks public support like a tax increase.

    Essentially most of the power would be in the hands of the people because they directly control a third of the vote and indirectly control another third through elections.

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    Took me a while to get the time to watch the entire video but great video! I already wanted to be a patreon but now I have even more reason.

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    I'm a fellow brit Simon, and I think it's essential that the head of state isn't chosen by the citizens as long as there is a second branch of the state that primarily runs the country and the head of state acts in a symbolic way. Just look at what happens in America where there isn't a symbolic leader, what's happening is that the role of President is becoming more and more symbolic, and as a result is increasing in power and is a cause of political division as shown by all the vitriol spouted from each side when the other is in power, something that is blindingly obvious now that Trump is in charge, but I also thought fairly noticable when Obama is in charge

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    America has something superior to this but the people have been led astray. America court system is supposed to ruled by common law making every person, who doesn't work for government who claims thier rights to be sovereign from government. In fact we are supposed to be superior to rhe fed but we have lost our way and have forgotten who we are.

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    Ntwali B.

    Thanks a lot for all the good work you guys at VPK are doing.
    Here in Africa, we are quickly running out of excuses for models to follow to also join the civilized world.
    If these so called "strong men" crave for eternal power so much, here is a model for you that benefits both you and your country: Liechtenstein!
    Or follow so the Chinese model. It is a dictatorship and has poor human rights record but they are making progress in all other areas.
    And we are behind in every area imaginable.

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    Philipp Blum

    We can definitively learn some certain things by Liechtenstein. E.g. decentralization is better than Centralization to become rich as a country in general. Centralization always tend to have rich areas, often the capital city, and poor areas.

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    Introduced slowly at a local level and then building up to country wide decisions, seems like it would work if people became more educated in politics as they went.

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    Jacob Ferreira

    I think the U.S should become more decentralized. The states dont have enough power. I think the majority of the problem in the U.S is we have 2 major cultures arising in the coast and inner states. If the states were to implement their own policies they could do what they want without enforcing it on the other. The problem however occurs when Californians leave their shit hole and try to implement their shithile policies on us

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    American Gooeyduck

    He’s got to be the most humbled living person of royalty a really nice guy I never thought I’d say that especially being an American usually I think of monarchy as a bunch of arrogant snooty people that need a reality check that is not the case with him wow seems like he sincerely is a good guy

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    I would be in favour of direct democracy on the basis that the general population can't vote on economic policies as that will lead wealth and property being expropriated from the more well off.

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    sakthi kiran

    Good one… But ironically this interview didn't show feedback of common men, who is supposed to exercise direct democracy & get benefit out of it. By just showing Mayer, Business spokes person, prince & politician (ruling ones), the other side of coin is not well exposed.

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    Mr. Chopsticks

    Sounds like the prince is a great person to have a conversation with. I really like the brief giggles, you outdid yourself VISUALPOLITIK

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    Seth Sternin

    America needs direct democracy, but it doesn’t need this kind, with monarchy lurking in the background.

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    Matheus Barbosa

    Now thats an admirable monarch. I'd love my country was that tiny and well administrated. You could fit thousands of Liechnsteins in Brazil, but that wouldn't amount to nothing.

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    Allen Hamilton

    Liechtenstein seems to be more of a large, well run, smoothly administered company town rather than a country. It also has the benefit of of a semi-independent veto (Prince) to counter the really stupid ideas. Great video Simon.

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    Zak Johannes

    I have been watching almost all of ur videos & there is no way to compare them becouse of different reasons But i have to say this one is by far the most interesting one interems of your preparations for the video & the country as a whole. Keep doing it bro👍🏽

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    I think that the head of state is hereditary is crucial. The parliament reflects the will of the people but you need someone guiding the discussion, have a plan that does not end with the next election, as HH said, they look at things from a generational point of view. That would be a huge plus in government.

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    Tony Crewes

    Liechtenstein is a theft state, like Monaco/Luxembourg/Cayman Is etc which are all tax havens for corporations and rich individuals and which is how Liechtenstein gets most of it's money (i.e.'financial services') and how the prince made his fortune. In other words, money that really belongs to other countries is hidden there. I heard the prince when questioned say that the problem was other countries need to charge less tax, which was gracious of him (and beside the point). The EU in particular has been chasing down this criminality both here and elsewhere for years and has, recently, made some progress with information access in Liechtenstein.

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    gabbie kavanov

    i dont know about all the democracy stuff but the prince is so humble and very smart he was born in to a high position and still works hard to help his people

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    civil-social media

    Since this will take forever to be the American government. Why not start with running businesses this way? This way if minorities feel left out, they can have their own set up.

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    Yeah, found it really interesting to learn that Lichtenstein wasn't annex by Nazi Germany, just like the Swiss (who kinda helped the Nazis with their financial affairs). How did Lichtenstein dodge the bullet?

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    James Van Leuven

    What is the name of the book written by the HRH of Liechtenstein? I would like to read it.

    btw – this is the BEST video you have ever produced, for one single reason…. you have actually gone to the country, and interviewed individuals who in fact, are in positions of power, and authority, to determine the result.

    fyi – i am a Monarchist, and have been so all of my life. The examples of socialism, communism, fascism, and branded multi-party 'democracy' have all demonstrated abysmal failure on every level, though I do find it interesting that nations which have functioned under fascism have – interestingly enough (as a rule, as there are exceptions) – created a better transportation infrastructure, educational opportunities, healthcare systems etc – but that notwithstanding, they tend to unfortunately also be ruled by individuals with blanket policies of wholesale slaughter of anyone who disagree's with their points of view – making it – as well – an abysmal failure.

    Divine rule is the only rule which has benefited the planet, it's people's, and humanity in general. The instant we gave the average imbecile the ability to choose, was the instant everything started going to shit. Because the "heaven on earth" la dee da we are the world, everyone is equal mantra, is simply incorrect.

    This system is the best system thus far and it is the best system thus far, because the HRH can – without having to explain himself – simply veto anything he wants – because he clearly realises that it is his responsibility – as a steward of what has been granted to him by divine decree – that he is required to protect the people from themselves, and that "themselves" is in fact always short sighted, selfish, and infantile – 99.9% of the time.

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    Simon, you're clearly, shall we say , starstruck aren't you? Laughing like a 12 year old on his first date ever.
    Keep them coming

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    siegfried greding

    This is why it needs to be a constitutional direct democracy. so you can't pass laws to discriminate against people who aren't doing anything bad or push religious ideologies AKA mob-rule.

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    Dr. Mason Greenslade, DC

    I do love these videos for their thoughtful nature. Liechtenstein is a phenomenal example of showing what the human psyche requires in order to feel empowered by its government. All this thanks to true checks and balances (the monarchy & the voting populace can remove the legislature, with the latter being able to remove the former by referendum…. ok, so the legislature is the most in "check" followed by the Prince, but it satisfies the human desire to be protected by a strongman/Price while being forced to take responsibility for their own action/Direct Democracy, while simultaneously blaming others/legislature. BUT, I digress.) I am NOT joking, I seriously do love this government form and I can see it working elsewhere.

    The area, which I seem to be missing the magic, is in competition.

    1. If Liechtenstein has a GDP per capita of $168,000, yet imports around 30% of its workforce. Wouldn't that put the actual GDP per capita at $117,600 as those extra 30% (some say 50%) of workers are likely taxed yet the Liechtenstein State & Villages don't have to spend anything on them as they just work in Liechtenstein for the day, before returning to their homes in Austria (23% of Liechtenstein workforce) and Switzerland (27% of Liechtenstein workforce)? Yes, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have a Double-Taxation agreement, but to what extent.

    In other-words, isn't Liechtenstein able to provide so much (not just financial services) for its people because it's essentially able to tax those that work but don't reside within its boarders?

    2. Liechtenstein is sandwiched between the wealthy Switzerland (Non-EU/EURO), and the fairly wealthy and high tax Austria (EU/EURO). Any company would move a manufacturing plant to a region close to its market if it has a significant enough tax reduction. I mention the EURO/EU components because Liechtenstein to Austria is absent of cross boarder tax. Where is a company going to set up shop, a region with 22% corporate tax or one with 12%? Same is true with Luxembourg. It's overall taxation is considerably higher than Liechtenstein's but far lower than the states that surround it, France and Germany.

    It sounds more like a system that works for smaller States, but only when able to feed off larger ones.

    I suppose this is a bigger issue in keeping the bigger states more competitive in general while offering similar services. Perhaps a technocratic Corporatism model? Don't know.

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    Felipe Reyes

    this only works because they don't even have a proletarian population, all the workers are from another country that travel every day, their expenses about health care, pensions, welfare, military are basically non existent, and the people who vote are all wealthy and well educated, Liechtenstein the country with the perfect neighbors.

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    Alex Gia

    "direct democracy" sounds so right.
    But it can only work in a society were people are roughly of the same class,
    and above all, are properly educated in order to judge a political situation correctly.

    In most countries, everyone just votes according to the media, their immediate personal gains, or for the most charismatic speaker.
    So such a system would be disastrous.

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    Shayan Shahsiah

    "People get trained and learn the effects of a stupid decision" whereas in other democracies, people just blame the politicians

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    This has virtually NOTHING to do with "democracy!" Rather, Liechtenstein is arguably the MOST LIBERTARIAN country in the world!!!! Now, we can see how libertarian values make a society prosperous and rich.

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    i love this leader of the country. he actually knows what the hell he's talking about and smart enough to understand the climate around his country. too many other leaders are so conceited or don't pay attention and it cost them dearly.

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    This was fascinating. This is the solution. Direct democracy, low taxation, people voting on local levels and seeing what works and what doesn't. Brilliant.

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    Peter Bradshaw

    The Doctrine of Estates is what the prince may have wanted to say. Private landholders having freeholds and leaseholds an interest in land

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    David Jennings

    Where is the problem with having an inherited head of state? He pointed out the major benefit, the Monarch thinks in generations, where as the President or Prime Minister thinks about re election. Also as a bilionaire, the ability of special interest groups & lobbyists to bribe him must be non existent. And really, what is the difference between a Monarchy, and Capitalist dynasties like the Koch's or now Bezos? A title? Liechtenstein has managed to combine Monarchy, Capitalism & a bit of Socialism into a system that works well. Good luck to them.

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    eh i wouldn't call it so much democracy when the monarch has his veto right which he so far only was ready to use to keep abortion illegal (pro-abortion end up not voting bc it was pointless and therefore he didn't had to use it), and when people started to collect signatures for a vote to remove his veto power he threat to leave his country … so people stopped it … so yeah, no thanks

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