Always keen to speak to those promoting liberty and freedom not just in the UK but across the globe, we were delighted to speak with Martin Hartmann, President of the Libertarian Party in Switzerland.
How did you first get involved with libertarian politics and the Libertarian Party?
In 2012, the Hayek Club of Zurich gave some lectures on Austrian economics at the university in the evening. This made more sense to me than what I had learned in my economics studies. In 2014, the Libertarian Party was founded, in which I have been involved ever since.
For those that don’t know much about Swiss politics can you tell us about the big political issues facing the county?
Better safe than sorry – With Corona as well as with the whole climate discussion, people have forgotten self-responsibility. They can no longer decide for their lives. And they don’t want to. They would rather be “on the right side”. So they look for a general guide or leader to tell them what to do. The consequences: A bigger state, more debt, higher taxes, more laws and rules.
What are the party’s main policies, what would you most like to change in your country?
Our constitution emphasizes federalism and subsidiarity. Unfortunately, we are experiencing just the opposite: centralism and one-size-fits-all solutions. Returning to the principles that have made us successful is crucial. Better alternatives to a centralized one-size-fits-all approach would be a federal competition of systems and ideas – or even better – privately competing solutions. Private solutions outperform services provided by the state by far.
How engaged are the people of Switzerland with Libertarian ideas?
Unfortunately, they are not really committed. The majority follow the existing system, which leads to all the failures we currently have. Perhaps they live in fear of trying something themselves and taking responsibility. At least some awakening during Corona has made the Swiss think about alternatives.
How does your party go about gaining support?
We participate in elections – without a real chance, but to reach the public. We meet physically at least once a month. And we maintain a network of freethinkers by means of our libertarian calendar with all liberal events in Switzerland. We also write quarterly election recommendations and participate in legislative deliberations.
Lastly, do you have any thoughts on British politics?
Remain independent! Allow secession. Reject all centralism and socialism. Don’t let the EU take control away from you again. Stop all government spending outside your country – no development aid and no wars abroad.
Wir lieben Freiheit – We love freedom