Who Should Decide Citizenship?
In Switzerland, citizenship applications for people residing in small villages or townships tend to be judged not by the federal authorities but by local communities. If you are, say, an immigrant who lives in a small village, the inhabitants of the village can choose not to grant you citizenship if they feel that you are not being respectful of local customs and traditions. Even if you fulfill all formal requirements for citizenship, your application will still be denied if your neighbors don’t want you.
This happened, for instance, to a woman called Nancy Holten who has been refused citizenship twice because she angered her community of Gipf-Oberfrick with attacks on cherished local traditions. Holten is one of those loud weirdos who tend to drive everybody round the bend with their eccentricities. Should she be denied citizenship, though?
What say you, readers? Who’s in the right, Holten or the angry villagers?