In the run up to the Austrian presidential election the Economist ran an article on the country. Despite living there for about 4 years, much of it was news to me (Austrians really don’t mix with foreigners).
This quote did send a shiver down my spine:
“Under Austria’s Proporz system, jobs, housing and business licences were doled out on the basis of party membership. Laws are written by party-affiliated labour or business groups and handed to parliament to rubber-stamp. Even now two motoring associations and two mountain-trekking clubs exist, to ensure that Austrians need never dally with another political tribe when their cars break down or when on an Alpine stroll.”
Dear God, in the time I was there, I could have unwittingly been a member of the Fianna Fail Hiking Club!