The Swiss Confederation has made it compulsory for dog owners (any type of dog, obviously) to follow some training courses, 5 + 15 hours (theory + practice). An idiot on the TV was praising the initiative since it will give incentives to own a dog only to people who really want it and care about the dog's integration in the society (I swear: he really said so). As if people want dogs to integrate them in the society. "Why did you get a dog?" "Well, I felt that society could be better off with my Bill integrated into it"...Of course what will happen is that people who would like to have nice, inoffensive dog and would be caring and lovely, but whose opportunity cost of following the bloody 20 hours courses is too high, will not actually get their Fido. The opportunity costs will depend on the price of the courses, to be fixed at the Federal or Cantonal level (what else?, like George Clooney would put it) and – to a much bigger extent – on the amount of time that the potential dog owner would have to waste instead of spending a few relaxing weekends at home.
Next initiative: compulsory swimming licence for people who swim in the lake. You'd better make sure that people who jump in the lake can effectively swim, right? Then they will make it compulsory to follow State-dispensed courses for hikers. You cannot afford dummies to go get lost up in Jura and to be saved by helicopter, right? I am not sure, but I also think they are discussing measures to establish compulsory courses for pedestrians. They will have to know the rules, if they want to cross the street, right? To be sure, the price for all these useful and society-improving measures shall be irrevocably fixed by the central planners in Berne.