Political talk from outside of the UK
:sunglasses: 28.6 % :thumbsup: 71.4 %
By Zuriblue
Membership Days Posts
Another quarter, another referendum. This is a Super Sunday as the last vote in May was cancelled due to Covid. On the paper:

The Peoples Party are having yet another attempt to break the EU-CH Bilaterals by further limiting free movement. Projections are that it's going to fail. It's a Constitutional amendment so a supermajority of popular vote and Kantons is necessary.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-set- ... n/46040240

A renewal of the Swiss Air Forces fleet of fighter jets. The current F5 Tigers and FA-18 Super Hornets are getting too old and the Air Force wants to renew them. The choice is between Lockheed-Martin F35s, Dassault Rafale, Boeing Super-Hornet and Airbus Typhoon. This was voted on a few years ago with the selected plane being Saab Gripens, it was narrowly defeated. This time it's too close to call even though the polls had been showing a clear majority. Only a simple majority is needed on this one as no change to the Constitution is required.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-set- ... e/46057020

There are two votes on family matters, firstly a the introduction of 10 days paid paternity leave and secondly a large increase in the children's federal tax allowance . Projections show a clear yes for the paternity leave and a no for the tax breaks. Both of these are referenda and no Kantonal majority is required.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/family-fri ... x/46052078

Finally there is a reform to the hunting laws which allows Kantons to cull problematic animals without Federal permission. This is aimed squarely at wolves. This is a referendum with no Kantonal majority, it is currently too close to call.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-hunt ... s/46050398
By Zuriblue
Membership Days Posts
And while I was composing that mail the Begrunzungs-Initiativ (the SVP attempt to limit free movement) bit the dust . 15.5 Kantons have voted no so it cannot win.
By Kreuzberger
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It seems that the sensible voices were not letting complacency set in after the last fiasco where superannuated, hill-dwelling racists voted to destroy their own health service and imperil the country's industrial base.

I was with a client on Friday who told me that there has been a big national and even a family-based campaign to persuade the grandparents not to be so fecking stupid.

Oh, how close we came to getting that second referendum here. Grandparents, eh?
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
Brexit’s working its magic again around Europe
Swiss voters have rejected in a referendum a proposal to end an accord with the EU on the free movement of people, TV projections suggest.
Broadcaster SRF said voters were set to reject the plan by 62% to 38%.
Ballots are still being counted, and final results are due within hours. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54316316
By Bones McCoy
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Thanks for that, really informative.
It's amazing to see that there are even referenda on the type of fighters the air-force should use.
That calls for a certain level of informed electorate.

Reflect that if we tried that here, the kippers would ensure we were still flying Spitfires.

Settle down at the back Red.
They're beautiful aircraft, but a bit flimsy and short ranged for South Atlantic carrier operations.
By Zuriblue
Membership Days Posts
Tubby Isaacs wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:48 pm
How many times can the Swiss People's Party push the same shit?
No idea. They try it every couple of years. The trouble is they are seriously rich (one of the guys behind the SVP Zürich, which is the extremist fraktion, is one of the countries richest men so they can afford it. (The SVP is split into two fractions, the Bern fraktion which is basically the original Farmers and Small Traders party and the Zürich fraktion which is Christoph Blocher and the rest of the headbangers. The two sides do not get on)

There is an outfit called Operation Libero which does a lot of good work to counter the SVP's BS.
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By spoonman
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One of the key pillars helping stop the SVP/UDC taking Switzerland from going down the rabbit hole that the UK & USA have done over the last few years IMO is (a) a strong federal system based on a PR multi-party electorate, so blowback from "public" decisions is more in your face and direct, and (b) an electorate that is taught thoroughly in schools how to participate in (semi) direct democracy. "A" has a two pronged defence of political changes taking their time to be enacted by consensus which ultimately falls on to a cabinet that acts with collective responsibility based on the "magic formula" on seats proportional to their vote, as well as the Cantons having a strong identity within Swiss culture to handle all issues where it isn't obvious that the issue at hand wouldn't be better to deal with at federal level - someone whom once did some work in CH pointed out to me that (especially in the rural Swiss-German speaking areas) they are sceptical of ceding power to Berne let alone Brussels! For "B", there's a crossover compared to citizenship lessons schoolchildren in the Irish Republic are taught - namely that unless you agree with a constitutional amendment to your satisfaction and only on that basis, should you vote for change - you don't let other indirect factors affect your opinion. i.e. you don't use a referendum vote as a proxy for other issues like how quite a bit of the UK electorate did in June 2016. Also, voter turnouts tends for referenda tend to be quite low, usually in the 30's% IIRC - any getting over 50% is uncommon and tends to be a controversial matter.

This is just from my own reading - others are more than welcome to fill me in on bits I may be wrong about.

Overall, it appears to me that the Swiss are generally happy with their present relationship with the EU, bearing in mind that that they are essentially working on bilateral arrangements rather than a proper EEA formal relationship. From what I see the Romandie are perhaps the most pro-EU, Schwiezerdeutsch (I've probably mangled that) are somewhat spilt along urban and suburban/rural lines with the latter being stronger, while in Ticino they're just nuts!
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By Kreuzberger
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spoonman wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 pm
...I've probably mangled that...
I like Switzerland. I am there at least three or four times a year in normal times. I am exposed to the 360° of the country, even if I don't understand the minutiae. (A very close friend who works on the rehabilitation of serial killers, another is a neurologist who pieces back together mentally destroyed Kurds and Bosnian Muslims. Then there's the sometimes Catholic insurance clerk singer in a punk band who feeds junkies' dogs and so persuades their owners to safe shooting galleries.) Then we all go up the hill. We do raclette. We drink supermarket beer. We swim in the Aare.

TL;DR: This is a functioning society with a mature, educated democracy but, make no mistake, it is a fragile coalition of mutual and pragmatic self-interest. Managed junkies are unlikely to nick your daughter's Maserati.

The FoM decision is a major triumph but the denial of the right to blast wolves off every hillside is also hugely symbolic. This goes beyond indulging in the luxury of grumbling about glaciers and proves a level of environmental engagement which hadn't really been tested in recent years.

Oh, and Geneva is now mandating a minimum wage of twenty quid per hour.
By spoonman
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I wouldn't actually mind visiting Switzerland at least once, as it seems such a fascinating place of culture clashes that, as you say, work well together but mainly as a fragile coalition based on personal self-interests. Maybe it's that fragility that makes them so keen to defend it and the population inherently seem to define themselves as Swiss and find more in common with their fellow Swiss speaking another language rather than their immediate neighbours in France, Italy, Germany and Austria.

Alas, it is just too much an expensive place for me to really contemplate - although a well travelled aunt of mine does own a small château just over the border into the French Alps where to visit they have to fly in and out of Geneva airport. Maybe one time in the near future, maybe...
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By Kreuzberger
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Breakfasting and picnicking from the supermarket is certainly doable. Pubs and restaurants are cripplingly expensive. Music venues are used to you taking in a hip-flask. Public transport requires a dowry, especially the Moonlighter late buses and the airport rail-links.

Upshot: "all back to mine" and an effortless willingness to ease between English, high-German, Schwitzer-Deutsch, and the local impenetrable dialect. Plus, a fridge full of Feldschlößchen, a perfectly serviceable beer at 80 cents a can.

Not everyone in CH is hoarding Nazi gold and works for a private bank.
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