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October 01, 2020, 02:38:18 pm
News: First US presidential debate discussion thread link:

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  International Elections (Moderators: Gustaf, afleitch, Hash)
  Swiss elections and referenda - Immigration referendum 27th September
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Author Topic: Swiss elections and referenda - Immigration referendum 27th September  (Read 18855 times)
parochial boy
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« Reply #175 on: August 26, 2020, 03:08:53 pm »
« edited: August 26, 2020, 03:17:59 pm by parochial boy »

[...]
In practice, the Schaffhausen is considered to be something of a "swing canton" in the context of federal votes, in particular with popular iniatives it is often around about the middle of the pack in terms of it's support for a question - meaning it can be the make or break canton in terms of getting over the 12 canton mark needed to pass the initiative (in practice it's actually noticeably to the right of the national average - it just so happens that the smaller cantons, bar Jura, are the most right wing ones - giving the right something of an advantage when it comes to the 12 canton hurdle).
[...]
My impression always was that Schaffhausen has this certain "populist"© bent, in a different and milder form than Ticino. On some economic issues it even tilts to the left ("Affordable housing", "Against urban sprawl") and it was the only canton to vote for the abolishment of flat-rate taxation of millionaires, although that popular vote was difficult to interpret as a left-right thing in the Swiss context.

Yeah, I would say that I had the same feeling to a degree - but it really applies to the town and maybe the likes of Neuhausen. Schaffhausen itself tends to vote similarly to similar sized towns further west on the economic stuff, but more conservatively on other issues (much higher levels of support than Aarau or Olten for "self-determination"; ending free movement or for abolishing the TV licence fee for example - and those are both industrial towns as well); and it's obviously much weightier in relation to canton as a whole. Rural Schaffhausen isn't really distinguishable than Thurgau or Züri-land in the way it votes.

And yeah, also populism of a different sort to down south. Much less existential angst about identity and being ignored by the rest of the country in Schaffhausen, and the Grenzgänger phenomenon is far smaller. That, and Ticino's "populism" is also obviously a lot more than "economically left, culturally right". It's perfectly happy to vote to the right of the country on some economic issues, and was also much happier to outlaw homophobic discimination - and unlike Schaffhausen, Lugano is, if anything, more rightwing than the canton as a whole.
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parochial boy
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« Reply #176 on: August 29, 2020, 10:50:18 am »
« Edited: August 29, 2020, 10:55:27 am by parochial boy »

Two pictures - first, from Watson.ch, a map of population growth by commune during 2009-19 based on the OFS's recently released population statistics. It clearly shows the population booms in the Gros-de-Vaud, Broye Vaudoise, francophone regions of Fribourg and the Bas-Valais, as well as in Greater Zürich. Unsurprisingly, population declining in rural moutnainous regions, mostly away from the most tousitsy areas (eg the Surselva in the Grisons), but still including the likes of Klosters, Davos or Zermatt that are all home to famous ski resorts.



The second, a certain Federal Councillor slightly controversially expressing himself in the UDC's tout-ménage in support of the anti-immigration initiative that was sent out to every household in the country yesterday. Federal Councillors are not supposed to set themselves out against the Federal Council's official position, indeed the UDC's other one has already declared himself against the initiative. So, depending on your point of few, Maurer is a man of integrity standing up for the people, or, a selfish hack undermining the Federal Council and the Swiss system to support his party.

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parochial boy
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« Reply #177 on: August 30, 2020, 12:18:27 pm »

And Schaffhausen voted - big surprise, FDP incumbent Christian Amsler lost, and lost badly, meaning that both challengers were elected. So in all, the SP gain a second seat at the expense of the FDP.

Bit of a slap for Amsler in particular, who was supposed to have something of a future at the federal level - he had been embroiled in a scandal relating to a conflic of interest issue at the cantonal dental school. But still, ouch.

Results in full
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parochial boy
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« Reply #178 on: September 02, 2020, 03:20:50 am »

Second wave of Tamedia polling for the September votes (with changes on the first wave):

Limited immigration initiative
Yes - 37% (-4%)
No - 61% (+5%)

Fighter jets
Yes - 58% (+8%)
No - 40% (-7%)

Paternity Leave
Yes - 66% (nc)
No - 33% (nc)

Hunting Law
Yes - 43% (+6%)
No - 50% (-3%)

Child tax deduction
Yes - 53% (-2%)
No - 41% (+4%)

At this point, I'd expect everything except the Immigration initiative to pass. The Hunting Law and child tax deduction seems a little bit more competitive, but both would seem to be tending towards wins for the government.
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parochial boy
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« Reply #179 on: September 04, 2020, 11:42:45 am »

And in their ongoing merger-cum-takeover of the PBD, the Christian Democrats, in a fit of creativity, have decided that they want their new name to be...



The Centre/Le Centre/Die Mitte/Alleanza del Centro

Name proposed, with the final decision to be made by the membership

I mean, come on...

Remains to be seen whether dropping the "Christian" appelation puts off more of their remaining Catholic supporters (nb in the Valais, Jura, rural bits of Lucerne, primitive Switzerland) than it attracts "secular, centrist, urban" voters.
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parochial boy
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« Reply #180 on: September 10, 2020, 01:21:38 pm »

The Conseil National somewhat surprisingly passed a bill to reduce the voting age to 16 today. Still needs to go through the senate (and presumably a referendum), but is yet another reminder of how different this parliament is to the last one.

On the other hand, the Conseil des États pushed their final vote on gay marriage back to Novermber (was supposed to be this month) because... "more consultation time needed". Like the last 7 years weren't enough or something.
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RIP RBG
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« Reply #181 on: September 10, 2020, 01:36:33 pm »

And in their ongoing merger-cum-takeover of the PBD, the Christian Democrats, in a fit of creativity, have decided that they want their new name to be...



The Centre/Le Centre/Die Mitte/Alleanza del Centro

Name proposed, with the final decision to be made by the membership

I mean, come on...

Remains to be seen whether dropping the "Christian" appelation puts off more of their remaining Catholic supporters (nb in the Valais, Jura, rural bits of Lucerne, primitive Switzerland) than it attracts "secular, centrist, urban" voters.
Do you think the Protestant People's Party/EVP could benefit from a CVP/BDP merger?
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parochial boy
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« Reply #182 on: September 10, 2020, 02:15:33 pm »

And in their ongoing merger-cum-takeover of the PBD, the Christian Democrats, in a fit of creativity, have decided that they want their new name to be...



The Centre/Le Centre/Die Mitte/Alleanza del Centro

Name proposed, with the final decision to be made by the membership

I mean, come on...

Remains to be seen whether dropping the "Christian" appelation puts off more of their remaining Catholic supporters (nb in the Valais, Jura, rural bits of Lucerne, primitive Switzerland) than it attracts "secular, centrist, urban" voters.
Do you think the Protestant People's Party/EVP could benefit from a CVP/BDP merger?

Probably not. The EVP are a pretty niche party, whose electorate and membership consists almost entirely of practising protestants, and in particular those belonging to the Free Churches and one of the particular protestant sects. I think their evangelicals or methodists rather than the reformed churches, although I couldn't say any further because I have no idea how to distinguish between the various protestant currents; except the Free Churches are not funded by the state* and are closer to what would be called "Evangelical" in the Anglophone world.

Point being, their support is basically restricted to people who are pretty serious about religion and to regions where there are a lot of those particular protestant churches. That is, specifically in the "bible belt" regions like the Zürcher Oberland, the Kulm district of Aargau, select bits of the Bernese alps and a handful of other regions. Pretty much everywhere else they are marginal.

In contrast, the PBD are not a religious party and their electorate wouldn't typically consider itself as being a religious electorate, even if the background is overwhelmingly protestant. Even in Bern, where both parties are relatively strong, they have very different electoral geographies. The PBD electorate is much more concentrated on the plateau, in particular near Lake Bienne, which has a very different economic and cultural background (market gardening, as opposed to rearing cows, and much less religious).

If anything, the EVP could stand to lose as their seat in Aargau was won off the back of an alliance with the PBD - which might not happen in a post merger world.

* To cut a long story short, in Switzerland you typically pick a religion when you register with the local municipality, and based on that part of your tax bill will be used to fund said religion. If you pick "not religious" or a religion not recognised by the state, your tax bill will be reduced by the amount that would otherwise be funding your religon
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Zinneke
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« Reply #183 on: September 14, 2020, 10:47:39 am »

Great thread!
What's the deal with this Von Dreyen figure :https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/conspiracy-theorist-19-banks-fortune-from-swiss-r87shnbwt

I don't really trust the Times after their hot takes on Dutch politics Tongue
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parochial boy
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« Reply #184 on: September 14, 2020, 11:26:21 am »

Some of the cantonal votes also going ahead in two weeks:

Geneva is voting on a 23 franc ($25.50) per hour minimum wage, alongside the usual list of esoteric and uninteresting constitutional amendments (should it be possible to replace the head of the cantonal government during his mandate? knowing full well the role is essentially meaningless? Do you even know who that person currently is? do you care?)

Zurich is doing some stuff about the canton taking over part of social security and transport costs fso as to reduce the burden on the municipalities (whew), and a new football stadium.

Everywhere else either isn't having any, or if they are, I obviously haven't had anything come through the door about them and there hasn't been any media coverage that I've noticed.

There's also been a bit of controversy, why not, about the wording of the questions in the federal votes.

Principally, the question on paternity leave which contains a lot of jargon and conveniently manages to avoid actually using the words "paternity" or "leave" (I would translate the question, but I actually don't know what half the words even are in English. It's object 4 here); but also the "childcare tax reduction" vote which implies that the law is merely about a tax reduction on childcare costs when that is only a tiny part of the actual total cost of the project. CHF 10 million out of the total 370 million.

There is precedent for this sort of thing winding up in the Federal Court, and even for votes having to be reheld. Which would be fun, but also typically Swiss to find some way of delaying everything pointlessly for another couple of years.

Great thread!
What's the deal with this Von Dreyen figure :https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/conspiracy-theorist-19-banks-fortune-from-swiss-r87shnbwt

I don't really trust the Times after their hot takes on Dutch politics Tongue

Thanks! I'll be honest though, I've never heard of her, have never had a conversation about her, and briefly searching some of the news sites I normally go to, didn't really see anything beyond a few vague "look at this kooky teenager" articles from 2019 - mostly relating to 5G at that point. And that includes 20 Minutes, who usually love sensationalist exclamation-mark laden articles about people being vaguely eccentric.

I guess she might be popular with the kind of people who go demonstrate against face masks, but I'd be minded to think The Times might be being a little bit hyperbolic. I think it's pretty much the curse of any small country that coverage in the big anglophone titles is going to be, er, somewhat out of touch with reality to be honest. 🤨
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Zinneke
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« Reply #185 on: September 14, 2020, 11:43:01 am »

tell me about it...
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parochial boy
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« Reply #186 on: September 16, 2020, 02:43:47 am »

Final polling dumps ahead of Sunday - coming from Tamedia and GfS.Bern. Scores as follows:

Immigration initiative

Tamedia:
Yes - 33% (-4%)
No - 65% (+4%)

GFS.Bern:
Yes - 35% (nc)
No - 63% (+2%)

Fighter jets

Tamedia:
Yes - 65% (+7%)
No - 34% (-6%)

GFS.Bern:
Yes - 56% (-2%)
No - 40% (+2%)

Paternity Leave

Tamedia:
Yes - 70% (+4%)
No - 28% (-5%)

GFS.Bern:
Yes - 61% (-2%)
No - 35% (nc)

Hunting Law

Tamedia:
Yes - 49% (+6%)
No - 48% (-2%)

GFS.Bern:
Yes - 46% (-8%)
No - 48% (+12%)

Tax reduction

Tamedia:
Yes - 51% (-2%)
No - 46% (+5%)

GFS.Bern:
Yes - 43% (-8%)
No - 52% (+9%)

The last two seem genuinely up for grabs. If I'm remembering correctly, a "No" to either one would be the government's first defeat since 2017.
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CumbrianLeftie
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« Reply #187 on: September 16, 2020, 06:33:45 am »

What actually is the hunting law proposal - making it easier or harder?
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parochial boy
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« Reply #188 on: September 16, 2020, 09:05:17 am »

What actually is the hunting law proposal - making it easier or harder?

Easier, principally easier to kill wolves when they are threatening livestock
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Zinneke
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« Reply #189 on: September 19, 2020, 02:15:02 pm »

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mileslunn
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« Reply #190 on: September 19, 2020, 09:19:00 pm »

Immigration initiative seems interesting, almost same as what many Brexiters wanted, which is end of free mobility.  I could be wrong but guessing like Brexit, probably big age gap with idea being most popular amongst seniors while least popular amongst younger voters.  If it loses badly that may put the end to other countries talking about this.

Besides EU has more or less as they did with Britain made clear, you cannot be part of the single market and only accept some of the four freedoms, you have to accept all.
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parochial boy
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« Reply #191 on: September 20, 2020, 07:54:15 am »

Immigration initiative seems interesting, almost same as what many Brexiters wanted, which is end of free mobility.  I could be wrong but guessing like Brexit, probably big age gap with idea being most popular amongst seniors while least popular amongst younger voters.  If it loses badly that may put the end to other countries talking about this.

Judging by the polling crosstabs there is a small age gap, but more typically European in that the highest support is amongst 40/50 somethings rather than the old. 35% support implies a pretty big rejection across all of society though, which the crosstabs tend to indicate.

Personally I'm just a bit resentful that this question keeps coming back. It's like the 4th time in the last 20 years, and about the 10th in all, that some variant of this initiative has turned up - and the immigration sceptics have won once. You'd think that would get the message across in itself, but I suspect the UDC are already working on their next question in the hope that the political context is a bit more favourable in 2026 or whenever.



Not surprising really, but funny that there isn't much of a linguistic gap. Martullo-Blocher is still wearing one I see, which is at least consistent with her earlier position when she created a controversy back in March by turning up with one.

In other news, the Greens fell out with the climate strikers this week when they supported a law that was supposed to make Switzerland carbon neutral by 2030, or 40 or something. I forget. Anyway, the Climate Strike movement deemed this too slow, leaving new leader Balthasar Glättli to have do desperately explain that the Greens weren't actually in power and therefore didn't have the ability to decide this sort of thing by themselves.

The UDC also released a strange video in support of the anti-immigration initiative with a municipal councillor complaining that she didn't hear anyone speaking Swiss German on the train anymore. Which is true, when I get the train between Geneva and Lausanne, I never, ever hear any Swiss-German. What is this country coming to?
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Zinneke
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« Reply #192 on: September 20, 2020, 01:32:41 pm »

Are Swiss Germans that protective of their dialect though? Are they afraid of German cultural takeover to that extent?
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parochial boy
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« Reply #193 on: September 20, 2020, 02:12:59 pm »

One more article, from Watson of all places focussing in on the unease and growing court drama in the UDC ranks. Lot's going on that I have already touched on before, but it zones in on a few areas that are worth noting.

The biggest one is the increasing unease at Christoph Blocher, the bigwig who has set the party's direction in recent years. He had the issue with demanding his retired federal councillor rent a few months back ago - which seems to have played really pretty badly amond traditional UDC voters. But beyond that, there is a fair amount of angst on the fact that the party seems to be stuck on its traditional bugbears that are immigration and the EU.

Anecdotally it makes sense, and polling backs this up, that people are simply fed up of hearing about the issues, and of having the UDC harp on about them. This time round, apparently the UDC have had a lot of difficulty in getting their farmer-based to put up posters in their fields, which has been an old way of making their issues very visible. But, on top of that, the other parties have moved on to a new strategy, the "no" campaign has been much less dramatic than it was in 2014. If anything, the success has been in keeping the question away from the headlines (the hunting law and fighter jets seems to have heightened the passions more), and really kept the cultural warfare over immigration and the EU at bay - which seems to have become a winning strategy.

Are Swiss Germans that protective of their dialect though? Are they afraid of German cultural takeover to that extent?

Intensely proud. A slightly rude quote that the historian Thomas Maissen once came up with is «être Suisse allemand consiste essentiellement à ne pas être Allemand», which, well, there you go.

Personally, I've had numerous instances of people telling me explicitely that they would prefer to speak English over High German. The only reason I ever even use German is because I speak it with a French accent, which means people tend to assume I don't speak English well enough to use it in preference (ha).

I think it's increasingly the case in recent years that there has been an ever bigger preference for dialect over High German - which is some degree of cultural anxiety, linked to immigration (Zürich is something like 10% German citizens), media, "German gangster rap". You know the deal.

The weird thing is though, I get the feeling that the Swiss-Germans are much, much less interested in what is happening in Germany than the Romands (and presumably the Walloons) are with what is going on in France. It gets covered far less, and I get the feeling that there is simply a much bigger cultural gulf between them. It winds up that, once you get away from the linguistic border, not speaking Swiss-German is just a marker of being "foreign". Especially since immigrants tend to learn High German first and, even when they can understand dialect, still be quite reticient about actually speaking it.
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« Reply #194 on: September 20, 2020, 04:24:00 pm »

«être Suisse allemand consiste essentiellement à ne pas être Allemand»
...
I get the feeling that the Swiss-Germans are much, much less interested in what is happening in Germany than the Romands (and presumably the Walloons) are with what is going on in France

A theory: Swiss Germans being the dominant population group in the country makes them identify with it more than other groups, and hence see Germany as much more "foreign", whereas French and Italians are like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when it comes to relations with neighboring countries (except those subhuman frontaliers of course).

Is that possible or nah? Tongue
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parochial boy
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« Reply #195 on: September 20, 2020, 05:06:28 pm »
« Edited: September 21, 2020, 07:56:16 am by parochial boy »

«être Suisse allemand consiste essentiellement à ne pas être Allemand»
...
I get the feeling that the Swiss-Germans are much, much less interested in what is happening in Germany than the Romands (and presumably the Walloons) are with what is going on in France

A theory: Swiss Germans being the dominant population group in the country makes them identify with it more than other groups, and hence see Germany as much more "foreign", whereas French and Italians are like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when it comes to relations with neighboring countries (except those subhuman frontaliers of course).

Is that possible or nah? Tongue

I'm not sure I'd say identify with it more - there is no national identity other than Swiss in Ticino or Romandie either. Sure, the Swiss Germans do have a habit of considering themselves as the "default" Swiss, but then, the Romands are perfectly happy to pretend the Swiss Germans don't exist half the time. So the feeling is kind of mutual.

What I would say is that Swiss Germans have always had a culture that is rather more, er, "introverted" than the other two linguistic groups. See any vote on the EU or immigration for proof of that. They are also geographically fairly separated from Germany by a rather short border, whereas Romandie and Ticino are both surrounded on two sides by France or Italy. Plus, for instance, the Swiss Germans managed to keep their traditional dialects (which is both a reflection of, and actively contributes to the point above), whereas the francoprovençal dialects died out in the 19th century (whether or not a Ticinese dialect exists appears to be something even the Ticinese themselves don't agree on, I don't speak Italian, so can't comment. Anyway, that would be a couple among various other historical and sociological factors.

The Swiss German cantons have for the most part been "Swiss" for longer, and even if virtually nowhere in Romandie has really ever been part of an identifiably French state, there were always much closer political and social links. For instance, Rousseau was a Genevan and a key figure in the French Siècle des lumières; while Neuchâtel played a major role in the French revolution by being the centre for the publication of revolutionary tracts. There's less stuff like that linking German Switzerland to what eventually became Germany.

That said, the above could be completely moot in the current day and age. Probably the reason is (in part my perception to be honest) at least partly that German Switzerland both has a language of its own, and has a big enough internal market to maintain an active cultural and media scene. Lot's of musicians singing in Swiss German for instance.

In contrast, Romandie gets absolutely swamped in size by France, and doesn't have enough people to really maintain the same internal market. Until very recently it was basically a given that any French Swiss wanting to make a career in the arts had to go to France to do it, and there is quite a major inferiority complex about how little we do actually produce. It's only really improved very recently, and even then the local cultural scene basically only survives basically thanks to a combination of the summer music festivals and the active investment of the public broadcaster and a few of the more progressive local municipalities.

Having gone off on my tangent, the point being, the Swiss Germans rely on Germany for cultural output much less than the other linguistic groups, and as so, feel less connected to it.
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Mike88
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« Reply #196 on: September 27, 2020, 07:14:32 am »

Referendum exit polls:

Ending free movement of people between EU and Switzerland:

63% Oppose
37% Approve

Procurement of new warplanes:

50% Approve
50% Oppose

Introduction of two weeks of paternity leave (paternal leave for fathers):

61% Approve
39% Oppose

Revision of the "Swiss Federal Law on Hunting and the Protection of Indigenous Mammals and Birds":

51% Approve
49% Oppose
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #197 on: September 27, 2020, 10:11:17 am »

Referendum exit polls:

Ending free movement of people between EU and Switzerland:

63% Oppose
37% Approve

Procurement of new warplanes:

50% Approve
50% Oppose

Introduction of two weeks of paternity leave (paternal leave for fathers):

61% Approve
39% Oppose

Revision of the "Swiss Federal Law on Hunting and the Protection of Indigenous Mammals and Birds":

51% Approve
49% Oppose


The "wolf hunting law" has actually been rejected by voters.

While there were no wolves in Switzerland in the 90s, there are now up to 80 in the country - who are killing a lot of sheep and cows of farmers in search for food. But not only for food, just because of their killing instinct. Such animals are very expensive for farmers, so the proponents wanted the law changed to shoot some "problem wolves". This is also controversial in Austria, where wolves made a comeback as well. Here, it's up to the states and my state (Salzburg) has decided to kill problem wolves if they repeatedly kill sheep.

Also, the purchase of new fighter jets was approved by 8.000 votes or by 50.1%-49.9%.
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parochial boy
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« Reply #198 on: September 27, 2020, 10:13:19 am »

And the Child tax deduction ends up being rejected by 37% to 63% while the Fighter jets are accepted with 50.1% - 49.9% (!). Amazing seeing as it was supposed to be a clear win.

Best maps available here (albeit paywalled), but also available on SRF's site or down to the commune level here.

Geneva also gets it's CHF23 ($25) per hour minimum wage with 58% support, and by a 70 vote margin passes a constitutional amendement to ensure that the effect of any corporate tax reforms are revenue neutral.

Fantastic day for the left, and may be time to kill off a few old stereotypes, huh? Grin
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #199 on: September 27, 2020, 10:17:57 am »

parochial boy, did you vote as well today ?

What is your position on wolf hunting ?
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