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The upcoming National Swiss Parliament vote

by whataboutbob Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 01:51:09 PM EST

Apparently this cartoon ran in the New York Times International Magazine last weekend suggesting that the Swiss are becoming fascist, and it seems to have ruffled some feathers here in Switzerland (according to interviews I am reading in the local papers here, anyway). Are you hearing anything in your countries about the Swiss vote?

The official national parliamentary vote is this weekend, although you can vote by mail here now, and many people are doing that. I will be curious to see how the Swiss finally vote...if they do vote heavily for the far-right SVP, or if there is a bigger turnout of the middle and left (which I hope). Plus, a wild card in this year's vote: there are over 100,000 Swiss living in other countries who are allowed to vote by mail...and if there is a big response, that could really turn the outcome to a different direction. We will see what happens.

Any Swiss voters out there? What do you think will be the outcome?

The one comment I will make here, in regards to my perspective on the whole election campaign here: That the SVP have taken a page out of the US republican playbook...they have been aggressive, playing the race card and the fear card, trying to blame all problems on the Left (who for the most part have not defended themselves), and spending A LOT of money on media. Also very Berlusconi-esque, what with the promotion of Blocher as their savior. Its been pretty disgusting, actually.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 01:54:54 PM EST
It's up to the Swiss to prove the world wrong.

All my Swiss news comes from the Salon and from Euronews (they ran a number of items on the racist posters). Didn't see much in the Dutch press when I checked.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 02:10:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've also not noticed much in the papers but I haven't had chance to read them properly this week.

What kind of comments are coming back re the allegations that the Swiss are turning fascist?  How is the SVP being portrayed within local press?

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 02:48:40 PM EST
There are illegals aliens being expelled by the dozens, a few of them comitting suicide to avoid it ; there was a national strike, with no public transportation and thousands demonstrating ; the French team has been eliminated from the RWC ; and our President is getting divorced. Those are the items the French media care about, in increasing orders of importance. Do you think Swiss elections can beat any of those ?

The last time Switzerland made the news in France was when our most famous and most lousy rock singer exiled there to pay less taxes. A prominent member of the opposition party suggested the EU besiege the country to prevent tax dumping.

Maybe it's better the French press and politicians don't comment on these elections...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 18th, 2007 at 07:24:07 PM EST
yes.. it's in the news, that you are a full of extremists and racists...

Like most people here in SPain but in the open.. (this last thing is mine :))

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 01:54:01 AM EST
swissinfo - Swiss elections under OSCE scrutiny
Experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have arrived in Switzerland ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections.

The ten observers, who work for the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, were invited by the Swiss authorities.


The purpose of the OSCE's first mission to Switzerland is to analyse the workings of the electoral system. The experts will assess and report on the overall framework for the conduct of elections in Switzerland.


In a newspaper interview, the head of the team, Paul DeGregorio, said that his team wanted to learn from Switzerland. "At the same time we have to be honest with Switzerland and also point out the areas which are not running optimally," he said.


The team has a packed schedule of meetings with representatives of the authorities, the parties, civil society and the media.


OSCE spokeswoman, Urdur Gunnarsdottir, told swissinfo that postal voting would be one area of particular interest.


Eighty per cent of Swiss citizens vote by post and in some cantons and urban areas this can even go above 90 per cent.

by Fran on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 02:21:16 AM EST
Of course, I have no idea of the outcome. I watched a special on TV5 about the media-savvy young males (30-50) who represent swiss rightwing politics these days. It is the only recent in-depth swiss political info I have had but I was struck by the level of artifice/opportunism displayed. Otherwise, similarly to greater Europe at large, a significant fraction of the Swiss seem to be falling prey to far rightwing rhetorics. Hopefully, it will be contained and progressive will wake up.
by Fete des fous on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 04:45:22 AM EST
For those who might be interested, here is a link to

Swissinfo - Swiss politics graphs page

And here is one chart I thought was informative: Choice of political party by social class

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 06:04:26 AM EST
Fascist farmers!

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 06:10:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And social democrat "socio-cultural specialists"...

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 06:11:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What the hell is a socio-cultural specialist anyway?

Is it some kind of newspeak?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 07:11:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
artists, social workers, union people, etc?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 07:45:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Artists and social workers I get, but union workers?

Aren't they rather in the "skilled workers" category?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 07:53:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was being somewhat arcastic in my response...but actually, there is quite strong mutual support between the SP and the Unions here in Switzerland.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 11:07:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Spain membership in the Socialist Union (UGT) used to be a prerequisite for membership in the Socialist Party until relatively recently. I wonder whether the same was true of other European Countries.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 04:23:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It used to be that members of Mitterrand's socialist party had to be members of an Union - unspecified. It's still in the party statuses but most members of that party aren't union members, that's certain.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 06:28:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the 1898 - 1987 (according to wikipedia) membership in any mayor union gave you an automatic membership in the Social Democratic party. Historically this was logical as the Soc.Dems were founded as a group of unions party wing. When they came to power they solidified their position as the unions party and marginalised those that would not play ball (the syndicalists unions).

The 1950'ies and 60'ies was probably the high point of soc dem control of the unions. With acceptance from the right wing, the soc dem governments (illegaly) put up a secret organisations to (illegaly) track communists, information then used to marginalise opposition within the unions. And to deny communists good jobs, and so on (the ordinary list of minor harassments).

In 1973 two journalists on a leftwing paper exposed the secret organisations, eventually leading to them being shut down (as far as we are told anyway). In this swedish version of the Watergate scandal the journalists were sent to jail (one year, for espionage) and the guilty politicians ruled on. Among them Palme who went on to become quite famous.

Eventually the coupling became untenable and in 1987 it was given up. The Soc.Dems membership shrunk quickly, still they remain the largest party.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 09:32:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty insane when you think of it.

You could not support unions if you didn't support the Party.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 at 12:55:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bad translation, the French text says something like "workers with university degree in social sciences" as opposed to "workers with degree in sciences, techniques and law"
by Hansvon on Fri Oct 19th, 2007 at 03:25:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are the dangerous people who love criminals and want to incorporate and homogenize the poor swiss people into a European socialist standard! Here, this little bit from the UDC/SVPs election propaganda literature sent to my home, and transcribed for your enjoyment, might shed some light:

Place Publique
Journal de l'Union Démocratique du Centre de Genève
Spécial Élections Fédérales 2007 - Numéro 41
Place Publique
Journal of the Center Democratic Union (UDC/SVP) of Geneve
Special Federal Elections 2007 - Number 41
On peut essayer de comprendre cette volonté invraisemblable d'aide aux criminels manifestée par la gauche unanime, cette union sacrée de soutien au crime à laquelle participent les parties du centre par leur indifférence. Pourquoi cette création en Suisse d'un lobby pro-criminel, tracté par une gauche et en mal de projet en panne d'idées électorales? One can try to understand this incredible desire to help criminals shown unanimously by the left, this sacred union in support of crime, involving parties from the center by their indifference. Why has a pro-criminal lobby been created in Switzerland, lead by a left without a project and electoral ideas?
La réponse est hélas simple. Qui veut plus de criminalité et plus de criminels veut en réalité un cortège grandissant d'assistants sociaux, éducateurs, et autres psycho-sociologues en tous genres. Ces personnes, qui dorloteront à grande frais la minorité "opprimée par l'UDC" des grands criminels, votent bien entendu en majorité à gauche. Leur multiplication permet en outre à cette dernier d'assurer la croissance d'un État déjà obèse, en faisant croître la taille des services sociaux d'assistance aux criminels, aux frais des contribuables. The answer is sadly simple. Those who want more crime and more criminals want in fact a growing number of social workers, educators, and other psycho-sociological workers of all kinds. These people, who at great expense pamper a minority of major criminals "oppressed by the UDC/SVP", vote of course in majority on the left. Their proliferation also allows the latter to ensure the growth of an already bloted state, by increasing the size of social services assistance to criminals, at the expense of taxpayers.
Les parties du centre se voilent la face à cette hausse de la criminalité: le PDC et les libéraux-radicaux sont partisans d'une adhésion à l'UE. Un taux suisse de criminalité qui se rapproche des taux européens les arrange dans leur volonté de mouler votre vie quotidienne dans normes européennes. Parts of the center work to hide this rising crime: the PDC and libéraux-radicaux are in favor of EU membership. A Swiss rate of crime that is moving closer to European rates suits them in their efforts to mold your life into European standards.
Et les victimes, me direz-vous? Les victimes n'ont qu'à se taire et à payer plus d'impôts pour financer la croissance de l'assistance à la criminalité! And the victims, you ask me? The victims simply shut up and pay more taxes to fund the growth of assistance to crime!
Cependant, la majorité silencieuse de la population, qui ne supporte plus, elles, les viols, le trafic d'êtres humains, les assassinats, les actes de violence, le trafic de drogues et autres crimes graves, se réveille. Le résultat de la récolte de signatures de notre initiative pour le renvoi des criminels étrangers en sera le premier signe. Le deuxième signe sera le score que réalisera l'UDC au soir du 21 octobre. However, the silent majority of the population, which does not support more, rape, human trafficking, murder, violence, drug trafficking and other serious crimes, wakes up. The result of our initiative to gather signatures for the dismissal of criminal foreigners will be the first sign. The second sign is the electoral results achieved by the UDC/SVP on the evening of October 21.
Electeurs! Voters!
Si vous rejetez le crime, votez UDC! If you reject crime, votez UDC/SVP!
Si vous ne voulez pas payer plus d'impôts pour que l'Etat s'occupe encore plus des criminels et encore moins des victimes, votez UDC If you do not want to pay more taxes for the state to dedicate yet more resources to criminals and even fewer to victims, vote UDC/SVP
Pour une Suisse plus sûre, votez UDC! For a more secure Switzerland, votez UDC!
Liberté ou socialisme, il faut choisir! Liberty or socialism, we must choose!
La lutte pour la liberté des citoyens suisses a commence il y a plus des 700 ans. Mais cette lutte n'est jamais gagnée: se reposer sur ses lauriers et renoncer à assumer la responsabilité de ses actes seraient des erreurs graves. Si nous optons pour le chemin de l'intégration à l'Union européenne, nous empruntons en tant que pays parmi tant d'autres un chemin socialiste qui va chercher à tout uniformiser. Mais nous voulons que notre pays redevienne, grâce aux prestations exceptionnelles de ses citoyens, un exemple de libéralisme et par conséquent un case particulier. C'est pourquoi nous revenons au fondement le plus important de l'idée helvétique de l'Etat: à la liberté!
(Cristoph Blocher)
The struggle for freedom of Swiss citizens began more than 700 years ago. But this struggle will never be won: to rest on our laurels and fail to take responsibility for our actions would be serious mistakes. If we opt for the path of integration into the European Union, we take as a country among many others a socialist path that will seek to standardize everything. But we want our country to become once again, thanks to the exceptional performance of its citizens, an example of liberalism, and therefore a particular case. That is why we return to the most important foundation of the Swiss idea of the state: to freedom!
(Christoph Blocher)
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 at 08:05:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The mind boggles. is there some leftist uniform for us to wear in this propaganda?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 at 08:17:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems as if they took a card out of Sarkozy's playbook. Is there an increase in crime statistics that 'justifies' this paranoia?
by Fete des fous on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 at 01:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is unbelievable. I just don't know what else to say.
Are people really buying this?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 04:07:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, yes, to the tune of about 27%... It's very strange. They hypothesise a bizarre conspiracy of leftist social workers etc. as promoting crime because it employs them? This party is not just racist-insane, they are just plain insane all over.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Sun Oct 21st, 2007 at 06:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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