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Swiss Left wins National vote against cuts in pension benefits

by whataboutbob Mon Mar 8th, 2010 at 03:50:21 AM EST

I was really wondering if the Swiss people would vote against their own best interests and do what ALL the politically Right and far-Right wing parties would told them to: To lower the amount of Social Security an old person will receive in retirement. (!!) The only parties to fight this referendum were the Social Democrats, Greens and the Labor Unions (UNIA, etl al).

BUT!! Much to my surprise and delight, the Swiss people slapped down the Swiss Parliament and Right Wing parties...HARD!


Swiss Left wins National vote against cuts in pension benefits

Voters have overwhelmingly rejected a reform of the occupational pension scheme in an upset for the government and a majority in parliament. (...)

Final results show nearly 73 per cent of voters (nationwide) dismissing a cut in pension benefits. Turnout was on average 45 per cent.

The proposed reductions, agreed by a majority in parliament last year, were challenged to a referendum by a broad coalition of consumer groups, trade unions and centre-left political parties.

"The verdict is a clear signal to the government and parliament to maintain a solid social security system," said the Social Democratic Party.

Paul Rechsteiner, president of the Trade Union Federation, said it showed that voters were not prepared to accept the expensive bureaucracy of insurance companies and excessive manager bonuses.

YES!! Thank you to the Left and the Labor Unions! And my hats off to the Swiss people who voted independently and for their best interests! Social justice wins the day!

Not too surprising though, one would think. People might be in favour of budget cuts in the abstract, but there likely wouldn't be too many takers if you're asked to vote away a program you're personally benefiting from. Good news either way, though!

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Mon Mar 8th, 2010 at 06:28:56 AM EST
In this case it was not surprising, though the Swiss did vote for VAT at the time or other tax increases, etc. So, you never know.
by Fran on Mon Mar 8th, 2010 at 08:18:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a deeper point here for the Anglo Diseased UK and that is that the 90% of people who are now indebted to the 10% who also own most of the country actually DO have votes.

And as they say, you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

That's why an 'austerity' platform doesn't play too well here when things self evidently aren't austere for the minority.....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Mar 8th, 2010 at 08:42:08 AM EST
Unfortunately there is no mechanism such as the referendum in the U.K., unless I am mis-informed. Properly used, they can be wonderful checks on abuse of power. That, in fact, should be their chief use, instead of substitutes for legislative action, as has become the case in California.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 8th, 2010 at 05:14:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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