No interest in the people

The election campaign in Switzerland is now underway and you cannot help but rub your eyes in astonishment. This is because the parties are primarily concerned with themselves and with apportioning blame and defaming imaginary enemies. What they have revealed so far has nothing to do with the issues that concern the people and hardly inspires confidence amongst the electorate. First example: in the 10-point election manifesto of the Social Democrats, adopted by the party in mid-February, there was talk of "pay parity", "minimum quotas for social housing" and "traffic-calmed areas in every urban commune", but no mention of the SP's position on Switzerland's relationship with the international community, and the EU in particular. This is an issue that currently concerns the Swiss more than virtually any other. Second example: the president of the Free Democrat-Liberals, Philipp Müller, has been addressing his Swiss compatriots in full-page advertisements in the Sunday press. Here he has outlined at length what he believes is wrong with the SP's proposals. However, there is no mention of the ideas of the FDP-Liberals. "We are Swiss dynamos. Our common success is determined by the courage we show," one can read online in the FDP's strategy on the future. OK, then. Third example: SVP President Toni Brunner intends, as he also announced in the Sunday press, to re-establish a "conservative majority" in the Federal Palace. The reality is that the conservatives already have a majority today both in Parliament and in government. There is not and nor will there be a powerful left-wing alliance or a centre-left coalition: 70?% of Swiss people lean towards the right of the political spectrum. The SVP is conducting its election campaign on a spurious basis.

The resolution of issues, compromise proposals and the search for consensus, which have long been the hallmarks of Swiss politics, clearly count for little in this election campaign. It is about who makes the most noise, shows least restraint in attacking their opponents and simplifies issues in the coarsest terms. Demagogy rules. What matters to the electorate is purely incidental.

In this issue we feature an article which outlines where good information on the elections and the candidates can be found online. In addition, Jürg Müller looks at who can best represent the Swiss Abroad in politics and Parliament in our focus article. The only two Swiss Abroad ever to have sat on the National Council also share their thoughts.

Barbara Engel, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Comments (3)
  • Felix Roshardt, Gmunden
    Felix Roshardt, Gmunden at 24.03.2015
    Sehr geehrte Frau Engel...
    sie treffen den Nagel auf den Kopf... genau so sehe ich die politische Landschaft der Schweiz. Dabei gäbe es so viel Wichtiges zu behandeln... aber es ist wie überall auf der Welt: die Politiker denken zuerst mal an sich, dann an die Partei und dann, an die Grosskonzerne, an die Industrie und vielleicht dann.... aber wirklich nur dann... vielleicht an den kleinen Bürger, der tagtäglich seiner Arbeit nachgeht, der die WC`s putzt, der den Müll wegräumt, der die Menschen zur Arbeit fährt etc etc...das ist die Realität im heutigen Alltag. Allerdings spielen die Politiker mit dem Feuer...vielleicht reicht es der Putzfrau, dem Müllmann, dem Fahrer, dem Arbeiter irgendwann... was dann??????
    Freundliche Grüsse
    Show Translation
  • Erwin Balli-Ramos
    Erwin Balli-Ramos at 02.04.2015
    Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren
    Es geht nichts über gutes Beobachten, mein Kompliment. Was erwarten Sie denn von einer Bananenrepuplik? Und griechische Zustände gibt es bereits in der Schweiz.
    Ich habe über 13 Jahre in diversen südamerikanischen Bananenrepupli- ken gearbeitet und gelebt und sehe beim besten Willen nichts wo der Unterschied zwischen der Schweiz und diesen Staaten liegt. Ich bin mit meinen 72 Jahren zufrieden, damit ich mir das Elend nicht noch lange ansehen muss. Die nächste Genration verdient mein tieftstes
    Show Translation
  • D'Acorsi-Decaillet Veronique.
    D'Acorsi-Decaillet Veronique. at 14.04.2015
    Madame, c'est en vous lisant que je crois rêver! Avez vous pris la mesure des problèmes vécus par quiconque réside dans l'U. E ? Perte des libertés publiques par la soumission des états aux directives européennes,abandons de souveraineté et marasme économique. Je vis en France et ne m'étendrai pas sur les problèmes liés à l'émigration. Je constate seulement que voter n'y a plus beaucoup de sens. Le régime des partis devoie tout ce qu'il tente d'organiser. Il est vrai que vous n'aimez pas beaucoup la démocratie directe. Elle est pourtant l'arme du peuple. Comme le peuple Suisse pense mal,pour vous et vos amis de parti,il faut changer le peuple. C'est pour le moins incohérent,si vous continuez à vous dire democrate.
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