Letters to the editor

The end to the Jura conflict – Moutier switches sides

This is a lesson in democracy which Switzerland has given to Europe and the world in difficult times when many values are being challenged.

Jean Amherd, France

The Jura conflict may seem outdated. However, one look at Spain makes you glad that in the Swiss Confederation we have a model of a society where democracy is alive.

Gérard Boillet, France

Sion 2026 – a more modest Olympic Games

I can’t quite believe what I am hearing. Priority is unfortunately given to business at major sporting occasions these days, which is obvious from recent global events. I nevertheless wish the team behind the bid well.

Ernst Rütimann, Thailand

Hans Stöckli has shown remarkable commitment. However, I no longer believe the Swiss people will support the Olympic bid – except perhaps in Valais. These events based on the ethos of “bigger, better and more expensive” belong to the past. This approach will fail today simply because of the fear of terror attacks and the enormous security costs involved. Climate change is also scratching the veneer of the Winter Olympic Games.

Helen Meier, Swiss abroad

After the election – the new Council of the Swiss Abroad

I don’t feel represented by the Council of the Swiss Abroad. I do not belong to a Swiss society and was therefore excluded from the election. The Swiss are always very proud of their democracy, but this is an extremely undemocratic system. Why should I be forced to join a society if the Council of the Swiss Abroad wants to represent all Swiss people abroad? I believe that all registered Swiss citizens should be entitled to vote for the Council of the Swiss Abroad.

Kay Kunz, Swiss abroad

Why were we overlooked on our island? Should we really only be finding out about the elections after the announcement of the results?

Bernhard Mastel, Mauritius

In the latest issue of “Swiss Review”, I read: “Between January and August, Swiss citizens around the globe were called upon to elect their 140 representatives on the Council of the Swiss Abroad.” I regret that I am once again one of the many Swiss Abroad who did not hear this appeal and were not invited to take part in the election. Despite all the repeated claims to the contrary, the system of census suffrage, which belongs in the Middle Ages, clearly still applies as only registered members of certain Swiss societies can vote. I can therefore only reiterate that I do not regard the Council of the Swiss Abroad as representing me or as the legitimate voice of the Swiss Abroad. It is just a body of the societies.

Arthur Meyer, Austria

I am 75 years old and look after over 20 children at a home in Nepal. Despite being registered with the Swiss embassy, I was never informed about this election. I also see that India and Nepal are not represented on the map.

Hans Keller, Nepal

This is the first time I have heard about this Council. I live in Indonesia and see that it has no representative on the Council of the Swiss Abroad. Why is that?

Manfred Richrath, Indonesia

I can understand the discontent of many Swiss Abroad. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad and the Council are endeavouring to make the elections more democratic. However, this will require e-voting in all cantons. All Swiss Abroad will then be able to elect their delegates directly. However, it is practically impossible to hold a direct election without e-voting. Who will organise and carry out the election? Who will pay for the voting documents to be sent out? These are just a few of the unresolved issues. Incidentally, the number of delegates per country is based on the number of registered Swiss Abroad whereby a minimum number of 1,500 Swiss Abroad must be reached. Germany and France therefore have the most delegates, whereas countries like Turkey and Bolivia have just one.

Stefania Zanier, Council of the Swiss Abroad delegate for Spain

Comments (3)
  • Gilbert A. Gloor
    Gilbert A. Gloor at 21.11.2017

    Je me permets de vous écrire pour vous manifester mon indignation à la lecture de la nouvelle suivante dans vos publications:

    « De janvier à août 2017, les Suissesses et les Suisses du monde entier étaient invités à élire leurs 140 représentants au Conseil des Suisses de l'étranger pour les années 2017 à 2021. Le nouveau Conseil compte 131 membres, dont 64 sont nouveaux. »

    Cela fait plus de 27 ans que nous vivons à Madrid mon épouse et moi, nous sommes dûment enregistrés auprès de l’Ambassade Suisse à Madrid et nous avons été membres durant plusieurs années du Club Suisse de Madrid. Durant toutes ces années, nous n’avons JAMAIS été contactés pour participer à l’élection de nos représentants au Conseil des Suisses de l'étranger. Pour cette raison, nous considérons ce soi-disant Conseil comme illégitime pour nous représenter auprès des autorités suisses.

    Nous trouvons scandaleux que vous puissiez dire que nous avons été invités à participer à cette élection quand ce n’est pas certain et nous vous saurions gré de bien vouloir nous communiquer comment l’invitation nous a été envoyée (l’Ambassade Suisse de Madrid à notre adresse et courrier électronique) et par quel moyen il aurait fallu voter.

    Cordialement vôtre,

    Gilbert A. Gloor,Espagne
    Show Translation
    • Kati Lyon-Villiger
      Kati Lyon-Villiger at 27.11.2017
      Cher monsieur Gloor, votre lettre m'étonne. Ça fait quelque cent ans que le Conseil existe. Je ne said pas comment ça fonctionne en Espagne, mais je vous conseillerais de vous informer auprès de l'Ambassade Suisse de Madrid et on vous dira probablement tout de suite qui s'occupe de l'Organisation et du Conseil. Ici, au Canada, si vous ne participez pas dans l'organisation des Suisses à l'étranger et si vous ne payez pas vos frais de membre, vous ne pouvez pas voter. On ne sait pas qui vous êtes et où vous êtes. L'Ambassade n'administre pas l'OSA, c'est les Suisses à l'étranger qui gèrent leurs propres affaires. Donc, identifiez-vous! Bonne chance.
      Show Translation
  • Robert Whitmarsh
    Robert Whitmarsh at 20.02.2018
    Your correspondent Margret Allen (Swiss Review, January 2018) proposes that climate change today is part of a natural process simply because “climate change [has] happened …. since time immemorial”. This is a spurious argument and logically flawed. Take, for example, the case of a fallen tree. Trees have been blown down by the wind for ever but this doesn’t mean that the next fallen tree you come across has necessarily been blown down by the wind and not cut down by someone with an axe or a chainsaw. Observation of the root stock will tell you how the tree came to be lying on the ground.

    Similarly, scientists have observed that global temperatures have fluctuated in the past, before humans existed in large numbers, by amounts that are explicable from their knowledge of changes in the natural world. Scientists have also shown that today global temperatures are rising at a rate that can only be explained quantitatively by the observed rise in carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, in the atmosphere. And there is no doubt that rising atmospheric CO2 is mostly down to humanity burning large quantities of fossil fuels.

    It is arrogant to prefer utterances based on political dogma and beliefs to rational scientific arguments based on facts, however inconvenient.

    Robert Whitmarsh
    Winchester, United Kingdom
    Show Translation

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