Gransnet forums

News & politics

one for *Jura*

(9 Posts)
Fennel Thu 11-Apr-19 18:44:12

The Swiss people often have referendums/a :
I wonder if the results are advisory, as in the UK or have the force of law?

jura2 Thu 11-Apr-19 18:57:24

We do have direct democracy and it is not ideal either!

The Government has to publish a very comprehensive leafltet giving the pros and cons of every Referendum- and other info provided by individual parties, has to be checked for being accurate and not include lies or false information.

jura2 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:16:36

The Referendum om immigration in 2014, passed by 50.3%. As usual, the German speaking rural Cantons, where immigration is lowest, voted for it- whereas the French speaking Cantons, where immigration and cross border workers is highest, and the German speaking Kantons with a lot of immigrant voters- voted against.

les cantons romands ont tous refusé le texte. Vaud (61,07%), Genève (60,9%) Neuchâtel (60,7%), le Jura (55,9%), le Valais (51,7%) et Fribourg (51,5%) ont rejoint les rares cantons alémaniques qui ont dit non (Zurich, Bâle-Ville et Zoug).

French speaking Cantons all refused it, as did Zurich, Basel and Zoug.

The Government were charged with implementing it- and after 2 years, having realised it would cause massive and long-lasting damage to our economy, services, research, inovation, etc, etc- just dropped it, explaining the reasons. They put in a form of limitation- which requires employers to offer jobs to the local unemployment offices before being advertised on the open market.

Fennel Thu 11-Apr-19 19:23:49

Thanks Jura that's interesting. So it seems that the results are just advisory. Like here.
You govt. can decide to implement or not.

jura2 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:28:41

No, there is a big difference. In principle, Referendums have to be implemented but the Government has to put them into place, and in this case said 'we tried, but can't be done without causing massive damage, so we won't'.

Whereas in the UK, we have Parliamentary Democracy- and Referendums are, by our own Laws - Advisory. Which means Cameron had to right whatsoever to say it would be otherwise. And the reason why the Electoral Commission- says that despite multiple proven fraud- they can't cancel, as it was advisory and they have can't legislate on advisor stuff.

Badenkate Thu 11-Apr-19 20:39:18

It's also true, isn't it Jura, that for referenda that alter an important aspect of Swiss life, there has to be a certain majority in each canton

jura2 Thu 11-Apr-19 20:40:14

I'll be totally honest there, I am not sure about this one.

mostlyharmless Fri 12-Apr-19 08:41:19

But this is relevant to the UK from the Guardian yesterday.
Switzerland’s supreme court has overturned a nationwide referendum for the first time in the country’s modern history, on the grounds that the information given to voters was insufficient.

In a ruling that may resonate in Britain, where remain campaigners have long argued that voters in the 2016 Brexit referendum were not adequately informed, the court said incomplete detail and a lack of transparency had violated the freedom of the vote, which could now be re-run.

GracesGranMK3 Fri 12-Apr-19 09:14:12

I do think we could learn a lot from the Irish system. Before a referendum - to late now for Brexit - they hold a citizen's assembly, such as before the referendum on abortion:

"made up of 99 randomly chosen (but demographically representative) voters. These so-called ordinary people – truck drivers, homemakers, students, farmers – gave up their weekends to listen to 40 experts in medicine, law and ethics, to women affected by Ireland’s extremely restrictive laws and to 17 different lobby groups. They came up with recommendations that confounded most political and media insiders, by being much more open than expected – and much more open than the political system would have produced on its own.

"It was these citizens who suggested entirely unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks."

A trial was carried out in this country to see how this would work. It could be criticised in many ways but was an interesting experiment.

"Would an assembly help to resolve Brexit? A trial run took place in October 2017, at a hotel in Manchester. Organised by the charity Involve, the assembly brought together 25 leave voters, 22 remain voters and three people who did not vote. After two weekends, they chose to leave with a trade deal and preferential access for EU citizens, but not free movement. If they couldn’t get such a deal, they wanted to remain in the single market, with free movement under tight controls. Recommending what he called “a new kind of royal commission”, Gordon Brown spoke in November of “a dialogue about the difficult issues from migration to sovereignty and our long-term economic future, empowering all voices to be heard”.

The one thing I notice, personally, is that they learned they might not get what they wanted and had a backup idea. They learned what we were not told by the partisans on either side - that you cannot have a simple answer to a complex problem. What the outcome would have been if this was done in a stricter way before the vote we cannot know but if our form of democracy is to grow I think this is one area worth looking at.