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Racism Overshadows Swiss Elections

 
 
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 01:25 am
Quote:
http://www.dw-world.de/dwelle/allgemein/bilder_show/0,3772,68490_2,00.jpg
"How do the Jews get their money?" this poster asks as part of an anti-racism campaign.


The Swiss elections are taking on a racist overtone, as the far-right exploits fears about the rising number of immigrants. Responding with a campaign of its own, an anti-racism organization is ruffling a few feathers.


In the weeks leading up to the Swiss parliamentary elections on October 19th, charges of racism have been levied against the party currently leading in the polls, the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP). With a mix of anti-immigrant and anti-EU policies, the SVP narrowly won the last round of elections in 1999.

This time around, with a more aggressive overtly anti-immigrant campaign, they are hoping to widen their margin of victory. But a swiss anti-racism organization is trying to stop them in their tracks.

link to complete article

More info from 'inside' Switzerland about this:

today's Swissinfo

Neue Züricher Zeitung
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,829 • Replies: 16
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 07:24 pm
Sad, Walter, but not surprising. European nations have been so homogeneous in the past that citizenship was commonly thought of as a matter of ethnicity. The USA went through something like this about 100 years ago when the first major waves of non-English-speaking immigrants began to pour in. (I don't count the large influx of Germans in the early 19th Century, as they quickly established their own enclaves or else got easily and quickly assimilated into the English-speaking surroundings.) When the source of immigrants shifted from the North of Europe to the South and East, however, the Lady with the Lamp-- i.e. the Statue of Liberty-- was no longer so accommodating. Italians, Russian Jews and immigrants from the Balkans did not get a warm welcome.

I suspect something similar is taking place in Europe right now. The French are having a difficult time welcoming dark-skinned people from their own former colonies. And, with all due respect, I gather that Germans aren't thrilled by the fact that so many guest workers are Turkish Muslims.

I hope that Europe can learn from America's somewhat shameful historical example. It's a tough nut, but it can be cracked.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 08:29 pm
It's everywhere, isn't it.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2003 11:13 pm
It is Roger, and it's more than a great shame.

And thnkas, Andrew, for your kind response! (I fear, it's just hope ... Some never learn.)
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 06:11 am
Poor Jews. Can't catch a break.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 06:12 am
Sofia wrote:
Poor Jews. Can't catch a break.


Question
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 06:23 am
I don't know how it's possible for you not to know exactly what I meant.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 06:27 am
Well, in this case I can't give any help at all - besides: did you read the article(s)?


Btw: this campaign is supported by both the Swiss-Jewish papers, "Jüdische Rundschau" and "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" (now united to "Tacheles").
0 Replies
 
Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 06:41 am
Its awful that Jews are STILL being treated like some inhuman species, and that campaigns must be mounted to show that Jews are human and deserve decent treatment.

Its hard for me to understand how this one group, specifically, has found themselves at the center of so much hatred for so long.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 06:53 am
Sofia

No-one is treating Jews there like unhuman species! Where did you get this from???

(It's a campaign against racism on foreigners, in case you missed that point.)
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 07:00 am
Walter--
You are the one who brought the article.....

Of course, it's not only Jews who are being discriminiated against in Switzerland...

Its weird to me that you brought the article, and can't seem to tolerate discussion of it. Whats up with that?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 07:14 am
Jews aren't discriminated at all in Switzrerland.

The SVP is a nationalistic-conservative party, against foreigners, integration, pro-weapons, totally patriotic.

We certainly can discuss their politics. (I'm out now, will be back to this later.)
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2003 10:24 am
Sofia, I think you misread the article.
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Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2003 04:27 pm
I guess I'm focusing on the need for such a campaign. Possibly negative attitude on my part. Possibly too impatient for these things not to be necessary.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2003 10:50 pm
It's actually really a situation like in many other countries.

Swissinfo and Neue Zürcher Zeitung have started now a srie in their papers, about the influence of foreigners on Switzerland (e.g. yesterday, it has been the one of the Italians : 100 years of Latin presence
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2003 11:15 am
Switzerland was shocked on Sunday when, for the first time in decades, the election of a new parliament resulted in a turn-around of the status quo and a triumph of the right-wing People's Party.

Quote:
ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss right wing has raced ahead in general elections in a move which could unsettle the neutral nation's
renowned political stability by rocking the foundations of the 44-year-old coalition government.

A polarisation in voter sentiment saw support swing behind the anti-immigrant Swiss People's Party (SVP), which edged out the
left-leaning Social Democrats (SP) to become the nation's most popular group, a Swiss television projection showed on Sunday.

Proud of its neutrality and impeccable democratic credentials, Switzerland has long played on its strength as a stable political nation,
building up a reputation as a safe haven for offshore wealth in turbulent times.

But strong gains for the SVP point to increasing concerns in the recession-hit nation of rising unemployment and a falling standard of living.
The party also reinforced Switzerland's isolation by campaigning against closer ties with EU neighbours.

Launching a make-or-break bid for more power in the four-party coalition cabinet, the SVP put forward the nation's most controversial
politician for a ministerial seat -- a move observers say could undermine the nation's stable reputation.

"The developments of this evening surely show us that the myth of a stable political Switzerland is probably waning away now," said Julius
Baer Chief Economist Janwillem Acket.

He said that a change to the so-called "magic formula" could block reform.

"The result of the general election is a prelude to more political instability in this country and probably the prelude to the vanishing of another
myth -- the special status that Switzerland has enjoyed since the end of the Second World War."

link to complete articel:
Right wingers dominate Swiss election

However, the Alpine republic has a strong tradition of direct democracy, whereby power rests not with parliament but with the people. A referendum, for instance, can be called on any political issue as long as campaigners manage to collect 100,000 signatures. This considerably limits the parties' ability to push through their own agenda.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2003 12:46 am
Quote:
Higher turnout boosts Rightwing gains
The rightwing Swiss People's Party has benefited from the increased turnout in Sunday's parliamentary election, according to an election analysis.

The survey by the GfS research institute also blamed the interior minister, Pascal Couchepin, for the disappointing result of the Radical Party.

The post-election analysis has found that Couchepin's policy of increasing health insurance premiums and the way he informed the Swiss about it were the main reasons for the party's poor outcome.

It further showed that the huge gains by the Swiss People's Party and the Green Party are a clear indicator of the voters' polarisation in this year's election.

The high number of swing voters - voters who have no allegiance to any political party - is, say the analysts, another sign of polarisation.

Polls show that some former supporters of the Radicals swung to the Swiss People's Party, and the Social Democrats and the Green Party gained votes from the Christian Democrats.

Voter turnout

One of the main findings of the opinion poll, which was commissioned by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, is the impact of this year's increased turnout.

According to the Federal Statistics Office, the turnout was at 45.6 per cent, which is up 2.3 per cent compared with four years ago.

Analysts say the voter turnout has overcome its lowest point and is now back to where it was in the eighties.

The survey also found that the People's Party is the only party to really benefit from the increased turnout as its share had especially increased in those cantons, which saw a rise in voter turnout.

The survey referred to the party's huge success in western Switzerland, where it boosted its share by 10 per cent in Vaud, Fribourg and Geneva. All three cantons have seen their turnout rise significantly since the last election.

Magic Formula
The GfS researchers also asked the participants whether their attitude towards Switzerland's Magic Formula - a system of dividing cabinet seats among the main parties - had changed since the election.

Two month ago a majority of the people questioned was in favour of keeping the system - an attitude that has barely changed since.

Most of the voters are of the opinion that the Magic Formula has worked well so far but, they say, they would also understand if the distribution of the seven seats in the cabinet changed according to the share of the votes of the party.

However, the analysts found that the attitude towards the Magic Formula depended on the voter's political affiliation.

Only 18 per cent of those, who voted for the People's Party, believe in the Magic Formula in its present form while 60 per cent of the supporters of the Christian Democrats think it has worked well so far.

The survey is based on telephone interviews with 1,000 voters all over Switzerland. It was conducted from Sunday afternoon, after polling stations had closed, until Monday morning.

Only people who voted in Sunday's parliamentary elections were allowed to take part in the survey.

swissinfo, Hansjörg Bolliger (translation: Billi Bierling)



Btw: I've still no idea, what all this had to do with
Quote:
Poor Jews. Can't catch a break.

and obvioulsy must live with that I don't know what Sofia meant Crying or Very sad
0 Replies
 
 

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