To help expats understand how the Swiss political system works, an information evening is to be held at 6.30 pm on Tuesday 23 April in the Siehbachsaal at number 23 Chamerstrasse in the city.
Entitled “After Work Politics”, the event has been organised by Patrick Mollet, a former leader of the cantonal FDP party and is supported by www.zug4you.
Switzerland is known for its direct democracy with referendums taking place regularly. In fact three will be taking place on Sunday 19 May, one about tax reform and changes to contributions to the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Scheme (AHV), another about the adoption by Switzerland of aspects of the EU Firearms Directive, which is itself is related to the Schengen Agreement and the free movement of people between the EU and the Swiss Confederation. This information evening will help expats to understand more about all this; after all, they are directly affected, particularly with to regard to AHV.
As countless philosophers have said, a pre-requisite for democracy is a well-informed electorate, and, to this end, each time there is a referendum in Switzerland, an explanatory booklet outlining the pros and cons is sent out by the Federal Council to all eligible to vote. Furthermore, prior to the elections, newspapers publish how each of the parties and trade unions plans to vote. At present, the authorities are looking at reviewing these booklets to make them more concise and more easily understood.
Out of interest, only last week did the Swiss Federal Court rule that the explanatory booklet to a recent referendum relating to tax matters and married couples contained a factual, statistical, error, leading to the result being declared void.
There is no admission charge to the event on 23 April; neither is there any need to register attendance in advance. What is more, all are warmly invited to a reception afterwards.
This article is based on one by Charlie Keiser.