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Old 30.07.2011, 12:46
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What are the main political parties?

Having been here a few months, I haven't heard a lot about the politics. So anyway, this morning an SVP flyer came in the mail, and I had a little look.

To my surprise, I wasn't so shocked by what I read. I'd been told about this party as somewhat anti-immigrant, with a whiff of racism. Reading what little German I could, it sounds as though they're simply trying to protect their hospitality from being abused by immigrants. Pretty reasonable sounding.

So then I went on Wikipedia looking for something that hadn't come straight from the party itself. Apart from immigration, they're anti-EU, small government, low tax, anti collective transport, anti-welfare, anti-deficit spending, generally anti-state-meddling. Maybe one inconsistent thing is they like handing out money to farmers (If you like that, you'll like the EU!).

I thought I'd compare their description on Wikipedia to the other major parties, starting with the FDP/Liberals. Well, guess what. They're ALSO in favour of low tax, small government, economic freedom kind of ideas. And they ALSO don't want foreigners to come and ruin the place. But it seems they don't have the same hardline reputation? Why is that?

On to the CVP, and I could hardly tell the difference. In fact, there's a handy 2D map of the political spectrum showing in the same area as FDP and SVP.

The only group that seemed different was the social democrats. They like Europe a bit more, and are more welfare state oriented. Having lived in a couple of welfare states myself, Switzerland is a breath of fresh air, so this was the only party where I didn't find much agreement.

Can you guys give a little more color on what the differences between the parties are?
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Old 30.07.2011, 13:03
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Re: What are the main political parties?

Not so much the info you are looking for as an answer to the title question.
The Official ch.ch Swiss site on this subject.
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Old 30.07.2011, 13:40
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Can you guys give a little more color on what the differences between the parties are?
llll...llll...llll...llll
the colour IS the difference
If you are really interested, reading about the history of these parties might give you a better idea about the political landscape than just comparing the differences of viewpoints today (CVPs strong position in the catholic parts in the south and centre of the country etc.).

While FDP/Liberals and SVP positions are similar in the points you mentioned, the SVP outlook is more isolationist (eg. against free movement treaty and "active" foreign policy and in my view more "pro state meddling" when it comes to social issues).
No party wants anyone to ruin the place, I hope.
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Old 30.07.2011, 14:09
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Having been here a few months, I haven't heard a lot about the politics. So anyway, this morning an SVP flyer came in the mail, and I had a little look.

To my surprise, I wasn't so shocked by what I read. I'd been told about this party as somewhat anti-immigrant, with a whiff of racism. Reading what little German I could, it sounds as though they're simply trying to protect their hospitality from being abused by immigrants. Pretty reasonable sounding.

So then I went on Wikipedia looking for something that hadn't come straight from the party itself. Apart from immigration, they're anti-EU, small government, low tax, anti collective transport, anti-welfare, anti-deficit spending, generally anti-state-meddling. Maybe one inconsistent thing is they like handing out money to farmers (If you like that, you'll like the EU!).

I thought I'd compare their description on Wikipedia to the other major parties, starting with the FDP/Liberals. Well, guess what. They're ALSO in favour of low tax, small government, economic freedom kind of ideas. And they ALSO don't want foreigners to come and ruin the place. But it seems they don't have the same hardline reputation? Why is that?

On to the CVP, and I could hardly tell the difference. In fact, there's a handy 2D map of the political spectrum showing in the same area as FDP and SVP.

The only group that seemed different was the social democrats. They like Europe a bit more, and are more welfare state oriented. Having lived in a couple of welfare states myself, Switzerland is a breath of fresh air, so this was the only party where I didn't find much agreement.

Can you guys give a little more color on what the differences between the parties are?
SVP = very right-wing party with sharply isolationist anti-EU notions
FDP = right-wing liberals, moderate and rather in favour of "openness"
CVP = originally the Catholic-Conservative Party (KKP) which now has
----- a left-wing and a right-wing
SP - = the Social Democratic Party, ranging from far-left to the centre
GP - = the Green Party is defintely LEFT of centre
GLP = the Green Liberal Party is RIGHT of centre (moderate in G matters)
BDP = Bürgerlich-Demokratisch is a centrist split-away from the SVP
-
in the Federal government the representation at present is as follows
SVP = 1
BDP = 1
FDP = 2
CVP = 1
SP = 2

Whether the small BDP will manage to retain their seat is unclear
If yes, the FDP most probably loses their 2nd seat
The SVP will regain their 2nd seat
-- Caution, these forecasts are "general wisdom" but the outcome may be different, not least as both the GP and the GLP might try to get a seat, etc
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Old 30.07.2011, 18:14
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Re: What are the main political parties?

The socialist are the main left wing party of Switzerland. The socialists believe in joining the EU and cooperating with other European states. The socialists also believe in making the immigration process smoother for people looking to live in Switzerland. Basically the SP looks to help the basic working class, from the rich. One key policy of the SP is increasing the taxes of the rich
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Old 31.07.2011, 19:20
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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The socialist are the main left wing party of Switzerland. The socialists believe in joining the EU and cooperating with other European states. The socialists also believe in making the immigration process smoother for people looking to live in Switzerland. Basically the SP looks to help the basic working class, from the rich. One key policy of the SP is increasing the taxes of the rich
All good reasons to vote against them.

Tom
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Old 31.07.2011, 21:31
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Re: What are the main political parties?

SP = Social party, believe in helping the weak and same rights for everyone,
FDP = Middle-right, party for the minor companies
CVP = Christian party...
SVP = the fascist party, wants what the nazi's wanted for 80 years but to the foreigners...i.e. throw them out...
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Old 31.07.2011, 22:07
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Re: What are the main political parties?

Left, right and center, just like everywhere else, + green.
Peaceful quiet country, you just won't find the politics and rowdy campaigning that can be a reality elsewhere.
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Old 02.08.2011, 02:23
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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SP = Social party, believe in helping the weak and same rights for everyone,
FDP = Middle-right, party for the minor companies
CVP = Christian party...
SVP = the fascist party, wants what the nazi's wanted for 80 years but to the foreigners...i.e. throw them out...
CVP is NOT "Christian" but CATHOLIC. I do not say that Catholics are not Christians, but Protestants are as Christian as the Catholics.
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Old 02.08.2011, 02:31
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Left, right and center, just like everywhere else, + green.
Peaceful quiet country, you just won't find the politics and rowdy campaigning that can be a reality elsewhere.
"Green" are TWO parties here, the GP (Green Party) which is LEFT of centre upto sharply leftist and the GLP (Green Liberal Party) which is clearly RIGHT of centre.

Centre ? The FDP is RIGHT-of-centre, the CVP in spite of some leftist rethoricts is RIGHT of centre as well.
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Old 02.08.2011, 09:18
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Having been here a few months, I haven't heard a lot about the politics. So anyway, this morning an SVP flyer came in the mail, and I had a little look.

To my surprise, I wasn't so shocked by what I read. I'd been told about this party as somewhat anti-immigrant, with a whiff of racism. Reading what little German I could, it sounds as though they're simply trying to protect their hospitality from being abused by immigrants. Pretty reasonable sounding.

So then I went on Wikipedia looking for something that hadn't come straight from the party itself. Apart from immigration, they're anti-EU, small government, low tax, anti collective transport, anti-welfare, anti-deficit spending, generally anti-state-meddling. Maybe one inconsistent thing is they like handing out money to farmers (If you like that, you'll like the EU!).

I thought I'd compare their description on Wikipedia to the other major parties, starting with the FDP/Liberals. Well, guess what. They're ALSO in favour of low tax, small government, economic freedom kind of ideas. And they ALSO don't want foreigners to come and ruin the place. But it seems they don't have the same hardline reputation? Why is that?

On to the CVP, and I could hardly tell the difference. In fact, there's a handy 2D map of the political spectrum showing in the same area as FDP and SVP.

The only group that seemed different was the social democrats. They like Europe a bit more, and are more welfare state oriented. Having lived in a couple of welfare states myself, Switzerland is a breath of fresh air, so this was the only party where I didn't find much agreement.

Can you guys give a little more color on what the differences between the parties are?
I think you'll find there is a lot of overlap between party members of the middle - right (FDP, CVP, SVP) The CVP, however, although more socially conservative than the FDP is generally more left-leaning in its economic policies (welfare, state importance etc) Because all three parties have more right and left leaning wings and cantonal differences the main difference is in which wing is more dominant and how the national party positions itself.
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Old 03.08.2011, 10:04
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Re: What are the main political parties?

I would describe the parties the following:

Grüne: Very left wing. Although they started out as a green party, they do not limit their efforts only to that anymore. They believe in strong government, legalization of soft drougs, mathematic equal opportunity (>=50% everywhere), expanded social wellfare (including e.g. alternative medicine like homeopathy, traditional chinese medicine or color therapy in health care). Also the majority of the party wants to join the European Union.

SP: The SP is the big left-wing party. Like the Grüne, the believe in big government, expanded social wellfare (including also alternative medicine and reforming the health system to create a federal insurance and removing the private sector). In their party 'manifesto' they promote the «overcoming of capitalism», giving state control to companies that grow to big and similar things. The SP is also the party allied with the labour unions. Moreover, they played an important role in the women's right movement and the green revolution. Also they are very eager for Switzerland to join the European Union and adapting the €.

--> The Grüne and the SP together form the left wing of swiss politics.

The CVP is one of the very traditional parties in Switzerland. It is very difficoult to pin down what their views are because it is a very inhomogenous party. The party itself is divided into a more left friendly and a more right friendly wing. Dispite the differences, they usually agree on familiy politics, sustainability in environment politics and financial expenses (they are in favour of expanded social wellfare, as long as it is cost efficient).

The FDP is the economic party of Sitzerland. I do not at all agree that they are the same as the SVP. Once upon a time, the FDP was the only party in power in Switzerland. They stand for small government, few regulations, capitalism and social wellfare. They are however more willing to cut social services when they are inefficient or get exploited. The FDP also has the reputation of being a lobby-party. Especially in recent times when some members of the party complained about the strong influence of the pharmacuticals, banking and insurance lobby. Because of the economic influence in the party, there is a rather big amount of party members that are in favor of joining the European Union.

The SVP can be viewed as the right-wing counterpart to the SP. They want Switzerland to remain neutral. Their campaign tipped the scales in the EU-debate back in the 90s. Although not being in favour of this party at all, it is important to say that racism is not found in this party. If you look for racicm, you have to go right (SD, PNOS). However, they want Switzerland to stay in control of immigration (with the bilateral treaties some of the control shifted over to the EU). Also it is important to say that they are pro social welfare. Every mainstream party is. However, they have a strong focus of preventing exploits.

The CVP, FDP and SVP form the right wing (called 'Bügerliche Parteien') in swiss politics, although I often hear the CVP and the FDP be called the 'Center'with the SVP alone being called the right wing. I think this is due to the CVP and FDP losing hordes of voters to the SVP and SP so they attempt to differenciate themselves to gain momentum again (so far not very successful).

(In my oppinion the success of the SVP is in part due to the following reasons: The topics of immigration and the exploitations of social services has been neglected by the other parties. The SVP picked up the topic and hit the nerve of many voters with it. Also I think they adapted some of their tactics from the american Republican Party, which also seem to be successful here. I also think it's important to say that the SVP is about the same to the right as the SP is to the left. Also the success of Switzerland, in my oppinion is due to the fact, that we let all parties and views come up with solutions >TOGETHER<. We do not have changing administrations or party alliacnes (like in Germany for example). This also makes parties like the SVP to come up with solutions and prevents bias legislation that leads to frustration in the public).
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Old 03.08.2011, 23:17
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Grüne: Very left wing. Although they started out as a green party, they do not limit their efforts only to that anymore. They believe in strong government, legalization of soft drugs, mathematic equal opportunity (>=50% everywhere), expanded social welfare (including e.g. alternative medicine like homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine or colour therapy in healthcare). Also the majority of the party wants to join the European Union.
-
The GP clearly is left of centre and with its favouring state-interventionism of course looks "very left wing" and not only looks so. THIS is the reason why right-of-centre "Greens" seceded and founded the GLP Grün-Liberale Partei, which in recent elections was very successful

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SP: The SP is the big left-wing party. Like the Grüne, the believe in big government, expanded social welfare (including also alternative medicine and reforming the health system to create a federal insurance and removing the private sector). In their party 'manifesto' they promote the «overcoming of capitalism», giving state control to companies that grow to big and similar things. The SP is also the party allied with the labour unions. Moreover, they played an important role in the women's right movement and the green revolution. Also they are very eager for Switzerland to join the European Union and adapting the €.
-
Quite many SP folks do NOT believe in BIG government, but of course in an expanding welfare. The SP folks of course realize that Switzerland in the end will have to join the EU and will have to drop the increasingly useless CHF in favour of the Euro.

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--> The Grüne and the SP together form the left wing of swiss politics.
-
the LEFT WING differs from Canton to Canton. Realize that in Luzern, the FDP there often is on the Left Wing as it there was the party of the Protestant minority and some urban modernists

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The CVP is one of the very traditional parties in Switzerland. It is very difficult to pin down what their views are because it is a very inhomogenous party. The party itself is divided into a more left friendly and a more right friendly wing. Despite the differences, they usually agree on familiy politics, sustainability in environment politics and financial expenses (they are in favour of expanded social welfare, as long as it is cost efficient).
-
the CVP in its basics is the KKP (Katholisch-Konservative Partei) with many parts of its ideologies being traditionally Catholic

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The FDP is the economic party of Switzerland. I do not at all agree that they are the same as the SVP. Once upon a time, the FDP was the only party in power in Switzerland. They stand for small government, few regulations, capitalism and social welfare. They are however more willing to cut social services when they are inefficient or get exploited. The FDP also has the reputation of being a lobby-party. Especially in recent times when some members of the party complained about the strong influence of the pharmacuticals, banking and insurance lobby. Because of the economic influence in the party, there is a rather big amount of party members that are in favour of joining the European Union.
-
it is the classic right-of-centre party, uniting people from the lower-middle-class with big business. You might compare it with the British Tories under Edward Heath and John Major

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The SVP can be viewed as the right-wing counterpart to the SP. They want Switzerland to remain neutral. Their campaign tipped the scales in the EU-debate back in the 90s. Although not being in favour of this party at all, it is important to say that racism is not found in this party. If you look for racicm, you have to go right (SD, PNOS). However, they want Switzerland to stay in control of immigration (with the bilateral treaties some of the control shifted over to the EU). Also it is important to say that they are pro social welfare. Every mainstream party is. However, they have a strong focus of preventing exploits.
The counterpart to the SP is FDP and SVP together. The SVP is only the counterpart of the left-wing of the SP. There is NO party in Switzerland in favour of dropping neutrality. The only leading politician who was in favour of more links with NATO was SVP Bundesrat Adolf Ogi ! The parties who, in contrast to Mr Ogi, always were in favour of neutrality were SP and FDP

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The CVP, FDP and SVP form the right wing (called 'Bürgerliche Parteien') in Swiss politics, although I often hear the CVP and the FDP be called the 'Center' with the SVP alone being called the right wing. I think this is due to the CVP and FDP losing hordes of voters to the SVP and SP so they attempt to differenciate themselves to gain momentum again (so far not very successful).
-
Traditionally, the CVP was THE far-right, with BGB (predecessor of the SVP) and the FDP being the centre. While inside the CVP, relative "left-wingers" got more influence, inside the BGB-SVP, right-wingers became more influential. And so, the two parties in a way changed their roles.
-
The FDP suffered from being a compromise-party "par excellence" while the CVP had another problem. Their traditional strongholds were Catholic regions. But even there, people increasingly no longer identify themselves in political terms with Catholicism. Which means that the SP and the SVP in recent decades could move into those areas quite successfully.
-
Both parties have not to "differentiate" themselves from anything or anybody, both however try to define a kind of "party ideology". If you see that Luzern FDP.ers often share positions with ZH SPlers but NOT with their folks in ZH, when you could see Bundesrat Villiger (FDP LU) sounding like Messrs Leuenberger (SP ZH Bundesrat) and Estermann (SP ZH Stadtpräsident) you can imagine the problem.
-
To overcome diversity, Mr Blocher in the past 20 years, has tried to pull the party to the right and to "unite" the various positions inside the party. But all this lead to the emergence of the BDP and to visible difference between the Blocherits and regional SVP leaders.

*************************************************

I wanted to highlight some points. In a country where Cantonal politics in many ways are more important than Federal politics, and where the Cantons still have quite a heavy influence on things even on the Federal level, such aspects are of paramount importance
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:51
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Can you guys give a little more color on what the differences between the parties are?
Well unless you're into politics yourself nothing will make much sens you know.
And if one makes a slight attempt on trying to explain anyway, it'll create those very very very long posts nobody wants to read.
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Old 24.08.2011, 12:20
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Re: What are the main political parties?

Thanks - you've all indirectly answered to a lot of questions and doubts I've been having for the longest time. Still, I'm kind of glad I don't get to vote here, or I'd have to really do some big negotiations with myself over crucial issues.

One more doubt out of curiosity: the two green parties differentiate themselves on the basis of what, aside views on State interventionism? Energy policies? Drug policies? I find it quite confusing...
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Old 24.08.2011, 13:34
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Thanks - you've all indirectly answered to a lot of questions and doubts I've been having for the longest time. Still, I'm kind of glad I don't get to vote here, or I'd have to really do some big negotiations with myself over crucial issues.

One more doubt out of curiosity: the two green parties differentiate themselves on the basis of what, aside views on State interventionism? Energy policies? Drug policies? I find it quite confusing...
The two green parties are much more similar than the term Liberal suggests. One should be socialist/green the other liberal/green but the GLP in reality is just a younger version of the Greens, which attracts more moderate voters. They too favor state interventionism, they don't show very liberal social/economic attitudes and are therefore firmly on the left side of the political spectrum.
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Old 24.08.2011, 14:00
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Re: What are the main political parties?

Isn't there a more right-wing party than the SVP? I recall someone talking about the "SD" party and they make the SVP look fair and tolerant.

Tried to Google it but "SD" throws up a load of stuff about memory cards...

EDIT: Duh, I put my brain back in and switched Google to google.ch and this came up...

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 24.08.2011 at 14:01. Reason: found what I was looking for.
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Old 24.08.2011, 21:39
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Re: What are the main political parties?

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Thanks - you've all indirectly answered to a lot of questions and doubts I've been having for the longest time. Still, I'm kind of glad I don't get to vote here, or I'd have to really do some big negotiations with myself over crucial issues.

One more doubt out of curiosity: the two green parties differentiate themselves on the basis of what, aside views on State interventionism? Energy policies? Drug policies? I find it quite confusing...
The two Green parties are different in regard to state intervention as the Green Liberals are NOT in favour of state interventions. BOTH however have similar positions in regard to energy policies and drug policies. Nothing confusing.
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