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Old 18.08.2011, 23:54
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Swiss Obama

Do you think Switzerland would ever elect someone like Obama as president? Specifically, could a mixed-raced candidate ever be accepted by a majority of the Swiss population?

What are requirements for presidency? Is there a natural-born vs naturalized statute like in the US?

I bring this up only in this context... I am a bi-racial dual citizen and spent a lot of time in Switzerland when i was young. I've been away from Switzerland for 20 years and I've recently spent a few months in Switzerland. I am amazed at how racially diverse Switzerland has become.
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Old 19.08.2011, 00:06
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Re: Swiss Obama

I think it is not unthinkable. If the mayor of Zurich is an open lesbian and nobody seems to mind that, one might assume that the society is changing.
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Old 19.08.2011, 00:45
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Re: Swiss Obama

...thing is, the Swiss president is elected by the Parliament from their own members, not the citizen electorate, so it's hard to say if a Swiss Obama would get elected and what that would represent.
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Old 19.08.2011, 00:58
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Re: Swiss Obama

I won't mind if I got elected for the post of president, primeminister or whatever
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Old 19.08.2011, 02:05
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Re: Swiss Obama

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Do you think Switzerland would ever elect someone like Obama as president? Specifically, could a mixed-raced candidate ever be accepted by a majority of the Swiss population?

What are requirements for presidency? Is there a natural-born vs naturalized statute like in the US?

I bring this up only in this context... I am a bi-racial dual citizen and spent a lot of time in Switzerland when i was young. I've been away from Switzerland for 20 years and I've recently spent a few months in Switzerland. I am amazed at how racially diverse Switzerland has become.
A) Nobody is elected Federal President
B) The "presidency" rotatates among the Federal Councillers
C) With Mrs Dreyfuss, a Jew for the first tiime ever became Federal Pres.
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Old 19.08.2011, 08:01
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Re: Swiss Obama

I liked Dreyfus, saw her on the street pretty often, almost ran into her once as she came in out of the bright sunlight into the shade crossing the street, we laughed at each other and said "Shuldigung!".

Couchpin sat down down at the same table in the crowded Federal for a coffee. gawd does he have a huge nose. He crossed the street right in front of my car once, some say I should have run him over, but nah, he's just a big Swiss kid.

Crossed paths on the streets with Merz so often, we started grinning and nodding. By chance, sat back-to-back to him in Lorenzini once. He turned around and asked where he knew me from. Told him just like this on the street. He laughed, I laughed, shook hands and waved after that. Really like the guy.

That is how it is with Swiss presidents in Bern, no big deal. They serve more like Chairman of the Board, go to work or shopping like anybody else.
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Old 20.08.2011, 03:31
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Re: Swiss Obama

I think it is unlickely that anything like that will happen soon. For one because as stated above the presidents are voted by the parliament and i doubt the SVP and CVP majority will back a mixed race candidate because it suggests that they were originally not from switzerland.
Also it must be remembered that being a president in Switzerland is insignificant and that the seven on the naitonial council rule as one.
I think the next significant step is not if they vote in a mixed race, but if they vote in an italian or portugues this would be a big step in the right direction
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Old 20.08.2011, 09:08
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Re: Swiss Obama

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Do you think Switzerland would ever elect someone like Obama as president? Specifically, could a mixed-raced candidate ever be accepted by a majority of the Swiss population?

What are requirements for presidency? Is there a natural-born vs naturalized statute like in the US?

I bring this up only in this context... I am a bi-racial dual citizen and spent a lot of time in Switzerland when i was young. I've been away from Switzerland for 20 years and I've recently spent a few months in Switzerland. I am amazed at how racially diverse Switzerland has become.
A positive sign is that one of the first women ever elected to parliament in Switzerland was half black.

Her name was Swiss, her mother from Cameroon (Fula/Fulani tribe). She was from Neuchâtel. Remember this was back in 1969 at the Canton level, and then she was elected to a seat in Bern from 1971-1975.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilo_Frey

There is no national vote in Switzerland so that is good, I imagine a national vote as in the U.S. would not likely be producing an Obama. A man with a absent black African father and an African name being elected in Switzerland to high office? Yeah good luck with that. lol

A man with a black mother, Swiss name, that's better, but still...

I think what you are more likely to see would be a person who is half Swiss (Swiss father) with a Filipino or Thai mother. And if he just remotely looks Asian...there you go.

As mentioned since this is all internal to party, there is a better chance in that system than one with an nation-wide vote.

Would Margaret Thatcher been elected in the UK with a nation-wide vote? I doubt it.

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Old 22.08.2011, 00:32
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Re: Swiss Obama

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I think it is unlickely that anything like that will happen soon. For one because as stated above the presidents are voted by the parliament and i doubt the SVP and CVP majority will back a mixed race candidate because it suggests that they were originally not from switzerland.
Also it must be remembered that being a president in Switzerland is insignificant and that the seven on the naitonial council rule as one.
I think the next significant step is not if they vote in a mixed race, but if they vote in an italian or portugues this would be a big step in the right direction
Don't underestimate those SVP,lers. As reactionary as they are they have many Secondos in their ranks.
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Old 23.08.2011, 09:07
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Re: Swiss Obama

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Don't underestimate those SVP,lers. As reactionary as they are they have many Secondos in their ranks.

Actually thinking about this...who would be better to represent them than a person who is half Swiss/half visible minority (or just a Muslim) who would give them cover for all their racism. A useful idiot to espouse all their view, and when someone says something he will say "my father (or mother) was an immigrant, I understand...BUT..."
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Old 23.08.2011, 10:58
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Re: Swiss Obama

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Actually thinking about this...who would be better to represent them than a person who is half Swiss/half visible minority (or just a Muslim) who would give them cover for all their racism. A useful idiot to espouse all their view, and when someone says something he will say "my father (or mother) was an immigrant, I understand...BUT..."
I don't really think you understand second generation immigrants. Many tried hard to integrate, learn the language, so they often expect more of and are stricter to recent immigrants than native Swiss.
And most of the older generation of immigrants are from Portugal, Italy and are as socially conservative as the SVP.

Most people's view here of Swiss either being pro or anti immigration/foreigners is overly simplicistic and fails to understand the respective position of parties and the electorate.
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Old 23.08.2011, 11:05
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Re: Swiss Obama

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...thing is, the Swiss president is elected by the Parliament from their own members, not the citizen electorate, so it's hard to say if a Swiss Obama would get elected and what that would represent.
And the election is not really a process with alternatives. The Bundesrats just take it in turns to be president for one year. Nobody really gets excited about the presidency.
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Old 23.08.2011, 11:15
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Re: Swiss Obama

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And most of the older generation of immigrants are from Portugal, Italy and are as socially conservative as the SVP.
And don't understimate the Bosnians either. Many are extremely conservative in their views, especially those that integrated well. Giving the vote to more immigrants will not necessarily weaken the SVP position.
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Old 23.08.2011, 11:59
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Re: Swiss Obama

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I don't really think you understand second generation immigrants. Many tried hard to integrate, learn the language, so they often expect more of and are stricter to recent immigrants than native Swiss.
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And most of the older generation of immigrants are from Portugal, Italy and are as socially conservative as the SVP.

Most people's view here of Swiss either being pro or anti immigration/foreigners is overly simplicistic and fails to understand the respective position of parties and the electorate.
No, I fully understand that, you think I don't know any second generation immigrants? LOL, about half my friends in the U.S. come from relatively recent immigrant family backgrounds, especially from Asia, and the phenomenon you describe is similar.

Some folks might also call this "pulling up the ladder", basically "you got in, and now you are so good you don't want anyone to join you".

Many Asian Americans born in the U.S. look down on recent immigrants calling them "FOBs" (Fresh off the boat).

There are Mexican Americans who have been there since there area of the U.S. was taken over by America from Mexico, and call other recent immigrants "Wet backs" which is also a racial slur. In Texas you can meet these people, the indigenous "Mexican Americans" call themselves Tejanos. They often think they are better than recent Mexicans.

So you think the average older generation of immigration from Portugal or Italy would put up posters saying "Stop the Mass Immigration"?

There is a big difference between xenophobia and socially conservative, expecting integration, etc.

While the SVP might be a "big tent party" with diverse internal opinion, and maybe even different regional interest groups with varying degrees of opinions on many issues.

I didn't think I needed to explain all of that in detail to you, apparently I did...

ALL THAT BEING SAID, I think:

1) A good portion of the SVP constituents are basically redneck ethnocentric or nationalist xenophobe hillbillies.

2) People who are not succeeding in the current Swiss economy and scape goat foreigners, instead looking at government policies and business/wealthy elite interests which create certain situations in the economy which lead to their situation (or they simply can't deal with the fact they are not successful due to their own choices). In the end foreigners aren't in control, almost all these things the SVP complain about are and always have been in the control of Swiss people.


These types are often hateful, resentful, or just plain ignorant and clueless and easily manipulated.

Yes, it would help to have someone who is "half foreign" to say things a 100% Swiss guy can't say because it would be considered "racist".

Typically we call immigrants who are socially conservative who allow themselves to be "used" for the political purpose of Xenophobes useful idiots, because in the end if the real xenophobes had their way, as soon as they get rid of the immediate undesirables they will quickly turn on those "immigrants" who "think they are integrated" and say "oh well you aren't REALLY SWISS YOURSELF". LOL Hey history has to repeat though...
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Old 23.08.2011, 12:33
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Re: Swiss Obama

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I don't really think you understand second generation immigrants. Many tried hard to integrate, learn the language, so they often expect more of and are stricter to recent immigrants than native Swiss.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the so-called second generation
immigrants born and/or raised in Switzerland? Integrating into society,
learning the language etc. should not be difficult for them in particular.
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Old 23.08.2011, 12:57
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Re: Swiss Obama

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2) People who are not succeeding in the current Swiss economy and scape goat foreigners, instead looking at government policies and business/wealthy elite interests which create certain situations in the economy which lead to their situation (or they simply can't deal with the fact they are not successful due to their own choices). In the end foreigners aren't in control, almost all these things the SVP complain about are and always have been in the control of Swiss people.
I think you have misread the SVP.

The SVP is attacking what they perceive as the political elite. they are hammering the projected and imagined coalition of the other parties who are all united against them. They are ranting against the greedy bankers and all the ruthless and powerful who are keeping down the honest working man and taking his rights away from him to give them to criminal Eurocrats. These groups are regularly the scapegoats of the SVP campaigns. Although if you are a foreigner, the posters may seem hateful to you directly, they are often intended to be hateful towards the political class that allows these things to happen. They are against the people who (supposedly) are soft on foreign criminals and who (supposedly) grant bogus asylum seekers the right to stay and hand social securities out to them. The SVP thus positions itself as the ally of the little man who has no other allies and without them wouldn't even have a voice. It is the party that has an open ear to the problems of everyday folks and takes up those problems rather than ridiculing them. It is the party that is proud of not being one inch PC.
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Old 23.08.2011, 13:09
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Re: Swiss Obama

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Typically we call immigrants who are socially conservative who allow themselves to be "used" for the political purpose of Xenophobes useful idiots, because in the end if the real xenophobes had their way, as soon as they get rid of the immediate undesirables they will quickly turn on those "immigrants" who "think they are integrated" and say "oh well you aren't REALLY SWISS YOURSELF". LOL Hey history has to repeat though...
If it ultimately results in the Apaches, Cheyenes etc getting together and rooting out the KKK, I wouldn't have a problem with that.
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Old 23.08.2011, 21:49
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Re: Swiss Obama

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A) Nobody is elected Federal President
B) The "presidency" rotatates among the Federal Councillers
C) With Mrs Dreyfuss, a Jew for the first tiime ever became Federal Pres.
-
Wolli,
Hope you won't mind me pointing out that the OP was speaking of racial diversity.
Judaism is a religion.

OP,
There's only one race. The human race.
Hopefully one day the color of skin will no longer be an issue anywhere. Though this thought may sound utopic and perhaps superficial (like hoping for world peace at a beauty contest), I personally rejoice in the fact that as the world becomes a much smaller place due to technology and transport, there are many many more families with very diverse origins.

Last edited by Sky; 23.08.2011 at 22:11.
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Old 23.08.2011, 22:29
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Re: Swiss Obama

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Do you think Switzerland would ever elect someone like Obama as president?
Well, first they would have to start electing presidents!

Tom

P.S. They are, in fact, elected, but not by the people. And normally, they simply take turns being president (though this doesn't always happen).
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Old 23.08.2011, 22:53
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Re: Swiss Obama

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Wolli,
Hope you won't mind me pointing out that the OP was speaking of racial diversity.
Judaism is a religion.

OP,
There's only one race. The human race.
Hopefully one day the color of skin will no longer be an issue anywhere. Though this thought may sound utopic and perhaps superficial (like hoping for world peace at a beauty contest), I personally rejoice in the fact that as the world becomes a much smaller place due to technology and transport, there are many many more families with very diverse origins.
I did NOT refer to Judaism as a religion, but to Judaism as an ethnic group. Many Jews, while also being "Jews" in the religious sense, are basically just "member of the club". Do not forget that the Jews in Switzerland are as "mildly religious" as most of the rest of the population. The point about Mrs Dreyfus was that somebody coming originally from that particular Jewish corner of the Canton of Aargau.

Colour of the skin ? Have you seen the news from Tripoli ? Most are "whites", some are dark, and a few are blacks, but skin colour is not a valid criteria, even if experts say that many have it with tribal allegieances. As Erich Gysling on CH TV pointed out tonight, what matters are, sounds like Switzerland, the three regions of Tripolitania, Cyrenaika and Fezzan.

Back to Switzerland, I can well imagine that the first dark-skinned Bundesrat may be a heavily reactionary and xenophobe SVPler
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