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Old 06.04.2008, 09:10
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Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

Alrighty, as a bit of a political junkie I have been trying to follow the recent news about Eveline Widmer Schlumpf. But I admit for an Auslander I am fairly clueless on understanding what it is all about - even explainations I have received from Swiss colleagues and friends I seem not understand. Best I can understand, is they are trying to throw her out of her own party, but what are the repercussions of this, would she lose her seat in the Federal Council?

Last edited by dakman; 06.04.2008 at 09:14. Reason: pre coffee grammatical mistakes
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Old 06.04.2008, 09:48
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news

I don't think she can be forced to give up her seat. Even if she's cut off from her party. She was elected by a majority of the Swiss legislature. The SVP from Graubunden differs greatly from the party from most of the rest of Switzerland. For example, one of their more prominent members from Graubunden, Hansjorg Hassler (personal website), is an organic farmer, and tends to have quite moderate views. Hassler has been also been threatened with expulsion from the party from time to time.

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf's father, Wikipedia reference-linkLeon Schlumpf,was also a prominent member of the Bundnesrat, representing the SVP.

Though unlikely, the major repercussion of this could be that in four years, Switzerland ends up with some sort of coalition government like most of the rest of Europe. The SVP and perhaps the FDP may be shut out from the executive branch of the resulting government.

Last edited by gregv; 06.04.2008 at 09:50. Reason: fixed really bad run-on sentence.
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Old 06.04.2008, 10:37
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

I'm rooting for the UDC/SVP to split along farmer/nationalist lines.
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Old 06.04.2008, 11:17
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

I'm full of admiration for her doing this, actually. This could be a significant turning point in how the SVP is perceived by the voting public - they are actually trying to bully a diplomatically-voted politician into doing what they want.

She must (and I think will) resist. I even think that her local SVP party will be cut off.

They must take a stand for democracy.
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Old 06.04.2008, 12:13
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

The words,Toys and Prams spring immediately to my mind when thinking of the current SVP politics.

They are miffed that their King aka C.Blocher wasn't re-elected as Bundesrat and since then throw one temper tantrum after the other,see a conspiracy behind anything and anyone and still think they are the good guys, not realising how ridiculous their behaviour is.

As well as not realising that, they manoueuvre themselves into a corner if they keep this up.

All this, to try and get Blocher or another, more Zurich-line friendly Politician as Bundesrat.This is what it all boils down to, i would be more than happy to see the Zurich wing to found a new party and remain amongst themselves and let the others continue doing what they didn't do too badly in the past years!

Bring back the good old BGB, who despite the mistakes they made, was much more geared towards the politics the SVP should do nowadays.

The latest spanner the SVP ZURICH wants to throw into the works (completely stoopid as many other things they did in the past 2 months) is to oppose a new harmonisation of the schools,where almost nation wide all pupils would have the same start at the same age into their school career ,every parent on this forum knows that the swiss federalistic system where almost every village can do as it pleases is not the best system there is. THIS new thing would for example gurantee that when u move from Ct. Zurich to Aargau, for example your child would continue at the same class and same level in the new school as it was last at, in the old school.

Opposition politics may be something good, but not in the way that the current Zurich wing is doing it.


off my soapbox now, but this ruffles my feathers
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Old 06.04.2008, 17:28
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

The SVP are arguing that Widmer-Schlumpf's being their representative violates the so called "Zauberformel" (magic formula), by which each party has its representatives in the Bundesrat because she is not their chosen representativeP. They say that it is wrong for the council members to be anyone but the party's first choice.

However, the SVP can't legitimately use that argument because they argued against the right of the party's first choice in 1984, when the SP wanted to put Lillian Uchtenhagen in the Bundesrat. Back then the SVP kicked up a huge fuss, and in the end the SP chose a different council member.

And the reason Uchtenhagen wasn't accepted into the Federal Council?
She was considered too left wing and the SVP wanted a more moderate candidate. But now, when a more moderate council member has been appointed for them, they jump to the other side and advocate the rights which they denied the SP twenty-four years ago.
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Old 07.04.2008, 00:47
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

Uchtenhagen may have been left wing but she also had an economic education. I assume that FDP and SVP made a big fuss about her back then because she'd have been the first female federal council member. The elected Stich wasn't chosen by the Social Democrats as far as I know, but they accepted him after the election instead of banning him from the party's fraction meetings, like the SVP does now.

In a nutshell the majority of SVP exponents, especially the so-called Zurich wing, are still peeved that Blocher wasn't re-elected and that the "traitress" Widmer-Schlumpf accepted the election, so they desire to make her political life difficult (they also do it for their voters and the public to generate a possibly advantageous polarisation).

So they have excluded the SVP/UDC federal council members from the fraction meetings... result: their parlamentarians have less access to the processes in the federal council, nobody's impressed. The party can talk about opposition until they're blue in the face, Widmer-Schlumpf and Schmid still have a party membership book. But the national party can't ban politicians, it's the cantonal parties that have this power (in this case the Bernese and Grison one). Widmer-Schlumpf's party said that they won't exclude her so the only option left for exponents from other cantons is to exclude the cantonal party and to found another party there, the "real SVP" of Grisons. And this is the state of affairs.
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Old 07.04.2008, 06:47
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

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<snip>nobody's impressed<snip>
Well, except voters that is. In yesterday's results the SVP did well. The SVP seem to be purging their moderate members in public - and the publlic loves it...

Last edited by AbFab; 07.04.2008 at 07:12.
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Old 07.04.2008, 06:53
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

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Well, except voters that is. In yesterday's results the SVP did well. The SVP seem to be purging their moderate members in pubic - and the public loves it...
bit like an organic toothbrush then ?
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Old 07.04.2008, 07:13
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

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bit like an organic toothbrush then ?
Grrrrrrr spell cheque....
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Old 07.04.2008, 07:53
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

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The elected Stich wasn't chosen by the Social Democrats as far as I know, but they accepted him after the election instead of banning him from the party's fraction meetings, like the SVP does now.
.....and not to forget that Stich has proved in the ensuing years as Bundesrat to be the best financial minister we had for a long time!!!

In my local newspaper today was a report that yet another of the moderate Bernese Politicians has resigned from his public offices etc. because he cannot stand the way 'his' party is 'behaving'.

Another one, Heinz Siegenthaler from Rüti ( home of Mister Sämi Schmid) who allowed himself to open his mouth and name the bare facts by, well ,their name, still receives threatening letters and such

I fear that if this goes on, sooner or later either a new party will be formed ( which is good) or then the right wing guys will succeed with their way and only the Zurich wing friendly ppl will remain in the party, and if this happens....... then god help us!!!
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Old 10.04.2008, 20:15
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news [Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf]

Today the Graubunden SVP voted to not remove Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf from the cantonal party. It's to be seen if they separate from the rest of the Party. Widmer-Schlumpf's father Leon Schlumpf was shown on the news going to a gathering to support his daughter. It's going to get real interesting now.
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Old 10.04.2008, 20:45
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news

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Though unlikely, the major repercussion of this could be that in four years, Switzerland ends up with some sort of coalition government like most of the rest of Europe. The SVP and perhaps the FDP may be shut out from the executive branch of the resulting government.
Switzerland already has a 4 party coalition government. The SVP suffers a split personality. They were always in the coalition but opposed almost everything the Government decided. They want to "run with the hares and hunt with the hounds".
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Old 12.04.2008, 21:48
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news

..................................

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Old 13.04.2008, 11:31
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Re: Recent Swiss Political news

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In Switzerland, there is no such thing as a government: the parliament governs. The Bundesrat's role is to make this possible. They are always a coalition by definition. The magic formula is the expression used to name a compromise that works. The magic formula can be changed as long as it gives a new magic formula that works.

The SVP crisis is much easier than it looks: it's solely about Blocher....
Wow, thanks so much clarifying this. I've been discussing this with my Swiss friends and now everything makes more sense.
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