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View Poll Results: Will the Swiss vote to allow this proposal?
Yes - they aren't as afraid of foreigners as we think 2 7.69%
No way - in your dreams buddy! 18 69.23%
Maybe - they can sometimes come out with surprises at the ballot box 6 23.08%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02.06.2006, 23:42
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Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Did anyone see the article in 20min today? The cantonal government has stated that it wants foreigners to have the ability to vote. They say this is an important issue for integration and will help to retain skilled foreigners.

But here's the catch.
  • You have to be living in the canton (as in canton Zurich) for 10 years, with permanent resident status (which means C)
  • It only applies to voting at the gemeinde level, not canton
  • Individual gemeinden can decide whether they want to allow qualifying foreigners this right
  • Before anything can happen the people have to vote and approve it
Original article: http://www.20min.ch/news/zuerich/story/28708140

If you go to the site there's an online poll. Currently 72% are opposed and 28% are for the idea. Maybe that 28% are the foreigners and the 72% are the Swiss? Since the foreigners don't get to vote on the idea in the first place I think there's a pretty slim chance that it will go through.

I predict a racist, fear-based campaign before the vote with black hands ticking boxes, or muslims in headscarves lining up to vote. That ought to kill it dead in its tracks.

If you think about it there's not much use in this. I'd have to wait another 4 years, then I could help to elect the school president. The really important stuff is decided at the cantonal level which is not in this proposal.

But let's look on the bright side - it's an important step in the right direction.
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Old 03.06.2006, 00:12
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Quote:
I voted yes.

Discrimination holds no place in this world. Many Swiss should be ashamed of themselves for some of their practices in foreigner policies.
Umm, not sure if you understood the vote. It was whether you THINK it will happen, not whether it SHOULD happen

I agree mostly with your sentiments though. Phrasing them in a way that is easier for the Swiss to swallow would probably be more constructive though . Hint: if you are going to bold a word, spell it correctly...
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Old 03.06.2006, 07:10
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Not a chance. I work with a few Swiss, and I mean just a few as I work in IT. The most opened minded one I know has spent most of time living abroad, in the states, and has a mexican wife. He MIGHT, just might, vote to allow that to happen. The second most open minded I know, is a full member of one of the guilds, the shoe-makers I think, and in the relatively recent vote concerning grand-father rights, voted against 3rd generation foreingers beng granted an automatic citizenship.....

I come from the UK, and while I agree with Baselboy that it seems to be very racist here, or lets say anti-foreigner, at least (it seems to me) to be passive.
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Old 03.06.2006, 07:54
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

coming from Ape Island, we should be able to related to the insular Swissies After all, we're not that different bar the fact that we actually have water to protect us.

The £, Schengen, really being part of Europe. It's not that different from the feeling of being overrun by Johnnie Foreigner... Ah, they are being overrun too and don't like it?

It is true that the more "accepting" Swissies have travelled somewhat. All of them in my office HAVE to travel and HAVE to use English primarily for their work. They're actually OK.

I think there might be a Yes vote but only if......the vote was extended to white, western Europeans

FWIW my missus is doing as much as she can to upset the applecart. Also......the irony is not lost on me that the "liberal" Swiss can vote Yes for gay marriage but possibly won't vote to allow foreigners to have a say in where their tax money goes
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Old 03.06.2006, 08:58
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Quote:
***Quote deleted ***
Most Swiss I have discussed WWII with are ashamed at their behaviour, but with the reservation of "what choice did we have". If CH had stood up to Hitler, they would have been pummeled back to the dark ages. They were damned either way. Admittedly, unlike the Germans who quite actively accept the mistakes of their rogue leader, the swiss just try to brush it under the carpet.

But, IMHO, I find it somewhat hyprocritical to make such accusations, and still put a hand out for the little red book.

Just my 2 rappen.

Last edited by litespeed; 01.08.2006 at 23:01. Reason: Quote deleted at request of author
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Old 03.06.2006, 09:37
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

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But, IMHO, I find it somewhat hyprocritical to make such accusations, and still put a hand out for the little red book.
Let's not forget that his primary motivation to apply for the passport was to try and circumvent being treated like dirt, rather than because his heart beats for the white cross...

Maybe it's because I have more than one passport that I don't feel any particular loyalty. My view of citzenship doesn't include being loyal to your country or people no matter what they do. To me citzenship is about participating and voting and helping to work towards a future. It's also about being accepted and being part of a community (yeah right!)

I don't feel responsible for the treatment of blacks during the apartheid era, the injustices inflicted on others during the expansion of the British empire, or the shameful and inhumane treatment doled out to illegal immigrants.

However, I don't feel ashamed because I strongly oppose such things. I will never make excuses for them. To my mind, to try to justify or explain this type of thing means that I might have agreed with it. So if I hear Swiss trying to explain why their country behaved the way it did during WW2 then I'm sorry - but I'll wonder if that person would have voted for it if given half the chance. It makes me sick.

Lob - you took the words right out of my mouth - but I wanted to apply them to the EU thread
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Old 03.06.2006, 15:42
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Quote:
I don't feel responsible for the treatment of blacks during the apartheid era, the injustices inflicted on others during the expansion of the British empire, or the shameful and inhumane treatment doled out to illegal immigrants.

However, I don't feel ashamed because I strongly oppose such things. I will never make excuses for them. To my mind, to try to justify or explain this type of thing means that I might have agreed with it. So if I hear Swiss trying to explain why their country behaved the way it did during WW2 then I'm sorry - but I'll wonder if that person would have voted for it if given half the chance. It makes me sick.

Lob - you took the words right out of my mouth - but I wanted to apply them to the EU thread
Mark, what do you suggest the Swiss should have done during WWII then? Given that they were right on the doorstep of Germany they didn't have a lot of choice to their actions. They probably handled it about as well and skilfully as they could have done in my opinion. It's incredible that they didn't get invaded and the various parts divvied between Germany, Italy and Vichy France.

And in the grand scheme of things, compared to the past behaviour of South Africa (apartheid), Britain (their conquest and subjugation of native peoples all over the world during their Empire days) and Australia (the treatment of their native population) I'd say that Switzerland comes pretty low down on the list of countries that have a shameful past.


Gav
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Old 03.06.2006, 19:29
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Hi Gav,

The point here is that I don't stick up for shameful behaviour - therefore I don't feel any responsibility for it. If I did however...

What could Switzerland have done? Yes, they probably would have been invaded, but if it were me I would rather have been occupied by the Nazis for a while than playing banker to assist them to occupy other nations. That's just the kind of guy I am, I'd rather put up with some hard times than knowing that I am helping to prop up someone else's misery. At least I could go to sleep with a clear conscience... There's a word for it in German - schlitzohr.

Did turning jews back at the border, knowingly sending them to their deaths stop them from being invaded? I'm sorry - I don't think so.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not about condeming people for the actions of their parents or grandparents, but then they must clearly distance themselves from that behaviour - not deny it or try to make excuses for it.

Do you think it is through hard work or skill that Switzerland, a poor nation prior to WW2, became the richest nation in Europe during the period which followed?

Anyway - we got a little off topic here. I think we were talking about democracy - or lack thereof
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Old 04.06.2006, 21:01
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

So how does it work in the UK viv a vis foreigners having the vote?
I have no idea of the system, but would an Australian living in Notttingham be allowed to vote in local elections after a period of residency?
Would like to have an idea before really getting on my high horse on this issue.

Nick.
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Old 04.06.2006, 21:11
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

don't know why I said Australian living in Nottingham,
Meant to say a Swiss living in Nottingham! (had a long chat about Oz this afternoon, still on my mind)

Nick.
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Old 05.06.2006, 00:54
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Hi Nick,

Not sure on the specific rules in the UK, but consider this. Someone who has permanent residency in the UK has quite an easy time to get a passport after that. Unless you are the owner of Harrods.... Once you have the passport then it's no issue to vote anywhere.

The unique situation in CH is that people who are permanent residents (anyone on a C permit) do not have a fast and easy way to a passport (and even if they do they may not want it due to military/civil service obligations).

I know you didn't mean Oz in the first place, but just for clarity anyone with permanent residence status who has been in oz for 24 months in any 5 year period (12 months of which must be consecutive) qualifies for a passport, and therefore the right to vote. In Oz the right to vote is more than a right, it is compulsory.
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Old 05.06.2006, 16:30
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Quote:
What could Switzerland have done? Yes, they probably would have been invaded, but if it were me I would rather have been occupied by the Nazis for a while than playing banker to assist them to occupy other nations. That's just the kind of guy I am, I'd rather put up with some hard times than knowing that I am helping to prop up someone else's misery. At least I could go to sleep with a clear conscience... There's a word for it in German - schlitzohr.



Anyway - we got a little off topic here. I think we were talking about democracy - or lack thereof
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, I think it was far from clear until relatively late in the war that the Germans weren't going to win. Hence, it wouldn't be a case of expecting to put up with a bit of hardship for a short while.


Getting back to the democracy issue, I've just come back from a weekend in Lausanne (great place) and my friend there informs me that anyone who has been resident in the Canton of Vaud for 5 years can vote in local and Cantonal elections. So not everywhere is so restrictive on foreigner voting.


Gav
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Old 05.06.2006, 16:52
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

Quote:
Getting back to the democracy issue, I've just come back from a weekend in Lausanne (great place) and my friend there informs me that anyone who has been resident in the Canton of Vaud for 5 years can vote in local and Cantonal elections. So not everywhere is so restrictive on foreigner voting.
http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/swissin...11&sid=4687883

There's the article that talks about Vaud. Looks like it happened in 2004, so it probably came into effect 2005. The article mentions only local elections, not cantonal elections.

There were also some interesting facts in the sidebar:
  • Quote:
  • Roughly 1.5 million people in Switzerland – one-fifth of the population – are foreigners.
  • Vaud is the third canton to grant full communal political participation to non-Swiss.
  • The German-speaking cantons of Graubünden and Appenzell Outer Rhodes allow individual communes to decide whether to grant voting rights to foreigners.
Here's a partial answer to a previous questions about how things are done in neighbouring countries:

Quote:
In neighbouring European Union countries, foreign EU residents are eligible to vote on municipal matters and to cast their ballots for members of the European Parliament.
So another question - is there anywhere in Switzerland where foreigners can vote on cantonal issues? Gav, if I am wrong about this for Vaud please post a link to something, or ask your friend if he has actually exercised this right and voted on anything for the canton?
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Old 07.06.2006, 20:56
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

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Gav, if I am wrong about this for Vaud please post a link to something, or ask your friend if he has actually exercised this right and voted on anything for the canton?
Well, my friend said local and cantonal elections but maybe he meant local elections all over the canton or something.

He's Swiss, so he already can vote. However, like many people in the French speaking part he's pretty pro-European and has a rather more relaxed attitude towards foreigners than is typical in the eastern part of CH.


Gav
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Old 29.01.2007, 22:31
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Re: Foreigners voting in canton Zurich

I’m fairly sure all the French-speaking cantons allow ‘foreigners’ to vote at the Gemeinde level.

When speaking to my highly intelligent, well-travelled and very levelheaded Swiss colleagues, I am constantly astounded on their views on all foreigners. It’s as if all logic, sensible reasoning and fairness take-on a different meaning.

That said, I still holdout hope of being allowed to integrate. The Swiss may be surprised how many ‘foreigners’ want to integrate and contribute to their communities.
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