Daily Archives: December 3, 2008
Switzerland, home of direct democracy, held five referendums on legislation or popular initiatives on Sunday.
1. Initiative: No statute of limitation in prosecution of child rapists (there was a 15-year timeframe to prosecute child rapists, the proposition would make prosecution of child rapists permanent). The Federal Council and Federal Assembly opposed the initiative as did most parties except the right-wing SVP and Federal Democratic Union.
2. Initiative: Legalization of Cannabis – acquisition, possession and growing of Cannabis would be allowed in small amounts for personal purposes, while the state would regulate the trade and growing of Cannabis. The Federal Council and Federal Assembly opposed the initiative as did most parties except small left-wing parties and the youth wing of the liberal FDP.
3. The Swiss parliament revised the law on illegal substances in March 2008. It provided for a statutory basis for the Swiss strategy against illegal drugs, which consists of four pillars: prevention, harm reduction, therapy and repression. The revision allowed for a continuation of the governmental distribution of heroin to heavily addicted persons. Conservative politicians from the SVP and Federal Democratic Union opposed to the law (and favoring strict prohibition) collected enough signatures to subject it to a referendum. The current law of distribution of heroin to patients is adopted.
4. Initiative: Elimination of the right of legal remedy for environmentalist groups for building contracts approved by the Swiss Parliament or the voters.
5. Initiative: Lowering of the retirement age from 65 (men) and 64 (women) to 62 years.
The final results with 100% of the votes counted. Turnout was only 39.2%, down a lot since 56.5% in 2004.
PSD+PC: 33.09% winning 114 seats (-10)
PD-L: 32.36% winning 115 seats (+48)
PNL: 18.57% winning 65 seats (+5)
UDMR: 6.17% winning 22 seats (±0)
Ethnic minorities: 3.56% winning 18 seats (±0)
PRM: 3.15% winning 0 seats (-21)
PNG-CD: 2.27% winning 0 seats (±0)
PSD+PC: 34.16% winning 49 seats (-6)
PD-L: 33.57% winning 51 seats (+22)
PNL: 18.74% winning 28 seats (+4)
UDMR: 6.39% winning 9 seats (-1)
PRM: 3.57% winning 0 seats (-13)
PNG-CD: 2.53% winning 0 seats (±0)
The outgoing government was formed by only the PNL and UDMR and was a minority parliament. Following the 2004 election, the government was formed by the PD (now PD-L), the PNL, UDMR, and the PC, which left its electoral partner. The UDMR has supported governments of all political colours in the past, from PSD to the liberals. Basically the party which gives the most to the Hungarians wins their support.
A few scenarios: PD-L+PNL+UDMR has a large majority in both houses. A PD-L+PNL only (unlikely) also has a majority in both houses. The outgoing PNL+UDMR lacks a majority in either house. So does PD-L+UDMR. PSD+UDMR lacks a majority in either house. The chances that the PSD actually enters government are very slim.