Swiss Referendums 2010
Swiss voters dealt with three questions today (March 7). Not as big a vote as the very mediatized minaret ban last year, but there were some interesting questions on the ballot.
A popular vote on a pension reform scheme passed by Parliament was put for a vote, this pension reform includes cuts to state pensions over a long-term period. The NO vote, which had all the momentum on its side, opposed the pension cuts and was led by the left and notably the Social Democrats. The YES vote, supported by business and some agrarian interests had little hope in the current economic climate and against a strong opposition of getting this passed.
Support for the NO was obviously widespread, with the highest support for the pension reforms scheme in wealthy areas (where the yes broke the low 40s) and some isolated (and usually German-speaking) rural areas. Opposition was very strong notably in the canton of the Jura, a Socialist area.
The second vote was an initiative which would create a mandatory lawyer for animals in all cantons (currently, only Zurich has such a position) to prevent animal cruelty. This unique measure sparked some interest but sparked little support.
Support broke 40% in the major urban centres of Switzerland. The last and least controversial proposal was an amendment to regularize human research.