Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Time to vote

What do the Swiss do on Sundays?

They vote.

Or at least they do four times a year on all sorts of issues that most people in the world never have a chance to vote directly on.

I just filled out my ballot to be mailed this afternoon. Had I missed the Feb. 9th mailing deadline, I could drop my ballot at the local polling place, the elementary school on Sunday.

The package includes:
  • A form to be signed and includes a birth date
  • A booklet detailing the philosophy of each item and the proposed text
  • Listings of how each party believes. In the photo above this is one of two pages filled with the different parties opinions
  • An envelope to be sealed with the ballot
  • A verification form
The prepaid envelope is the same one used to mail the voting information.

There were three items:
  • Should there be a simplified naturalization process for third generation residents under 25
  • Money for roads
  • Taxation of companies
It takes me several hours to vote. I use a number of methods to come to a decision:

1. Posters
As a PR person I am aware of how manipulative they can be. But still it is a start.

2. Newspaper articles

3. The ballot informational booklets (probably some of the most boring French possible)

4. The opinion of the many parties as shown in posters throughout Switzerland.

Even all these methods can leave me unsure. For example if the far right parties agree and the center and left parties agree but the two groups disagree, I will normally go left. But every now and then the right an left agree. This sends me back to more research.

I never miss a vote. Although Switzerland was the first country to advocate for votes for women it was also the last in 1991, because each canton made its own decision. The first time women voted in any canton was 1971.

Susan B. Anthony and the Pankhursts made tremendous personal sacrifices for my gender.

Today when I voted on the easing of naturalization for the young, road funding and company taxation issues, as always I thanked them. There work inspired women in other countries to fight to become full citizens.

For me as a naturalized citizen voting, after careful study, is my way of thanking the Swiss government.

No comments: