Sunday, May 21, 2017


It's Sunday in Switzerland.

Let's vote. It sometimes seem like voting happens every Sunday but in reality, it is four times a year when citizens cast their vote for initiatives and referendum.

The Swiss vote on almost everything from dog muzzles to buying airplanes for the air force. They vote to cancel out a parliament vote or they vote to tell parliament what to do.

Sometimes the votes can be as stupid as any parliament. Other times they show great wisdom. Often the Swiss German part of the country over rules Swiss Romand, the French part. They call that that the Rosti Graben, referring to the hash brown-type potato dish popular in the Swiss German section, but in reality eaten in all parts.

This time we were voting on:
1. The future energy policy of the country (Federal yes)
2. Bus rates (Cantonal yes)
3. The house of associations (Cantonal no)

Normally, I get my ballot by mail, study the pros and cons, check out what the many parties think (scares me when the far right and far left agree), and get my ballot into the mail in plenty of time.

I missed the mailing deadline. Thus at 10 a.m. when the church clock struck we were at the voting place doors when they opened. It was in the local primary school.

There was a warm greeting and I was pointed to a long table with several people siting behind it. I was told that only the blue envelope with the ballot was to go into the yellow box. The young man behind my slot checked my identity card and kept my signature card.

I dropped the ballot into the box.

"Have some breakfast," the young man said pointing to a table filled with croissants, cookies, juice, coffee and tea.

I found my husband chatting with the official greeter in French. I chatted with both of them for a few minutes, took  cookie and we left.

So civilized. I may vote in person from now on. That cookie was good.

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