The only vote to pass today was the Intelligence Service Act referendum, which passed with 65.5% voting “yes”. Both the vote to increase state pensions by 10% (40.6% “yes”), and the Green initiative (36.4% “yes”), failed. These results are in line with the positions held by the Swiss federal council and parliament.
The vote to increase state pensions showed a divide between the latin cantons (French and Italian-speaking), and the cantons where all or some of the population speak German. The cantons of Jura (59.5%), Neuchâtel (54%), Geneva (53.6%), Vaud (50.3%), and Ticino (53.4%) all showed a majority in favour of it.
Only one canton, Geneva where 51.9% voted “yes”, showed a majority in favour of the Green initiative.
The new intelligence laws, resulting from the Intelligence Service Act referendum, will allow Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) to monitor private communications, such as those by post, internet and telephone. The government says it needs these powers to protect the country from terrorism, cyber attacks and spying. Terrorist and cyber criminals use modern telecommunications, so being able to monitor this information is vital, it says. Currently Swiss law only allows the government to access public information or that provided by other authorities. The government says there are safeguards to prevent abuse – the measures can only be used when there is a significant threat, and must be approved by several people in the government, including members of the Federal Council, or cabinet.
Those against the proposal feared it would be the beginning of a big brother state, where the government has access to everyone’s secrets and can share them with foreign agencies. Writing for Bilan, Fabrice Delaye, thinks the initiative could end up being an economic own-goal. For several years, Switzerland has pitched itself as a safe haven for the world’s data. He wonders how the initiative could affect this.
Results for the federal votes are shown in the charts below. To display the percentage results for a canton or district click on it. The charts can be switched from canton to district by clicking on the dropdown menu in the top right of each chart.
State pension plus – vote to increase pensions by 10%.
- Swiss to vote on state pension increases (Le News)