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Another “Super Sunday” at the polls

09.04.2021 – THEODORA PETER

The Covid-19 pandemic has failed to thwart direct democracy. On 13 June, voters will give their verdict on five more proposals – two initiatives and three referendums. Here are the issues at stake.

Clean Drinking Water initiative:

According to this initiative (brought by citizens with no affiliation to any political party), subsidies should only go to farmers who refrain from using pesticides, antibiotics and bought-in fodder. Furthermore, the federal government should only fund agricultural research and education that meets these criteria. Read more

Pesticide initiative:

This initiative seeks to ban synthetic pesticides in Switzerland – not only in agriculture, but in soil and land management too. The import of food containing pesticides or produced using pesticides would also be banned. A non-party pressure group is behind this proposal as well. Read more

CO2 Act:

The Federal Act on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (CO2 Act) tightens the CO2 emission limits for vehicles and increases tax on petrol and fuel. An SVP-backed campaign group representing affected industries opposes the CO2 Act. Climate strike activists in French-speaking Switzerland have also voiced their dissent, saying the measures do not go far enough in the fight against climate change. Read more

Anti-Terror Act:

Under the Federal Act on Police Counterterrorism Measures, the courts are permitted to place people aged 15 or over under house arrest. The police may also take action to restrict the movements of children aged 12 or over. A number of party youth wings across the political spectrum are opposed to the legislation, calling it a “brazen attack on the rule of law”.

Covid-19 Act:

The legal framework for emergency measures by the Federal Council to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic is already in force and will apply until the end of 2021. However, the Friends of the Constitution have called a referendum to repeal the Covid-19 Act, saying that the legislation is unnecessary, unethical and dangerous. Activists fear that the Covid-19 Act will set a precedent for further “government diktats”.

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