Letters to the editor
The elections to the Council of the Swiss Abroad
An election where only the members of certain associations can vote is a bit like no one apart from registered members of political parties being able to determine the composition of the National Council. Surely it should be easy to record every Swiss citizen living abroad – the various diplomatic missions should have everyone’s address. To be a truly representative council, the CSA needs to get Switzerland’s embassies to conduct the elections.
The CSA elections are for an exclusive club. It says in the last issue that “Any Swiss Abroad is entitled to vote, provided that they belong to a recognised Swiss association”. Yet Swiss Abroad affiliated to associations are a clear minority among Swiss living abroad. Therefore, delegates elected by association members cannot claim to “represent the interests of all Swiss Abroad”. A democratically elected “Parliament of the Fifth Switzerland” would be different to what we have now.
What does our home soil sound like?
A noisy soil is a healthy soil! There is more biodiversity under than above the surface. These organisms are responsible for the environmental benefits soils provide us. Very nice publication by the “Swiss Review”. And important to grow awareness about the soil, usually not valued by people... seen by many as just dirt! Congratulations!
Thank you for this very interesting piece. There is indeed a noticeable difference between organically and intensively cultivated land – the latter is devoid of life! What a fascinating study.
A new-found miracle of nature – incredible! And something from which we can all learn. Many thanks for this article.
What a fantastic research, congratulations to the researchers and the “Swiss Review” for this wonderful publication. As an agroecologist and soil scientist I think we can promote this approach in soil research in Brazil.
Implications for the framework agreement after voters reject the “limitation initiative”
A “resounding ‘yes’ to the bilateral relationship with the EU” is by no means a yes to an agreement that states that one party – the European Court of Justice – would adjudicate disputes between Switzerland and the EU. That would be like a child’s father settling a quarrel with someone else’s child. No, Switzerland – your sovereignty is more important than bowing to diktats from Luxembourg. I am grateful that a party like the SVP are opposed. They are still Switzerland’s biggest party, so less of the schadenfreude, please.
History has shaped the political framework of Swiss democracy, which is heavily influenced by our country’s unique mountain geography. This is why the Swiss people alone must continue to have the final word on how Switzerland’s law-
makers run the country. If there is to be any rapprochement with the EU, Switzerland must insist on having special status.
It is quite interesting to see that most of the reader comments here are critical of the EU. In no way do they reflect political attitudes among the wider Swiss expatriate community. Anyone who thinks that their nationalistic, backward-looking outlook is the answer to all our ills is in cloud cuckoo land.