Swiss abroad have taken part in a federal referendum to bring reforms to selected initiatives of national interest.
Switzerland’s referendum which took place on Sunday 25 September 2022, saw voters decide on plans for pension reform, factory farming, and taxes.
Swiss abroad voted massively for an amendment to the law on pension reforms which will raise the retirement age for women from 64 to 65 years.
With a 64.5 percent vs overall support of 55.1 percent, the diaspora showed strong acceptance of an increase in Value Added Tax from 7.7 percent to 8.1 percent, intended to provide an additional source of funding for the pension system. The outcome may be so because the Swiss diaspora are not active consumers in Switzerland to be directly affected by the consequences of certain tax reforms; and also, they are mostly subject to the pension system in their countries of residence.
Majority of the Swiss diaspora again voted narrowly in favour of an initiative calling for the ban on intensive livestock farming in Switzerland. The outcome revealed that animal welfare was of bigger concern to the country’s expatriates.
Reports indicate that out of 146, 600 registered diaspora voters, just 36,500, representing 25 percent casted their ballots in 12 districts of Swiss abroad. The rate of voter turnout has been attributed to mobilisation; in addition to the observation that most of the issues voted on mainly affect people living in Switzerland. The national turnout saw a participation of 52 percent, the highest observed in the last five years.
Another reveal in the voting pattern is the notable differences in decision making between French and German speaking voters.
Source: SWI swissinfo.ch
Edited by: Theresa R. Fianko
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