Initiative for the enforcement of initiatives has Switzerland in service

The self-determination of the SVP raises fundamental questions about direct democracy. A yes would strengthen the rights of people, say the initiators. The opponents see the rule of law at risk.

The SVP wants to ensure that adopted popular initiatives are implemented literally – even if they violate international law. The reason for the initiative for self-determination was a decision by a federal court that the SVP did not approve.

The Federal Court banned the expulsion of a foreigner in 2012, although voters had accepted the SVP removal initiative. It relied on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Priority for Swiss legislation

The SVP enforcement initiative on expulsions later rejected voters. The debate is now, as it were, a general version of it: the initiative "Swiss legislation instead of foreign judges" (Selbstbestimmungsinitiative) requires that the federal constitution always takes precedence over international law – subject to mandatory provisions such as the prohibition of torture.

If a referendum is approved that is in some way incompatible with an international treaty, Switzerland would no longer have to apply the treaty – unless it was subjected to the referendum. She would have to renegotiate her and, if necessary, end it.

Rights of people without restriction

The will of the people must therefore apply almost without exception, without the previous rule being correct. The SVP claims that direct democracy is being increasingly undermined. "What is quiet here is a coup," said SVP chief strategist Christoph Blocher at the launch of the self-determination initiative.

However, with this attitude, the SVP is alone. The other parties are against the initiative. In their opinion this would upset the relationship between democracy and the rule of law. Without a strong rule of law, the majority would be subject to arbitrary rules, they claim.

Self-determination today

But the opponents also argue for practical reasons: with a yes to the initiative, Switzerland would in a certain sense retain the right to keep contracts whenever he wants. This would make her a very reliable partner.

Minister Simonetta Sommaruga of Justice stated that Switzerland already decides which treaties to conclude and which not. The voting population has a far-reaching voice. If there is a conflict with an international treaty, Switzerland has several possible solutions today. The initiative for self-determination, however, only has one way: renegotiate, end.

Protection by human rights

The initiative also fights against an "alliance of civil society" that includes human rights organizations. In the medium term, the assumption would be a termination of the ECHR, they warn. People in Switzerland lose the chance to fight violations of fundamental rights in Strasbourg.

The economy in turn fears the location of Switzerland. The initiative threatens stability, reliability and legal certainty, is the argument of their associations. International treaties are permanently reserved.

Lifting of shocker posters

The SVP stated that the vote was the most important since those for the EEA in 1992. The opponents expected the usual provocative SVP posters. But the party provoked this time by renouncing it: the posters and flyers were emphatically moderate, as if they were from a mediocre party.

Because criticism ensured that the sender on the flyer was missing, the SVP sent all households. No party logo, but a quote from the former SP federal council member Micheline Calmy-Rey, who rejects the initiative: that was a deceptive deception of the voters, the opponents complained. They reacted with a Trojan horse – a message that was probably not immediately open to all voters.

Unclear reference to the EU

Confusion may also have been caused by the links that SVP tried to impose, such as those on a possible future framework agreement with the EU. That is the referendum. So the voters could decide anyway.

The fact that the mass immigration initiative was not carried out literally because of the agreement on the free movement of persons was also used by the SSP as an example of the need for the initiative. However, this agreement depended on the referendum and would therefore remain decisive in the case of a yes against the self-determination initiative for the federal high court.

Open the door

Regardless of the proposed solution, the initiators could put their hand on the fact that in the globalized world there is a lot of international regulation and no longer within national boundaries.

As the voters decide, will be shown on November 25. In the first polls, although a majority of the respondents were against the initiative, the outcome is open according to the polls.

If the initiative is accepted, the implementation must talk a lot. For example, it is unclear when there is a "contradiction" with the constitution and who decides it. Also, the question that a contract must be "terminated" if necessary, must leave questions unanswered.

November 4, 2018, 10:39

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