People who vote(d) for the Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei, SVP) probably consider it "civic" or simply conservative. But the international press (from the UK to South Africa to Israel to the U.S.) calls it what it is: "nationalist", "right-wing", "rightist", "far-right" or "anti-immigrant".
The SV's campaign and recent leftist, anti-SVP riots in the Swiss capital, Bern, had made the headlines of papers around the world, including the New York Times. Foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey (member of the Social Democrats, SP) had called it "a security risk for Swiss representations abroad as well as Swiss tourists and businesspersons." A change in Switzerland's image was noticeable even at the UN, she said. "What is happening in our country at the moment doesn't represent the values we stand for in the world", she said. (translation: Sonja Bonin)
Whereas nothing comparable would be tolerated in the US, African-American candidate Barack Obama has his own problems. He has repeatedly had to deal with false claims he was a Muslim and supposedly having attended a "madrassa" in his youth in Indonesia. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was recently called a "vagina-American" by Republican strategist Clifford May. Hm, maybe sexism is still less politically incorrect than racism, xenophobia or Islamophobia?
By the way: last Sunday, the Swiss people also elected their first African-Swiss representative: 45-year-old Ricardo Lumengo was born in Angola and has been a Swiss citizens for ten years. Perhaps all is not lost, after all.