Skip to content

Swiss Right-Wing Party Wins

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".

In national elections yesterday, the SVP received almost 29 % of all votes, gaining seven more seats in the Swiss parliament (according to projections). It has therewith established itself once more as the country's largest political group. The result came after an aggressive election campaign that many observers consider blatantly racist. One of the SVP's infamous, posters showed a black sheep being kicked from a Swiss flag by three white sheep; another one black hands grabbing Swiss passports. According to African News Switzerland The party was once ordered by a judge to remove a campaign video from its website: Footage had shown staged scenes of youth violence and pictures of foreigners juxtaposed with picture-postcard scenes of Switzerland, along with the message: “Heaven and Hell”.


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.


No Trackbacks


Display comments as Linear | Threaded

Zyme on :

I observed the election campaign in Switzerland every now and then. I brought me to the conclusion that the time for a german Blocher might be ripe - a billionaire who can act independently from the established lobbies due to his own wealth would be a welcome change in contrast to our current politicians who continously lose trust of the public. The SVPs campaign was absolutely astonishing in its openness - but arenīt a lot of people here fed up with politically correct slogans as well? Right now our conservatives are often divided in power struggles between federal and state sections, including the bavarian section. Most of those so called "provincial princes" lack one decisive attribute: They are not charismatic. A person like Blocher should be able to polarize the public and unite the conservatives. Closest to Blocherīs political stance regarding immigration should be Guenter Beckstein ("we are tolerant ladies and gentlemen, but we are not stupid!"). He was elected with overwhelming support as prime minister of Bavaria a few weeks ago. Maybe he could do it. But he is already above the age of 60.

Anonymous on :

Zyme-your obvious ageism disgusts me. It seems that the basis of the SVP's platform is not anti-immigration but law and order; much like Fortyn in the NL did not neccessairly care about the ethnic characteristics of the lawbreakers, just their integration within Dutch society. Any party will stoop to racist tactics if it will help them win. The Democrats darkened the Indian (Bollywood not Winnetou) Governor of Louisiana's face in northern La. The Dutch leftists have made many a racial remark about Ali. Still dont understand the 'vagina American' epithet. Its not even funny. Anyway, Hillary as an 'ugly, menopausal potential Medea' or a spaded St. Bernard that amusing and very sexist as well.

Zyme on :

"your obvious ageism disgusts me" What ?? Did you extract this from "But he is already above the age of 60." ? This was simply to point out that he will probably not shape our politics for more than half a decade anymore. You know, people tend to retire at the age of 65... My goodness - I like Becksteinīs way of doing politics a lot. I simply regret he is already above the age of 60...

Anonymous on :

If you post on a thread about sexism and racism and someone accuses you of being either of the above, he/she (noteice respecful use of non-determinative gender pronoun) might be joking, piefke

Zyme on :

Pff - spare others with your blasphemy.

David on :

If Hilary is a "Vagina-American" can we call Fred Thompson a "Viagra-American"?

Don S on :

Neither one is as described. And "Republican strategist" Clifford May is actually vulgar fool Clifford May. Who appointed him a 'Republican Stratigist", anyway?

Add Comment

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Form options