Taking advantage of a unique provision in their constitution, campaigners in Switzerland have garnered sufficient signatures to force a national referendum aimed at stripping the government of its powers to impose pandemic-related lockdown measures.
The group Friends of the Constitution solicited 86,000 signatures requiring a nation-wide vote on whether to repeal the government’s 2020 COVID-19 Act, which was passed in September, Business Insider reports.
Switzerland’s constitution provides a recourse to direct democracy whereby citizens may trigger a referendum to overturn laws introduced by parliament if they are able to collect 50,000 signatures in 100 days. Having well surpassed this requirement, the vote is expected in June.
Last week, the Swiss government announced tightened restrictions with a stated purpose of mitigating the spread of new COVID-19 variants which were first claimed to be discovered in Britain.
They closed shops which sell “non-essential” supplies, limited private gatherings to five people, and ordered companies to instruct employees to work from home where possible, or require staff to wear masks. They also extended the closure of restaurants, along with cultural and sports sites to the end of February, Reuters reports.
Christoph Pfluger, a board member at Friends of the Constitution, said the group believed the government was “taking advantage of the pandemic to introduce more control and less democracy.” [A suspicion shared by many, I suppose.]
The group also stated that the COVID-19 Act is “disproportionate” and “demonstrably ineffective,” while others expressed that it gives the government too much power to enforce a “compulsory system with poorly tested vaccines.”
Now you’re talkin’. He’s sayin’ the damn lockdowns don’t work! and the vaccines are not trustworthy? What next? In any case, “The success of the referendum would be a call on the authorities to exercise the utmost caution in the vaccination campaign and even impose a moratorium on it.”
Negative thinking! He could be cancelled.
Keep an eye on those Swiss people.