constitutional referenda

by Thomas Fleiner On March 8, the Swiss voters and the cantons had to decide on two popular initiatives. They rejected both. The first constitutional peoples’ initiative was rejected by 75% of all voters and without any canton supporting the new constitutional article 116, which would have exempted family-allocations and educational allocations for children from taxes. The second vote concerned a popular initiative, which sought to establish a new federal competence authorising the federal legislature to establish new taxes for not renewable energies.
by David Gwynn Morgan. At first sight, who could possibly be against a referendum of all the citizens, as a means of taking the major decisions affecting the polity. A sort of precursor of this institution comes trailing clouds of glory from the Golden Age of Athenian Democracy, when all 100,000 of, at any rate, the free males assembled in the stadium to debate and vote on major collective decisions affecting the polis. And at the present day, the notion of the referendum chimes well with such notions as: citizen participation in government, ‘civil society’, distrust of ‘professional politicians’.
by Thomas Fleiner. On September 28, the Swiss voters and the cantons had to decide on two popular initiatives. They rejected both. The first popular initiative proposed a new constitutional provision, which set up a single, public and unitary health insurance with administrative decentralization. The proponents argued that there is no real competition among the existing different health insurances, that despotic insurance companies waste money with their income of premiums, that the explosion of raising insurance rates must be stopped.

Latest Posts

Swiss votations on February 9, 2020

by Prof. Markus Kern / Fabian Schmid, University of Bern

On February 9, 2020, two proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate:
– the Popular Initiative claiming “more affordable homes” as well as
– a referendum concerning a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in criminal law
The Popular Initiative was rejected by 57.1% of the Swiss population and by all but 4½ of the cantons, whereas the amendment of criminal law was clearly accepted by a majority of 63.1% of the voters. Electoral turnout was at 41.7% resp. 40.9%.

Read More »

Illiberal constitutionalism 2 – constraints on public power

by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary

Illiberal states emerging in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, are still constitutional democracies, which are shaped peacefully by populist politicians from a more substantial form of constitutional democracy that prioritizes (liberal) constitutional values through the use of populist style of governance, abusive constitutionalism, and autocratic legalism.[1] In our cases, the minimum requirements of a constitutional democracy, such as the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, have been defectively worded in a constitution, or poorly implemented or enforced.

Read More »