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The hundreds of thousands of Swiss citizens living abroad have voting rights, but should they?

There’s been a lively Twitter debate (in German) on this issue this week after Claudio Kuster, an assistant to Senator Thomas Minder, questioned their rights.

“The Swiss abroad should not have the right to vote – if only because they are difficult to reach with information or campaigns.”external link

The grounds for his tweet was an article by about how the Swiss abroad had voted on Sunday on three issues, including a controversial reform of corporate tax law and easing citizenship requirements for the grandchildren of immigrants.

Not everyone was in agreement with Kuster’s position. Below is an extract from the discussion:

They could inform themselves. But do theyexternal link?” asked Sandro Lüscher.

"I think the problem is rather that the (issues voted on) do not affect them, as opposed to foreign nationals living in Switzerlandexternal link,” replied Min Li Marti.

Daniel C. Rohr wrote: “But should they also pay into the state pension plan, be taxed at source and pay other taxesexternal link?”

Kuster was asked on SwissCommunity, the chat site set up for Swiss abroad: “Maybe the Swiss abroad are influenced less by campaignsexternal link?”

And it was pointed out to him: “Votes differ, (depending on different divides) urban/rural, young/old, French/German, education level… who shouldn’t be allowed to vote?”external link

And Manuela Schiller – presumably someone holding Italian citizenship as well as Swiss, wrote: “I ask myself each time when I receive (voting) documentation from the Italian consulate, ‘does this affect me?’ Yes and no.”external link

What do you think? Let us know in the section for the comments below.

The most interesting opinions or statements will be used in a follow up article by our editorial team.

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