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Online survey unites people and politics

Democracy at their fingertips: Swiss are being asked to take part in an online political survey

(swissinfo.ch)

All Swiss citizens are being urged to take part in an online survey containing around 30 questions on the political development of the country.

The second "Swiss Perspective" online survey was launched on Wednesday and is intended to involve the populace more closely with the political process.

Respondents will be able, until December 16, to give their opinion in German, French and Italian on topics such as equal rights, regional politics, family politics, economic growth and poverty.

"There must be an equal number of male and female candidates at federal elections" is one example. "My canton is too small to function efficiently" is another.

Political topics are also addressed, such as "the level of health insurance premiums should depend on one's income" or "child benefit should be uniform nationwide".

In an attempt to boost the number of filled-in questionnaires, all respondents to the ten-minute survey will be entered into a draw to win a travel voucher worth SFr500 ($390).

Swiss Perspective is organised by Vernunft Schweiz or Swiss Sense, a politically neutral and independent association that provides facts and background information on Swiss economic policy.

The hope is that the results of the survey will contribute to a vision of Switzerland that can be developed and worked towards over the next decade.

Demand for reform

The first "Swiss Perspective" survey was carried out last autumn and 14,000 people took part.

The 2004 survey revealed that the Swiss wanted to see reform in a number of public-sector areas, with education topping their list of concerns.

Almost 90 per cent of respondents wanted to see compulsory schooling harmonised across all 26 cantons.

As for university education, half the 13,000 respondents indicated that entry to tertiary education should be limited by allocating places on a competitive basis.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

"Swiss Perspective", organised by Vernunft Schweiz, is intended to involve the populace more closely with the political process.
Vernunft Schweiz was founded in 2003 and the first survey was carried out in 2004.

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In brief

"Swiss Perspective" originated from three observations:

Over the past 15 years the Swiss economy has grown the least in Europe.

The Swiss have rejected the vast majority of the past 33 people's initiatives.

No vision exists for Switzerland in 20 years.

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