Montag, 6. April 2015

E - Is for Elections and I have no idea where to begin

our ballot about to be sent Easter Sunday. 
I am a legal alien in Switzerland and have no voting rights. But my husband and I vote together in his country and mine (when we're allowed to vote - location permitting.)
Here, we have the opportunity to vote a bunch of times per year. In the States, we just have the once a year and I vote absentee (every since I missed my first election in 2001 due to being in hospital in another state.) Here we either mail it in or we walk it to the school next door with our dog and drop it off to the volunteers. Here, election day is a Sunday and we get to see our neighbors while we bring it. In the US, it's the first Tuesday after the first Monday after the .... third full moon.... in November... I'm not sure. It's tricky.
The elections here are tricky too. We vote 3 times per year for either people, optional referendums (on something that's been accepted by the Federal Assembly and accepted 50,000 signatures of opponents) or Federal Popular Initiatives (voting on something put forth by citizens that collected 100,000 signatures of supporters.)
When we're voting for people you can either vote for a party or a la carte and you list them in order of preference. When we're voting for referendums, there are sometimes multiple options of purposed compromises. It's neat!
In our household, we fill out our ballots most often on a train (it seems like elections always take place around vacations.) If we agree that we're pro or anti something, then we write it on the ballot. If we disagree, we leave it blank.
I am completely aware of how kind it is for my husband to do this for me. There's an amazing sense of belonging when you're able to vote in the country you call home.  I feel that I can't leave this topic without also adding that women in Switzerland were some of the last to get the right to vote in the world. Though some cantons granted the other half of their population suffrage as early as 1959 (go Romandie) but the last canton to allow lady voting at the swiss level was in 1971 and at the federal level 1991.
That said, we regularly have female parliamentary presidents, so....

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