- Direct democracy is a bad idea. Surprisingly, turnout was actually pretty high (53%). So, this was not just the case of depressed turnout letting the loonies run amok. Instead, it was a case of rabble-rousing that worked to bring out the less than moderate middle. Perhaps, just perhaps, a political process where people were accountable for their decisions might have led to a different outcome. Instead, we get a vote that has no real substantive impact (not too many minarets in Switzerland and they cannot blast calls to prayer due to noise ordinances) but alienates a large chunk of the world, including non-Muslims.
- The Swiss not only seem to hate Muslims but still love guns and want to sell them abroad, perhaps even to Muslims. See the figures here.
- It will be interesting to see how constitutional reforms (not all reforms are good reforms) interact with EU law.
"Especially since Switzerland seems to be leading the EU Court on Human Rights these days."The ban contradicts the European Convention on Human Rights," Zurich daily Blick cited Widmer-Schlumpf as saying. Switzerland currently presides over the European Court of Human Rights, which rules on breaches of the convention."
- Maybe, just maybe this might create a backlash against the Islamophobes.
- Last year, there were many concerns voiced before the election that people were telling pollsters lies about their real preferences because they didn't want to be seen as racists. Well, this so-called Bradley effect did not play out much in the US but seems to have mattered a great deal--or things swung very significantly.
- The vote might have been as much about the incumbent government, which opposed the constitutional change, as it was about Muslims.
- As always, check with www.fivethirtyeight.com for election analysis. Including the following insight:
- "As it turns out, the percentage of foreigners in a given Swiss canton explains about a third of the variation you see in the percentage of the vote in favor of the minaret ban. Those cantons who have more foreigners were less likely to back the ban, which tends to support the suggestion that the more foreigners you are around, the less xenophobic you are in your voting."
- This is similar to Quebec's xenophobia which is mostly centered off the multiethnic island of Montreal and largely against the city of Montreal.