Political Demonization is Solvable (again)
A few years ago identified what you felt to be very deep problem in your country. can you describe what it is and how did you I recognize it? So actually goes back to well by data I nearly. Ninety, two there was a vote on Switzerland joining or not joining European commercial area or economic European. Economic. The and the Swiss refused that, and that was actually the starting point of an. Incredible career of a party called the Swiss People's Party. Here which is which happened to turn from really Conservative Party into a rather writing populist parties well and Chris blowhole. He's the leader, the the well-known like personality of this party. There's a saying that he get has tailor made suits, but which actually don't really faith on the shoulder. So he would pretend to be one of you know the people but actually a billionaire, he's super-rich one of the richest people in Switzerland. He runs this party anti finances this party mostly, and so that was basically the start of this career of the party. So the problem you identified is the problem. Of Swiss, populism you identified a particular event and it was the referendum on mass migration. Can you explain would what's the significance of referendums in Switzerland and why this one in particular effective the NFL pay came up with a will be called an popular initiative, which is a therapy democratic proposal to the Swiss people that we voted on, and that means that you a needs to collect one hundred, thousand signatures at on a specific hem nego text, which thin if it is accepted is being introduced into our Constitution. So such as some law, you know it's changing. Our Constitution. So the writing populist as well as other parties misused the tool today as a marketing tool for issues they come up with this at just right before elections. So they can compaign on a specific issue, but originally disrupt was given to minorities which would never be represented in parliament and through this initiative, they could introduce law and come up with issues which matter to them, and so that particular event was in February two, thousand fourteen voted on the so-called mass immigration initiative already from the name, you can see that it comes up, it brings up a certain framing and yes, pay wanted to. Limit the number of people coming to Switzerland in the free movement of people agreements that we have with the European Union Switzerland is not member of the your opinion, but we have but a treatise and visit they're just too many people come to Switzerland every year and they one. Yeah. By really close marching of fifty point three percent it was only twenty thousand votes which made a difference, and so you said to yourself, how do we stop this and then you went through a process of trying to think how how do we push back against this kind of language get the thing was we didn't actually. Themselves, in the country that we grew up in because we we saw Switzerland as a you know cosmopolitan international country, a open and so on and we nobody expected this to happen. It was like our brexit moment. You know we said, okay, that's not the country that we want to live in. We want to change this. We won't have a brighter future and the brighter vision for what Switzerland's can be, but the populist argument had already infected all the other parties in other words everybody began saying in Switzerland well, actually maybe it's true. Maybe they're too many people here. Maybe we need stronger borders maybe we need greater sovereignty. So how do you? How do you push back against that kind of? This change of social mood. Basically, what will be so is that we want to promote. Switzerland regarding the future we said Switzerland is the land of Opportunity of the twenty first century. We're not the kind of open air museum where nothing should ever change and that's also the country wants to live in in two thousand fifty. We've actually looking forward to the two thousand fifteen so in so you began reframing. The conversation but actually use you said to me earlier you you thought I about creating a political party and then you decided that wasn't the way to go. Right. So for us I mean, of course, we're super disappointed about all the other party if it just overtook the narration of the hoppy of there are too many people in our trains too many people renting apartments here I thought okay, we have to. Make a new party because we don't cannot identify with any other. We don't have a political home. But then we realized that the Indus was political system. It doesn't make sense to create a new party, but instead, we decided to create an over partisan movement. Actually goes against this tendency of polarization, but we wanted to unite the progressive liberal minds in this country, and also we wanted to link US somehow back to the tradition of eighteen, forty eight, which is the foundation of the liberal state of Switzerland, and we we introduced ourselves with our manifesto as children of eighteen, forty eight. So trying to link these liberal ideas back to the past. So they're part of Swiss history and they don't seem like some kind of foreign import no absolutely and even more it was a vedic patriotic but emancipated. Patriotic Understanding of where we come from the founding fathers of our country for deliverables in eighteen, forty eight, and we totally identified with their mindset of what it means to be a modern Switzerland.