The people of Switzerland seem to have taken an object lesson from the Swedes and the British, and have decided to step back from the brink of the immigration cliff. According to AFP, Swiss voters have strongly approved a tightening of asylum laws:
According to early poll projections, Switzerland has voted heavily in favour of making it harder for asylum-seekers to gain entry to the rich Alpine state.
Despite warnings of damage to Switzerland’s humanitarian reputation, some two-thirds of voters appeared to have said ‘yes’ in referendums on laws limiting access for non-European job-seekers and making the country’s asylum rules amongst the West’s toughest.
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Ah, yes, “warnings” — a nice impersonal construct. Who was “warning” the Swiss? Kofi Annan? Human Rights Watch? The International Socialist Alliance? Or maybe the Arab League?
And it seems that voters are expected to pay more attention to Switzerland’s reputation than to their own physical and economic well-being. “Dietrich! Don’t vote ‘yes’ on that referendum! How could we hold our heads up in polite company if we passed such a racist law?”
Switzerland must have organizations analogous to the ACLU, left-wing spoilers that have the time, the money, and the know-how to put a spanner in the works of the democratic process:
The measures have already been passed by both parliament and the government, but opponents raised enough signatures to force a national vote.
AFP, being a good buddy of Reuters, knows how to frame the story, and makes sure to include the opinion of an “opponent”. Needless to say, it’s the only voter that they quote:
“I have voted ‘no’,” said 35-year-old Raphael Engel after casting his ballot in Geneva. “Europe is more and more becoming a fortress and Switzerland should set a humanitarian example.”
This reminds me of NPR back in 1984, covering Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory. The reporter stood outside a polling place, sticking a microphone into the face of voter after voter, but somehow only the clips of Mondale voters ever made it onto the air for “All Things Considered”.
The Swiss, instead of setting a humanitarian example, have decided to be a beacon of backwardness for the racists, bigots, and Islamophobes among us. More power to Switzerland!
Do you think Europe is starting to wake up? First the Swedish election, and now the referendum in Switzerland…
One by one the nations of Old Europe open their bleary eyes, clutch their aching heads, look at all the garbage and empty wine bottles around the room from last night’s wild socialism party, and moan, “What the hell was I thinking of?”
Hat tip: Reader LN and commenter Thanos.