The referendums of February 13. explained – and results

This Sunday the Swiss will be voting on 4 national referendums and the citizen of the city of Lucerne will also vote on 2 local referendums. Here we explain what the topics are.

Ja zum Tier- und Menschenversuchsverbot – Ja zum Forschungeswegen mit Impulsen für Sicherheit und Fortschritt. (Yes to the ban on animal and human experimentation – Yes to the research pathway focusing on safety and progress.) This referendum calls for an unconditional ban on animal testing and research on humans in Switzerland. In the event of a “yes” vote, existing or new products for which animal experiments had to be carried out may neither be traded nor imported or exported. According to the text of the initiative, animal experiments should be classified in the constitution as cruelty and be regarded as a punishable crime. Those in favour argue that it is unexcusable to use unconsenting creatures for experiments and that animal experiments aren’t the solution for medical advances. Those against argue that the initiative will prevent medical advances, which will in turn prevent new medicines from being rolled out; and that jobs and businesses will be at risk because of this. Every political party is against this initiative and the government is asking people to vote against the initiative. Polls are showing that a majority will vote against this initiative. Initiative rejected by 79.1% of voters

Ja zum Schutz der Kinder und Jegendlichen vor Tabakwerbung – Yes to protecting children and young people from tobacco advertising. This initiative wants to ban advertising for tobacco products wherever it reaches children and adolescents. In addition, the federal government and the cantons should be obliged to promote the health of children and adolescents. The initiative text leaves open how this is to be done. Various health organisations are behind the petition. Those in favour argue that children’s health must be protected, if tobacco products are not sold to children then advertising targeting them should also not be allowed. The current laws do not sufficiently protect children from tobacco advertising. Those against argue that this initiative attacks people’s freedom of choice and that the current laws protect children sufficiently. The government is asking people to vote against the initiative but it looks as if this initiative will be voted in. Initiative acepted by 56.6% of voters

Wollen Sie die Änderung vom 18. Juni 2021 des Bundesgesetzes über die Stempelabgaben annehmen? – Do you want to accept the amendment of 18 June 2021 to the Federal Law on Stamp Duties? Companies need capital to make investments or to cover losses. When a company raises equity capital by issuing shares or the like, the federal government levies a tax: the issue tax. This amounts to one percent of the capital raised. The Federal Council and Parliament want to abolish the stamp duty. With the abolition of this tax, the Confederation expects to lose CHF 250 million in annual revenue. The SP, the Greens and the trade unions have lodged a referendum against this. Initiative rejected by 62.7%

Wollen Sie das Bundesgesetz vom 18. Juni 2021 über eun Massnahmenpaket zugunsten der Medien annehmen? – Do you want to adopt the Federal Act of 18 June 2021 on a package of measures in favour of the media? With the package of measures in favour of the Swiss media, the Federal Council and Parliament want to provide additional support for the media. Over seven years, the media are to receive direct and indirect funding of CHF 123 million more than previously. In addition, the contributions for private radio and television stations are to be increased by up to 28 million francs per year. This would bring the support contribution up to 151 million francs per year. Those in favour argue that this would lead to a more independent press, that smaller papers can be supported and that this package will encourage new journalism. Those against argue that a sponsored press cannot be totally objective, that 70% of the investment will go to big media companies that don’t need the money and that free medias will be excluded thereby not supporting smaller journalist initiatives. The government is asking for people to vote in favour of this initiative. Initiative rejected by 54.6%

Local referendums:

Tragung des Covid-bedingten Verlusts 2020 des Kantonsspitals – Carrying the 2020 Covid-related loss of the Cantonal Hospital. The Lucerne Cantonal Hospital LUKS was challenged like never before in 2020: Parallel to normal hospital operations, more than 1100 patients were treated due to a Covid 19 infection within one year. Even if it sounds paradoxical: despite the extraordinary amount of work, the LUKS made a big loss. The Canton of Lucerne, as owner of the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, therefore wants to increase the share capital by these 26 million francs. All parties are in favour of this motion. Initiative accepted by 75.3%

Velostation an der Reuss: Underground Bike Parking at the Reuss. In order to put an end to the chaotic parking of bicycles around the train station, the town would like to build an underground bike parking for 1200 bicycles (currently there is room for 400 only). This project would cost close to 20 million francs and would be along the Bahnhofstrasse with a direct access to the train station. The SVP and FDP parties find the project too expensive but all other parties approve of this investment. The town is asking people to vote in favour of this project. Initiative rejected by 77% of voters.

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