Those of you who are Swiss or live in Switzerland already know what I’m going to say. Those of you who aren’t, or don’t, won’t get it. But it has to be said anyway.
Christoph Blocher is no longer in the Federal Council. Who is Christoph Blocher? He’s one of the big names of the SVP, the Swiss People’s Party. They’re part of the political system, but their right-wingedness has turned more and more into out-and-out racism, misogyny and political bullying. Their ads imply that foreigners, more often than not, are parasites, as are those receiving a pension for invalidity. Their implication has been that they are Switzerland and that they alone give voice to the Swiss people, cows, cheese’n’all. (No cuckoo clocks – that’s an invention of Harry Lime.)
So, what happened? The Swiss parliament voted on the seven Federal Councillors, which Blocher was one of for the last four years. Since the SVP is successful with voters, they’ve been accorded two seats. But, oh no! The parliament voted two SVP members into the Council, but neither of them is CB. Instead – listen to this! – they voted for… a woman!
Putting it somewhat bluntly, the SVP is the sort of party that thinks proper women should be mothers and should be at home, looking after the kids, because otherwise you get broken families, youth violence, high school shootings and the like. And now an SVP woman is voted to one of the seven highest positions in the country. What a slap in the face for the old, white buggers… (Note for linguistically interested non-German speakers: her name is Widmer-Schlumpf, “Schlumpf” being the German word for “Smurf”.)
Irony of ironies, the demonstrators on the federal square in Bern, 99% of them on the political left, cheered when Widmer-Schlumpf, an SVP politician, accepted the election.
Now, what did the old fuddy-duddies do? They chucked both W-S and her other SVP colleague on the Federal Council from the party, so now there’s no one from the SVP on the Council. And then they went on to announce that “this was a black day for Swiss democracy” and that they’d been forced to go into opposition, because after all the rest of the kids didn’t want to play with them.
Okay, realistically speaking I don’t expect anything much to change. But still, it’s oh so satisfying to see the xenophobic old fogeys from the SVP end up with egg on their faces and stomping out of the sandpit because they think the others are being mean…
And probably the first time in my life that I switched on the telly at 8 a.m. to watch politics…
One should jeer at others’ misfortunes, I suppose, but I still couldn’t help walking through town with a huge grin on my face and buying a kilo of pralines to celebrate.
The one thing that I really mind, though, is that we’re never going to hear the end of the SVP going on about how democracy and the “people’s will” had been slighted and that the Swiss voters had been had, and that the move into the opposition was the only possibility and that they were forced to that, which really, really gets up my nose. But there we are.
Oh, and just to be a smartypants: they didn’t actually exclude them from the party (I’m sure they would if they could, but the 2 are stil members of the cantonal parties), but just from the parliamentary faction, which is to say they’ll be giving them the silent treatment and won’t be having them at their meetings, and neh-neh-neh.
oh, eheh, and “should” should read “shouldn’t”, actually. 🙂