Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Swiss Referendum Story

This Sunday....4th of March, there's a vote down in Switzerland.  It's an odd vote....over a referendum to dissolve the national tax on public-run TV.

Most all European countries have some type of tax that is mandated on the public to support a public TV and radio network.  The German version requires 17.50 Euro per house, per month.  If you go and talk to working-class people....especially in's highly divided about enthusiasm for the public network.  Most younger people (15-to-25 years old) rarely if the public network, or listen to public radio.  Germans over the age of fifty...probably probably have a 80-to-90 percent approval rating of the German public network system. 

In the Swiss case, polls have been done in the past week.  One poll shows a 20-point lead on keeping the public network.  The other poll is about a 15-point lead on the public tax remaining.  Now, we can admit the US poll folks occasionally screw up, and that's absolutely true for the BREXIT polls which showed all the way through that a 5 to 10 point no-exit lead existed.  I would tend to believe the polling in this case. 

If the dissolve vote got to 50-percent?  I think Swiss folks would be shocked, but it would lead onto German public TV folks starting to worry about how they can avoid the same trend.  There was a public TV forum last night....Maichberg on ARD (Channel One), which went on for an hour over the topic. Several 'experts' were brought on and talked about the good things, the arrogance often displayed by public TV, and the perception by the public that things were often slanted to benefit certain political trends.  The curious thing was that these were selected folks with noted backgrounds.  They avoided for the most part....discussions with regular people. 

This little vote in Switzerland really should only concern the Swiss but it's bringing up a major topic if the 'dump-them' vote wins....across all of Europe. 

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