The issue of unchecked legal immigration is the hot button issue in Swiss politics. Literally for decades the country had kept the exact same parties in power, in the same proportions (the so-called Magic Formula), but once the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) began to rise on the issue of immigration, all that went out the window.
The rest of the establishment has tried to hold them back, breaking every other established principle in Swiss politics to do so, but the voters now have increased their support for the SVP against all other parties in Switzerland.
The above ad is the most controversial one the SVP has run. It was from the 2007 election, when they gained 2.2%. It reads “Sicherheit Schaffen”, which means “Create safety.” Depicting a black sheep being booted out of Switzerland by the white sheep within, you can imagine the cries of racism that came out from this.
But the voters had none of it, and supported SVP. Since then the Swiss establishment has done everything it could to fight the SVP, going as far as to take away one of its seats on the Swiss Federal Council (the joint executive of Switzerland) and give it to a breakaway moderate.
Well, the breakaway moderate party (the Conservative Democratic Party) lost a fifth of its support. The Christian Democrats (centrist) lost almost a point as well. All that and more fed into the SVP gaining 2.8%, making them the clear winners of the election over the weekend. SVP gained 11 seats, to control 65 out of 200. That’s a lot when you consider there are four parties in the traditional Magic Formula, and a number of minor parties in the mix beyond that.
The Syrian ‘refugee’ influx can only be helping the SVP, and the Swiss have sent a message: No more open borders.