At Stake in the Referendum:
- The endorsement by popular referendum of a federal decree, federal law, and two popular initiatives.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Didier BURKHALTER
- Head of Government: President Didier BURKHALTER
- Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblée Fédérale/Assemblea Federale) consisting of the Council of States (Standerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati) with 46 seats and the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale) with 200 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- Legislative referendums in Switzerland are conducted on the basis of majority vote, with both the majority of people and majority of Cantons approving the referendum. Constitutional referendums and citizens’ initiatives are conducted on the basis of double majority for both votes and the cantonal vote.
Main Provisions in the Referendum
- Federal Decree on primary healthcare (direct counter-proposal to the retracted popular initiative)
- Description: The new Constitutional Article requires the federal and cantonal governments to provide basic high-quality medical care so that people everywhere in Switzerland have quick and easy access to primary healthcare. The government plans to extend access and reduce costs through legal reforms and better financial incentives for young doctors to become general practitioners.
- Ballot Question: Do you want to accept the Federal Decree of 19 September 2013, on basic healthcare? (Direct counter-proposal to the retracted popular initiative "Yes to Community Medicine")
- Position of the Federal Assembly: The National Council adopted the decree 140 to 49 with no abstentions; the Council of States adopted it 43 to 0 with no abstentions.
- Popular Initiative: “Pedophiles Should Not Be Allowed to Work with Children”
- Description: The initiative requires that persons who are convicted because they have affected the sexual integrity of a child or a dependent person permanently lose the right to pursue a professional or voluntary activity with minors or dependents. 
- Poll question: Do you want to accept the popular initiative "Pedophiles Should Not Be Allowed to Work with Children"?
- Position of the Federal Assembly: The Federal Assembly has not adopted any voting recommendation on this provision.
- Popular Initiative: “For the Protection of Fair Wages (Minimum Wage Initiative)”
- Description: The initiative requires the federal and the cantonal governments to encourage collective bargaining agreements with minimum wages and that a national minimum wage of 22 francs (US$25, $14.01 PPP) per hour be set. This corresponds to about 4000 francs a month. The amount would be gradually increased in line with inflation.
- Poll question: Do you want to accept the popular initiative "For the Protection of Fair Wages (Minimum Wage Initiative)"?
- Position of the Federal Assembly: The National Council has rejected the initiative 137 to 56 with 2 abstentions; the Council of States has rejected it 29 to 12 with no abstentions.
- Federal Law on a fund for the procurement of Gripen fighter aircraft
- Description: The law calls for 54 obsolete F-5 Tiger combat aircraft to be replaced by 22 modern Gripen fighters, which would be purchased from Saab Group in Sweden for CHF 3.1 billion (US$3.4 billion). The procurement would be financed by a fund.
- Poll question: Do you want to accept the Federal Act of 27 September 2013, on establishing a fund for the procurement of Gripen fighter aircraft (the Gripen Fund Act)?
- Position of the Federal Assembly: The National Council approved the bill 119 to 71 with 4 abstentions; the Council of States approved it 25 to 17 votes with no abstentions.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 8,188,649 (2014)
- Registered Voters: 5,139,055 (March 2012)
· Female Population: 4,137,391 (2014)
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (23 January 1987)
· Has Switzerland ratified CEDAW: Yes (27 March 1997)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: N/A
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 57 (National Council); 9 (Council of States) following the 2011 elections
· Human Development Index Position: 3 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: No
· Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: Yes, accession (15 April 2014)
· Population with a disability: 1,228,297 (est.)
 The Federal Presidency rotates among the 7 members of the Federal Council, which is the formal chief of state. Presently the Federal Council consists of Doris LEUTHARD, Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF, Ueli MAURER, Didier BURKHALTER, Simonetta SOMMARUGA, Johan SCHNEIDER—AMMANN, and Alain BERSET.
 This provision is the Swiss government’s counter-proposal to a popular initiative put forth by general practitioners in Switzerland. They have withdrawn their original initiative.
 This popular initiative was proposed by a group of concerned parents called White March / Marche Blanche.
 The current law, passed in November 2013, includes a 10-year ban on working with children, which can be renewed for five more years or turned into a lifetime ban depending on circumstances. Penalties differ depending on the gravity of the offence and can include a ban from certain public places or a ban on contacting the victim, to be determined by the judge. Marche Blanche was not satisfied by this legislation and seeks an automatic lifetime ban.
 The cabinet has recommended that voters reject the initiative on the grounds that it is ‘imprecise, incomplete and contravenes the principles of Swiss and international law.’
 This popular initiative was proposed by the SGB/USS, a Swiss trade union federation.
 Currently, only 49% of employees in Switzerland work under a collective bargaining agreement, and only 80% of those who do have a specified minimum wage in the agreement.
 Referendum is opposed by the Social Democrats, Greens, Liberal Greens, and the Switzerland without an Army pacifist group.