Switzerland: Referendum, 5 June 2016
At stake in this referendum:
- This referendum includes 5 provisions: three popular initiatives and two amendments to proposed laws.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Johann SCHNEIER-AMMANN (since 1 January 2016)
- Head of Government: President Johann SCHNEIER-AMMANN (since 1 January 2016)
- Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblee Federale/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.
- Switzerland has two types of referendums, optional and mandatory. Optional referendums only require a simple majority of valid votes cast, while mandatory referendums require a double majority in valid votes cast and the majority of cantons.
Main provisions in the referendum:
- Popular Initiative: “Pro Public Service”
- The first provision seeks to prevent the Confederation and affiliated companies from seeking financial gain from public services.
- “Do you want to accept the popular initiative ‘Pro Public Service’?”
- Popular Initiative: “Unconditional Basic Income”
- The second provision would provide for an unconditional basic income for all Swiss residents.
- “Do you want to accept the popular initiative ‘Unconditional Basic Income’?”
- Popular Initiative: “Fair Transport Financing”
- The third provision would require all revenue generated by mineral oil tax on fuels be spent on traffic-related tasks.
- “Do you want to accept the popular initiative ‘Fair Transport Financing’?”
- Amendment to the Reproductive Medicine Act:
- The fourth provision is for an amendment to the Reproductive Medicine Act (RMA) proposed on 12 December 2014. The RMA currently bans the practice of preimplantation genetic diagnostics for in-vitro fertilization, but the proposed amendment would lift the ban.
- “Do you want to accept the change of the 12 December 2014 Reproductive Medicine Act?”
- Amendment to the Asylum Act:
- The fifth provision is for an amendment to the Asylum Act proposed on 25 September 2015. It seeks to institute a requirement that the majority of asylum procedures be completed in 140 days.
- “Do you want to accept the change of the 25 September 2015 Asylum Act?”
Population and number of registered voters:
· Population: 8,121,830 (July 2015 est.)
· Registered Voters: 5,302,797 (February 2016)
· Female Population: 4,117,322 (July 2015 est.)
· 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: 73 (29.67%)
· Human Development Index Position: 3 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: N/A
· Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: Yes, Accession (15 April 2014)
· Population with a disability: 1,218,275
 The position of President of the Swiss Confederation rotates on a yearly basis among the 7 federal councilors. Johann SCHNEIER-AMMANN, listed above, is the current president of the Swiss Confederation.
 There are 7 women serving in the Council of States (15.22%) and 64 in the National Council (32%).