From Ticino to Bern, how the Swiss have voted

On the border with Italy, in Ticino and Graübunden, the initiative has been accepted. In Valais the no wins as in the rest of French Swiss.

The debate about the citizens’ initiative “ against the mass immigration” introduced by  Swiss Peoples’s Party, the Right-wing political party , continues even the day after the Swiss vote. The result of the federal election has shown a split in the country but not only for the approval. Slightly more than one in two citizens voted for the approval and finally  the “ yes” obtained 50.3% of the vote , overcoming the rejection by less than 20 thousand votes. This division is evident  also from the culture and geographic point of view.  As the poll had predicted on the eve of the vote (even if the final result was different) the French Swiss cantons rejected the initiative, while the Italian and German Swiss cantons accepted it (except for Zurich).  (Image source

The  results canton to canton

Every canton has a story in itself and each have faced, in a different way, the growth of foreign component in the population (around one in four is a foreigner). It is interesting to observe how the voters of the cantons close to Italy, have behaved. The initiative, as had been foreseen, obtained in Canton Ticino 68 % of consensus , even in Graübunden this was accepted while in Canton of Valais it was rejected by a few thousands votes. In these two cantons the result  was not expected.

The vote in Ticino is not surprising , considering that for a while the local population has expressed its dissatisfaction against the massive presence of foreign workers ( around 60 thousand) and of small frontier business.  But what is causing this discomfort?  The fear of an unfair competition, and a potential threat for the local economy are the main reasons that allow us to understand the strong consensus reached by parties that are definitely not moderate such as the Ticino League. The movement created by Bignasca has obtained a lot of voters in later years and in the past policies he has become the first force in the canton able to obtain the most economically important cities, Lugano. Lately, however, the issue related to the cross-border, and more generally to the request to renegotiate the bilateral agreements that affect the territory in the south of Switzerland have also been accepted by other historical parties in Ticino.

Near the request of a restrain for the cross-border workers, the clause that will lead to assign the priority in recruitment to the Swiss in the labor market, has found great favor. A detail to pin down in this context of change. According to the data publicized this morning, in Canton Ticino, from the Chamber of Commerce-  source OsserVa-  the citizens of Varese who every day pass the customs to work have surpassed the quota of 23 thousand, with a predominance of men ( about 14 thousand) over women.

Unlike the past the assignment of work has changed: the Italian labor is no longer just the one employed in low-skilled sectors. The figures show that about 60 thousand workers operate across the border, it is particularly emphasised the growth of the tertiary sector : based on the analysis of the statistical Office of the Canton Ticino, the advance in the service sector has been so impetuous to see triple the number ( up from 10,327 units in the IV trimester ’99 to 30,285 in IV ’12) compared to an increase-  still considerable ( from 16,007 to 24,007 units), but relatively lower- in secondary activities.  At the end of nineties 60.3 % of workers were active in the secondary (between manufacturing and construction sector), 38.8% in the tertiary and 0.8% in the primary.  By virtue of the greater growth of the workers in the tertiary sector, thirteen years later the share of the secondary has fallen to 44.6 % and the tertiary sector rose to 54.5%, while the primary is increased only slightly to 0.9%. 

Pubblicato il 12 febbraio 2014
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