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Thread: Swiss reject anti-immigration measure

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Swiss reject anti-immigration measure

    In a move away from the nationalistic Swiss People's Party, all but one Swiss state (canton) has voted to reject an anti-immigration initiative designed to stop foreigners from becoming citizens.



    The official results showed that 63.8 percent of the population rejected the requirement of having those wishing to become Swiss citizens have their applications put to a vote — a practice some communities use to discourage new citizens.
    Switzerland’s President and vocal opponent to the measure said: “The people clearly said ‘We don’t want xenophobia and we want direct democracy to respect basic rights." To see the motivation behind the measure, read more.
    The measure was a right wing referendum created to overturn the Supreme Court decision finding it unfair to subject citizen applications to a popular vote. The total turnout for the referendum was 44.1 percent — and in some cantons up to 82 percent voted no.
    More than 20 percent of the 7.5 million people who live in Switzerland are foreigners, one of the highest percentages in Europe — and it's not easy to join up. Applicants must live in the country for 12 years before applying for citizenship.

    Swiss Not Always Neutral — Reject Anti-Immigration Measure | Global Totals, Headline, Immigration | CitizenSugar - News and Politics
    Last edited by Honey; June 2nd, 2008 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Title changed

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    What does that have to do with neutrality?

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    A*O
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    I think there is a huge amount of disquiet in Europe generally about the floods of immigrants swamping some areas. In the last year some 800 THOUSAND Poles have migrated to the UK alone. It's less to do with xenophobia than the fact that public services, health, education, housing and infrastructure just cannot cope with the massive demand being placed on them. France, Germany, Holland, etc all have similar problems and the rise of far rightwing political parties who openly reject the idea of migrants moving in are getting a lot of support because people can see the damage the uncontrolled mass migration is causing.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    But if you say that AO you are accused of being racist

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    A*O
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    Yeah, well that's the whole problem with any debate about immigration and the PC blowhards who don't like a few home truths. It's got nothing to do with race. It's go everything to do with sustainability.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    I think there is a huge amount of disquiet in Europe generally about the floods of immigrants swamping some areas. In the last year some 800 THOUSAND Poles have migrated to the UK alone. It's less to do with xenophobia than the fact that public services, health, education, housing and infrastructure just cannot cope with the massive demand being placed on them. France, Germany, Holland, etc all have similar problems and the rise of far rightwing political parties who openly reject the idea of migrants moving in are getting a lot of support because people can see the damage the uncontrolled mass migration is causing.
    Do you have a source for that? I've read on various news sites that 800,000 Poles have migrated to the UK since 2004, and that anywhere up to 30% of them have since returned to Poland.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    this was a huge blow to the people's party (UDC in french) and that asswipe christoph blocher. they've suffered quite a few setbacks in recent months and this last referendum was the biggest.
    i'm so happy geneva was the canton with the highest percentage of votes against - a full 82% rejected the initiative.
    the campaign started a few months ago and there were posters everywhere. some of them were so blatantly racist it was unbelievable.








    these 2 last ones were made by an association in protest of the UDC ones. love it.





    the last one says 'we're not sheep!'

    another interesting thing: the cantons with the highest rate of foreign residents are the ones that most voted agaisnt the initiative. the only canton where it passed (schwytz) and all the others where it had a lot of support are rural and swiss-german and they are the most traditionalist, xenophobic, narrow-minded sections of the country, and you find a lot of people that are generally scared of any 'outsiders'. the udc has traditionally been more successful in the german speaking part of the country, the french and italian parts never really warmed up to them, though they did have a brief surge in popularity a few years ago.

    the major news weekly magazine did a story a couple of weeks ago, where they imagined a switzerland with no foreigners. well, half the universities were empty, so were the labs and multinationals and pharmaceutical companies that make up for a huge chunk of switzerland's wealth, the banking and finance sector, hospitals, not to mention the UN and all the international organisations that are based here. seitzerland has always been full of foreigners. it has always been a country of exile and refuge and having lived here for half of my 29 years (as one of the many foreigners living here ), i can say that it is truly a strange and unique little country, a political experiment that would be impossible to apply anywhere else (hell, even belgium is having trouble remaining a single country) but that has resulted instead in 700 years of democracy. it sucks that the xenophobic extreme right is as present here as it is in other european countries.
    Last edited by sputnik; June 5th, 2008 at 04:25 PM.
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    A*O
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    Scratch the surface in any "civilized" country and the racism is always lurking there.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^

    it's true. the developing world is no exception. it's universal.
    the recent killings of zimbabwean migrants in south africa come to mind.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    I think there is a huge amount of disquiet in Europe generally about the floods of immigrants swamping some areas. In the last year some 800 THOUSAND Poles have migrated to the UK alone. It's less to do with xenophobia than the fact that public services, health, education, housing and infrastructure just cannot cope with the massive demand being placed on them. France, Germany, Holland, etc all have similar problems and the rise of far rightwing political parties who openly reject the idea of migrants moving in are getting a lot of support because people can see the damage the uncontrolled mass migration is causing.
    We have the same problems here in the US. Yet, when vocal folks like myself say the very things stated her, we are called racists and accused of hating Mexicans. Even *REPUBLICANS* have called their own anti-illegal immigration folks racists. It really is a sad state when you can't disagree with an issue and not be called a racist.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    um, there are ways to voice one's concerns about immigration without resorting to heavy-handed policies with racist undertones. but the fact is that discussions about migration almost always brings out the latent racism in those that are opposed to migration.
    the reality is that migrants (and foreigners or 'outsiders' in general) have historically been the scapegoats accused of causing all the evils in society, even when the facts point out that migration has more benefits than shortcomings.
    of course there are shortcomings, and those need to be addressed, but they almost never are reasonably. like the hysteria about 'illegal' migrants in the US when, really, they contribute billions a year to social security (through fake or 'borrowed' social security numbers that they use to be able to work), while never claiming the benefits. and never mind that the agricultural and service sectors would collapse the day illegals aren't there to do the dirty work and for crap pay.
    that said, i agree that one can go too far with political correctness and that migrants do have to take measures to integrate the host country's society, and that there is no place in modern societies for ghetto-ised communities that migrate and then basically continue to live like they did in their country of origin and make no effort whatsoever to interact with their host society.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    um, there are ways to voice one's concerns about immigration without resorting to heavy-handed policies with racist undertones. but the fact is that discussions about migration almost always brings out the latent racism in those that are opposed to migration.
    the reality is that migrants (and foreigners or 'outsiders' in general) have historically been the scapegoats accused of causing all the evils in society, even when the facts point out that migration has more benefits than shortcomings.
    of course there are shortcomings, and those need to be addressed, but they almost never are reasonably. like the hysteria about 'illegal' migrants in the US when, really, they contribute billions a year to social security (through fake or 'borrowed' social security numbers that they use to be able to work), while never claiming the benefits. and never mind that the agricultural and service sectors would collapse the day illegals aren't there to do the dirty work and for crap pay.
    that said, i agree that one can go too far with political correctness and that migrants do have to take measures to integrate the host country's society, and that there is no place in modern societies for ghetto-ised communities that migrate and then basically continue to live like they did in their country of origin and make no effort whatsoever to interact with their host society.
    Yes, but when Linda Chavez, a Republican, says that those who oppose illegals are racist, I have a HUGE problem with that.

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    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    A*O
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    I have no objection to migrants - hell, I'm a migrant myself - but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to assimilate into the culture they've mostly chosen to live in and speaking the language is fundamental to that process. By all means keep your culture and traditions but please don't expect special treatment because you can't be arsed to learn even a few basic phrases of the local language.

    Many immigrants whine that they are stereotyped but in many instances their own behaviour and attitude reinforces those prejudices.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkdgirl View Post
    We have the same problems here in the US. Yet, when vocal folks like myself say the very things stated her, we are called racists and accused of hating Mexicans. Even *REPUBLICANS* have called their own anti-illegal immigration folks racists. It really is a sad state when you can't disagree with an issue and not be called a racist.
    A lot of people equate being anti-illegal with being anti-Mexican because the vast majority of illegals are Mexican, and a significant percentage of Mexicans in the US (we're talking around or possibly even more than half) are illegals. So to some people, they're one and the same.

    To people like us who can separate emotion from the issue, we know they're not the same thing. I am very much anti-illegal and I don't care where the illegals come from. I think illegals should be deported; no catch and release, which means they're ordered to appear in court and released on US soil; 2/3 of them never show up for their court dates. Geeeee, wonder why!

    We need to be hard on illegals AND the companies that employ them. They're driving this state right into the fucking toilet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    I have no objection to migrants - hell, I'm a migrant myself - but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to assimilate into the culture they've mostly chosen to live in and speaking the language is fundamental to that process. By all means keep your culture and traditions but please don't expect special treatment because you can't be arsed to learn even a few basic phrases of the local language.

    Many immigrants whine that they are stereotyped but in many instances their own behaviour and attitude reinforces those prejudices.
    Bravo!

    As I noted in another post, why immigrate if you plan on living exactly as you did in your home country?

    Many years ago when America was at the height of it's immigration numbers, all the immigrants either learned English, or were unable to function outside their immigrant community.

    It helped that entire generation become 'American'. There were no special language services, if you didn't speak English, your children translated for you. Nothing was available in any other language.

    My great-great grandparents insisted that their children only speak English, so that they would be 'American'. It was very important to them that their children assimilate into our culture and become a part of it. They held on to cultural traditions, but were Americans first and foremost.



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