Today’s Election of Swiss Federal Council

Parliament opts for cabinet status quo – Published on Swiss.Info.ch, by Sophie Douez, December 14, 2011.

In the end there were no surprises. Parliament on Wednesday re-elected the six incumbent cabinet members along with Social Democrat Alain Berset. Popular Finance Minister and member of the tiny Conservative Democratic Party Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf was re-elected easily in the first round of voting with a majority of 131 votes – 11 more than needed. It is the first time in history that a member of such a small party has been elected to the cabinet … //  

… Majority over magic:

  • Hermann said the easy re-election of Widmer-Schlumpf over a second People’s Party candidate reflected the fact that parliament was keen to avoid a cabinet majority held by the right-of-centre parties.
  • “I think that was the key, also it’s the same majority that put her into office in the first place that has now played again, so it’s logical,” he said.
  • For Hermann, the 2011 cabinet election demonstrates a “new dynamic” rather than the death of the so-called magic formula which in the past has seen the four strongest parties share power in the cabinet.
  • “You still have a [centre-] right majority in the cabinet,” he said. “It’s not a left majority. That means that the whole spectrum is in the government, it’s still a balanced government.”

Consensus:

  • Dubbed the “concordance election” by the Greens, opening speeches delivered by the parties’ parliamentary group leaders saw most justify their voting positions based on interpretations of the magic formula.
  • Speaking on behalf of the People’s Party, Caspar Baadar said the parliament, if it did not reinstate the traditional 2+2+2+1 formula would be making “a deliberate choice” to change the system of government to one “similar to those internationally”, where majorities change all the time.
  • But the Christian Democrats’ Urs Schwaller was one of several party leaders to rebuke the People’s Party, pointing out that it was the decision to exclude Widmer-Schlumpf after her election in 2007 that was responsible for its diminished representation in the cabinet.
  • Ursula Wyss for the Social Democrats said that if the combined Radical and People’s parties held four of seven seats in the cabinet, they would have a majority despite their not having a majority in parliament.

(full text).

Links:

Election’s Photo Gallery;

Swiss Federal Council election, 2011, on wikipedia;

Swiss Federal Council, on wikipedia;

ch.ch – the swiss portal;

ch.ch/elections;

Micheline Calmy-Rey, foreign ministry, steps down, September 7, 2011;

Politics of Switzerland, on wikipedia.

Update: Complete re-election of the Federal Council on 14 December 2011,for the 2012 to 2015 term of office.

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