Switzerland has a liberal economic order. It is the only country that has recognised economic freedom as a civil right in its constitution since the 19th century – in combination with direct democracy. Since then, around 200 economic votes have taken place at the federal level – on corporate taxes, taxes in general, on the “debt brake”, on economic and industrial policy (innovation risk guarantee), on the cartel system, vocational training, the monetary system, on nuclear power plants, the electricity market and other energy issues, on agriculture, on immigration, the protection of employees, tenants and consumers, price monitoring, on social insurance, on the protection of the environment, water and animals, on co-determination of employees, shorter working hours or more holidays, on minimum wages, excessive bonuses and wages at the management levels of large companies, on a wide variety of international agreements …
The people themselves determine the cornerstones of their free economic order. And the people have also repeatedly set the course and the direction of our economic policy themselves. In 1972 they clearly said Yes to the comprehensive free trade agreement with the then EC, which did not provide for any political integration – and twenty years later they clearly said No to the EEA, which would have changed broad areas of Switzerland’s politics. Similar questions also arise today in connection with the enjoined framework agreement, with which the EU once again wants to align and integrate Switzerland politically.
Our economic constitution revolves around the principle that, via their constitutional rights, the Swiss coin and shape their economic freedom and take a share of the responsibility. – Today, the results speak for themselves. It would therefore be negligent to use the means of direct democracy to break out or even only to weaken a supporting pillar. The “No” campaign, which attempts to persuade us that acceptance would be the kiss of death for the future, is absurd. Switzerland has always been export-oriented – even more before the First World War than today. The export industry has always learned to cope with the circumstances and difficulties – even with the strong franc. All this has strengthened our country and not weakened it. Today’s internationalist trends are no reason to bring about a system change.
Actually, it is self-evident that we should say Yes to self-determination and direct democracy! •