Is the Green Wave Sustainable?


The “Green Wave” in the recent Swiss elections is most impressive. Together with the Liberal Greens, they have enough backing to potentially ask for a seat on the Federal Council, upsetting the Magic Formula dividing the seven executive seats of the Federal Council between the traditional four ruling parties that has been in effect since 1959

A most impressive wave. But, like all waves, the question is how sustainable it will be.
Looking to the United States as a reference since it is the forerunner of Swiss federalism: Does anyone remember Jill Stein? In case you’ve forgotten, she was the Green Party's nominee for president of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections and candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010. In 2016, she was considered an alternative to mainstream candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Stein received 1% of the national popular vote with over one million votes and finished a distant fourth in the election – a good result in historical context, but overall, the Green Party has had no traction in the United States.
Will the Green Party in Switzerland be different? It could be, due to its relationship with two other parties. In Geneva, the Green candidate Lisa Mazzone successfully ran for the higher chamber, the Senate, with the Social Democrat Carlo Sommaruga. Their ticket promised to combine the ecological with the social. That could make a powerful combination in Bern, as their combined force could put pressure on the Magic Formula of seat distribution in the Federal Council.
The other force that could align itself with the Greens on certain issues is the Liberal Green party. But as Ms. Mazzone said in a post-election interview, the Liberal Greens are liberal, and far to the right of the Socialist/Green tandem. Potential cooperation between the Green Party and Liberal Greens will be very limited.
In the end, the success of the Green Party may be ephemeral, like all waves. The influence of Greta Thunberg cannot be denied in mobilising attention to environmental issues and getting people to vote green. But despite large street demonstrations in favor of the environment, there was no increase in the number of voters – in fact, voter turnout dropped over 2015.
Although Greta has become a global phenomenon, her movement has yet to pass any concrete legislation. And not to forget that the majority party in Switzerland remains the right-wing Swiss People’s Party - hardly surfers of the green wave. The centre-right Liberal/Radical Party remains the third party represented on the Federal Council. 
What is evident is that most of the political parties, including the right-wing liberals, have had to put ecological issues on their agendas. Glaciers melting and unusually hot weather are clear evidence that the climate is changing. Swiss voters took note of this. But voting is not ruling; political campaigns are not the same as passing legislation. Waves do crash; some more violently than others. And surfers do get upended.


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  • Le ras de marée des Verts éphémere ? Peut-etre, mais il va remplir un role tres important: achever de faire prendre conscience la population ET a la politique qu`il y a urgence si on veut sauver ce qui peut l`etre. C`est aussi le message de la petite suédoise et il a été entendu par beaucoup. Les derniers a faire la sourde oreille seront les libéraux économiques (comme ceux du Tea Party aux USA) qui s`obstinent de maniere pathologiquement égoiste a nier le changement climatique et les destructions massive du biotope planétaire mais c`est un courant de plus en plus minoritaire qui arrive heureusement de moins en moins a faire passer la désinformation dans le monde scientifique et dans les médias.

  • To be elected in Federal Council a candidate must not only get enough votes in the federal assembly, he must also be free of any significant opposition from another party, and this condition will never be fulfilled for the Greens.

    The Greens in Switzerland are not enough institutional, they are too much like radical leftist and have attacked too much our institutions.

    For decades they tried to attack the principle of the double majority in federal votes, which needs a majority of the whole swiss people counted for himself plus the majority of cantons counted one by one who accept the vote.

    This principle of double majority is made to protect small cantons to be dominated by citizens from big swiss cities. The Greens tried to attack this principle. I’m quite sure that these small cantons will never forget who the Greens are and what they have tried to do.

    If you look the today’s announcement as possible candidate to Federal council of Antonio Hodgers, the current State Council’s president of Geneva, you will have a clue of how unrealistic Greens are.

    At the end of the international battle against the swiss bank secrecy, the same Antonio Hodgers said that the Swiss would finally stop abusing the rest of the World!

    Is totally unrealistic to think that these people are able to participate at the conduct of the country. Most of them are almost totally ignorant about the profound realities of our institutions and how our country works.

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