Switzerland votes 'yes' to conscription


In our last CO Update we reported on a Swiss referendum on the future of the draft. On 22nd September, 73% of voters opted to maintain conscription.

This is the third time the country has voted down similar proposals by the Group for Switzerland Without an Army: Both a 1989 idea to abolish the army altogether, and a 2001 referendum to replace it with a peace corps, were also rejected.

Reuters reported that the army undertook an "information offensive" to influence opinion before the referendum: "The Swiss army offers the best practical leadership training in Switzerland," Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Andre Blattmann, told a news conference in Berne in August.

A Swiss activist told me it is likely to be at least ten years before the subject is even raised again with the public in a meaningful way.

Sources: Reuters, Swiss to vote on scrapping social "glue" of military draft, 17 September 2013; newser, Swiss Hate War, but Want to Keep Big Army, 23 September 2013.


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