Swiss Abroad greener and more pension-friendly

One of the issues at stake was how much retirement money pensioners receive Keystone

How do citizens’ political leanings change when they live away from home? The Swiss abroad voted somewhat differently from their fellow countrymen and women in two out of three of the issues at stake on Sunday.

This content was published on September 26, 2016 - 16:34

Generally speaking, studies have shown that Swiss who live in different countries are more inclined to support policies on the left of the political spectrum, and the latest votes were no different.

Give global Switzerland a face! Label your Instagram photos with the hashtag #WeAreSwissAbroad. Here at, we’re eager to showcase you and your experiences in the form of portraits, videos and anecdotes. We’ll repost a selection of them via our Instagram account. We hope to meet lots of interesting Swiss citizens abroad while browsing the #WeAreSwissAbroad stream!

Turnout of voters abroad varied from between 25 to 35% depending on the canton in which the people were registered, according to figures from the Federal Statistics Office.

When it came to the Trade Union Federation’s initiative to give pensioners a 10% pay-rise, the Swiss abroad still voted to reject the idea, but not by so large a margin as their fellow citizens in Switzerland.

In 11 out of the 12 cantons where the Swiss Abroad vote is recorded separately, the initiative was rejected, but it still received proportionally more votes from this group of people.

More support

A Green Party initiative to make Switzerland adopt a green economy, making sustainable use of natural resources and reducing its carbon footprint, collected more votes among the Swiss abroad than those at home.

When it came to the vote on giving the Swiss intelligence service more powers to monitor private emails and phone calls, the Swiss living outside the country’s confines agreed with those within their home country’s borders.

Compared to a national average of 65.5%, 60% of the Swiss abroad gave the new law their seal of approval, according to the statistics office.

The initiative to boost old age pensions was rejected by 63.6% of voters overall; the vote on the green economy failed with 59.4% of the Swiss ticking the ‘no’ box on their ballot papers; and a change in the law to give the intelligence service more powers was accepted with 65.5% of the vote.

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