Tag Archives: Switzerland

How My Country (Switzerland) Votes

Hello there! I’m guessing most of view watched the presidential debate that took place¬†yesterday, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As an international student from Switzerland, I’m not very familiar with the political system in the United States (although I did take a Business Law class), and to be completely honest was never really interested in the political elections. But in my Principles to Public Relations class, our assignment was to watch the presidential debate and write a two page essay on how each candidate attempted to reach the target audience they are having trouble connecting with. This was finally an excuse for me to get familiar with the candidates and understand a little better what was happening in this election.

Coming from a country that¬†does not have a president, and no debates, it was really weird watching possibly future leaders of a country get at each other throats so aggressively. You see in Switzerland, Swiss citizens have the right to have their say at all three levels of state, and can therefore have a considerable influence on political matters. We have a direct democracy, which means we can decide on policy initiatives. We can launch an initiative, request a referendum, or submit a petition. So it was really confusing, because it seemed to me that the majority of voters were for Clinton, so why is Trump not far behind Clinton in electoral votes? I finally understood! Basically US citizens, when they vote, are actually electing persons (electoral college) who will then elect the president. So even though they might be for the democrat party, the electors have the final vote and might vote for the republican party after all. Which to me coming from a country, where my vote actually makes a difference, doesn’t make any sense.

What did you think of the presidential debate?

xoxo

-Z