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Want to save tax and “save the world” from carbon? No Thanks say 92% of Swiss

These results are devastating for the carbonistas. In the lead-up to Paris, every time someone suggests “there is momentum”, remind them of this Swiss result. The majority of western populations do not want serious climate action, they don’t want to pay more for energy, and countries are not “picking up the carbon challenge”.

The Greens in Switzerland asked the Swiss to dump the VAT tax and replace it with a “carbon tax”. It would (in theory) mean  Swiss people could pay less tax overall, and save the environment at the same time. Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund endorsed it, and 92% of Swiss people rejected it.

Swiss Voters Reject Initiative to Replace VAT System With Carbon Tax

Roughly 92% of voters opposed the initiative, known as “Energy Rather than VAT,” while 8% supported the measure, according to preliminary results from 13 of the country’s 26 cantons.

The Swiss cabinet had recommended voters reject the proposal because it would likely have caused a falloff in revenue for the federal government. The current VAT tax, which ranges from 2.5% to 8%, generated income of 22.6 billion Swiss francs ($22.92 billion) for the federal government in 2013, according to government data.

Presumably if the Swiss government thought the carbon tax would bring in more money, they would have felt a lot more like they needed to save the world.

Since the voters rejected it there are a few ways to look at this:

One: Voters cared about carbon but didn’t believe the government about paying less tax.

Two: Voters didn’t believe the government about the tax or the carbon.

Three: Voters thought they might pay less tax but saw that the Greens and Greenpeace were behind it… ;-)

Any which way the fans-of-climate-action look at this, it is a disaster. If this were a minor online poll suggesting “most” people want climate action, the NY Times would be on it, as would Reuters. But ask 4 million Swiss voters and put money on the table, and it’s not really news. It was the second biggest “fail” in Swiss history of voting.

Some still report the news: Wall St Journal

Roughly 92% of voters opposed the initiative, known as “Energy Rather than VAT,” while 8% supported the measure, according to preliminary results from 13 of the country’s 26 cantons. The initiative would have encouraged Swiss households to use renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, which would have been exempt from taxes.

The initiative, which was introduced by the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland, was designed to help lower carbon emissions and reduce global warming. The Swiss cabinet had recommended voters reject the proposal because it would likely have caused a falloff in revenue for the federal government. The current VAT tax, which ranges from 2.5% to 8%, generated income of 22.6 billion Swiss francs ($22.92 billion) for the federal government in 2013, according to government data. -

The initiative was backed by the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland and supported by the Green Party of Switzerland, the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace Switzerland.

h/t  GWPF

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Rating: 9.2/10 (90 votes cast)
Want to save tax and "save the world" from carbon? No Thanks say 92% of Swiss, 9.2 out of 10 based on 90 ratings

62 comments to Want to save tax and “save the world” from carbon? No Thanks say 92% of Swiss

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I shall have to revise my opinion of the Swiss upward a considerable amount. Good for them! :-)

    320

    • #
      Kevin Lohse

      Yep. The Swiss are not all cheese and chocolate after all.

      270

    • #
      Barry

      Switzerland is the best country on earth in every respect. Through direct democracy, they have the power to stop government from destroying their society, their culture and their heritage.

      They seem to have hit the sweet spot between government intervention and free markets. For example, they maintain a postal monopoly, but they use the monopoly to provide unprofitable services, such as daily bus services to the remotest parts of the country. They have an open telecommunications market and the telecom costs are MUCH lower than ours. Food there is cheaper and of much better quality. The transport services, mostly government owned, are reliable, cheap and safe.

      I know a New Zealand woman there who owns a hotel jointly with her Swiss husband. She tells me that because they have direct involvement in politics they all know their local members and will not hesitate to confront them on issues. We on the other hand have to take whatever abuses government dishes out to us and we have no power to change it. Is it any wonder our politicians and our Left would fight direct democracy to the death.

      I know another Aussie, a young guy, who moved there several years ago and took work in the tourism industry. He has learnt German and is slowly working his way towards acquiring an accommodation facility there. He said he has absolutely no interest in returning to Australia. Switzerland has everything he needs (he heads to Portugal for a surfing weekend every now and then) and is a much more civil, safe and pleasant community. And that’s the point. The Swiss protect their society, so they still have a community. It has not been torn apart by conflict and suspicions, like socialist Australia.

      If I were younger and not locked in by commitments, my next air ticket wouldn’t have a return leg.

      See for yourself. All things considered, it is the best place on earth.

      Interlaken

      Mannlichen

      Cakes and chocolates

      Outdoor activities

      And Migros and Coop (Switzerland’s Coles and Woolies) have best quality bread, salads and cheese at lower prices than in Australia. If you are on a tight budget you can get by on just 10 francs a day.

      340

      • #
        Brill

        Sounds lovely and almost perfect. However, my first thoughts were:
        The difference in size between Switzerland and Australia
        The difference in location in relation to markets and trade
        The difference in population numbers
        The difference in ethnic make up of the population and extent of assimilation.

        Just to name a few issues. All of these would would have an impact. I agree our society has been torn apart and I can’t see how it will ever get back together while there are so many ‘groups’ who refuse to accept other ‘groups’ point of view and openly deride them.

        80

        • #
          el gordo

          ‘The difference in size between Switzerland and Australia’

          We are a large sandy island in the southern hemisphere, with more voting opportunities in a three tier system.

          The NSW government says it believes in AGW, so obviously we can’t vote for them. Its a matter of principle and I will be ticking someone who can’t possibly get up.

          In Victoria its much the same story, political opportunism and ignorance is a nasty mix.

          As long as the federal government remains firm in their resolve, all should be well. I like Barnaby Joyce, he has a wonderful way with words.

          “Australian farmers, even more so than their global competitors, must adapt to climate variability.”

          70

      • #

        From what I’ve seen on my brief visits, food in Switzerland is more expensive than in the neighbouring Germany. Some things are cheaper but life tends to be more expensive. Since Switzerland untethered the CHF from the EUR earlier this year, it’s widened the gap.

        Trade across its borders is controlled. They won’t even allow pizza deliveries from Germany. They do draw in lots of non-resident labour from neighbouring countries but the impression that I get is that they’d rather that those foreigners commuted daily; or at least not have a permanent residence in Switzerland. That doesn’t make the Swiss xenophobes.

        As I understand it, foreigners cannot own real estate in Switzerland. Not that that’s an impediment to living there if otherwise permittted; only about a third of the people in Switzerland own their home. i.e. two-thirds rent. And that is because of the huge difference between the costs of ownership and rent.

        70

        • #
          Barry

          Hi Bernd,

          Yes, food prices in Germany are lower than in Switzerland. This is probably due to the heavy subsidisation of farming in Switzerland, which is actually a food security measure, ensuring that Switzerland is not dependent on imported food. However, food prices are much lower than in Australia. For example, 200 grams of Migros own brand camembert and brie cost about $2.30 each – that’s 200 grams, not 100; pre-washed mixed salads cost about $2.50; a medium sized loaf of bread costs under $1; cheeses can be as little as half the price of equivalent cheeses in Australia; stone fruit from memory is about $6 a kilo; a litre of italian red costs $4; a 20 minute phone call to Australia costs just a couple of francs; and so on.

          Regarding Gastarbeiter (guest workers), yes, many thousands of french people cross the border every day to work. The Swiss tightly control immigration, which ensures that the heritage and culture of the country are preserved. Switzerland will always be Swiss and that is what is appealing about the country. The cantons (states) control their own immigration programs, so the rules vary across the country. But, yes, the Swiss are not importing violence, crime and unemployment into their country as most other Western countries are.

          Regarding home ownership, this article states that the rate of home ownership was 36 per cent in 2005. Someone I know there told me last year that interest rates were below two per cent, so that has probably changed the situation somewhat.

          Some cantons (I don’t know how many) will not allow foreign ownership generally or will restrict it in certain places. This is to protect locals from artificially high property prices. For example, I understand foreigners are not allowed to buy houses in the ski resort of Verbier, but I read the other day that Prince Andrew has bought a house there. But, don’t despair, if they won’t let you buy you can always rent. You might consider Richard Branson’s 9-room chalet. It will cost as little as 173,000 francs (about AUD$200,000) to stay for seven days over the Christmas-New Year period.

          20

      • #
        ROM

        A very good friend of mine for some 45 years but now passed on was Swiss.
        He migrated to Australia in the mid 1950′s but made regular return trips to Switzerland.
        He as a dual Australian / Swiss citizen also collected a Swiss age pension towards the end of his life.
        Perhaps I had better not tell you his opinion of the Swiss which was anything but complimentary as in being somewhat arrogant, rigid and xenophobic when it came to non swiss foreigners and fixated on acquiring as many as possible of the mighty Swiss Franc.

        This tied in with my one of my daughter’s experiences when she worked in Switzerland for some 6 months or so in the mid 1990′s.
        She found the Swiss as employers of non Swiss nationals to be domineering, bullying and quite arrogant and superior but all very heavily applied sweetness and light when it came to well financed foreigners with money to spend.

        It should also be remembered that the Swiss received and became the very welcoming co-operators with the Nazi’s as the benefactors of a very large amount of Nazi looted Jewish assets and wealth from the nazi occupied countries prior to and during WW2 which rapidly found its way into the very secretive Swiss banking system mostly to dissapeared for ever as far as any Jewish survivors of the death camp victims families were concerned.
        the by far largest part of that Nazi looted wealth both Jewish and non Jewish has never been returned to the descendants of those the descendants and families of the concentration camp victims of the Nazis.
        And when Jewish families and other survivors of the Nazi regime have tried to recover their family’s pre WW2 assets over the last 50 or so years from the Swiss banks they have in nearly every case been refused and thwarted of any chances of recovering any of that wealth by the Swiss courts and the perniciousness of the Swiss banks.

        It also has to be remembered that it is only within the last decade that the Swiss banks have been forced to provide information of the immense amounts of wealth that has been deposited in Swiss banks to dodge and avoid tax in the countries where the wealth was originated and gained.

        And this forced co-operation of the Swiss banks ONLY occurred because a whistle blower in the swiss banking system collected immense amounts of information on these foreign tax avoiding accounts which he subsequently sold on to the various tax national departments of europe, the USA plus and including Australia and many other nations.

        In short the Swiss on the face of it are a very advanced, wealthy clean and very prosperous country but they are anything but good international citizens as a nation unless and until they are forced into co-operating with the international community by some very embarrassing publicly promoted international pressures and circumstances.

        84

        • #
          Barry

          Well, ROM, that’s a devastating argument. One Swiss person who left Switzerland in the 1950s, said he didn’t like the Swiss. How can I possibly argue against such devastating logic and such weight of evidence. And your daughter worked there for ‘some’ six months. She must have had experienced with hundreds of employers … or perhaps one.

          I don’t have much time to waste, so i’ll be brief.

          First this Nazi gold thing is just a commie myth. No doubt many people deposited money and valuables in Switzerland during the way and many did not live to reclaim it. But as to ‘loot’ the banks just charge a fee for storing valuables. It’s not like money; it can’t be invested and earn income.

          I suspect you will find that Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg all make far more money from the billions in foreign aid that African, Asian and south american dictatorships have stolen over the decades and stashed away in numbered accounts. The same goes for criminals the world over. But what bank anywhere asks you where you made your money?

          My final point on ‘loot’ is that there is a program in Switzerland to find the rightful owners of unclaimed money and valuables.

          Re tax dodging, another myth the Left have perpetuated, Switzerland has treaties with many countries, including Australia, under which they provide depositor details to foreign government where it is shown a law has been broken, as is the case with tax avoidance.

          The whistle-blower you refer to was actually a French citizen who was a guest worker in Switzerland. I can’t recall all the details and don’t have time to look it up, but basically the guy was in hiding for years (and may still be) so that no-one could question him as it was suspected that the French had broken the law by paying the guy off to obtain the information.

          I’ll have to leave it there. I’ll conclude by saying this:

          The reason you and your comrades don’t like Switzerland is that because of direct democracy the Left can’t take control of the country and destroy it.

          And the reason i like Switzerland is that because of direct democracy the Left can’t take control of the country and destroy it.

          31

          • #
            ROM

            Well if I am of the left or sympathetic to the left at any level as Barry implies I am sure that will be a somewhat considerable surprise to anybody who knows me and no doubt to those few who bother to read my posts here.

            The Swiss are no better and no worse than any other nation.
            Your attitude and assessment of the Swiss like that of any nation depends very much on where and at what level you are viewing that nation ie; the Swiss from.
            But going into raptures over the Swiss both as nation and as a political system that is perfect in every way is akin to believing in the fairies at the bottom of the garden so I injected some reality into the discussion.

            As for the Swiss banking system’s many decades past refusal to co-operate with other nations in financial matters this is from the “International Banker” publication.
            It is dated; Friday 13 /2015.

            [quoted ]

            Switzerland signs deal to end banking secrecy

            By John Manning

            Switzerland, in an effort to combat tax evasion and money laundering activities, has agreed to a deal with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) agreeing to exchange data with 60 other countries that will effectively end its banking secrecy.

            Switzerland is the world’s largest offshore wealth center, with an estimated $2.2 trillion in assets compared to a $632.2 billion GDP.

            The fight to open up Switzerland’s infamous banking system to assess tax evasion and illicit funds has been ongoing on for the past few years. It already has bilateral tax collection agreements with the UK and Austria.

            This tax agreement, was brought forward by the OECD and includes all G20 states and most European States. With the signing of this convention, the Swiss government can now ask large private banks like UBS AG, Julius Baer, and Credit Suisse Group AG to release information on their clients to tax auditors both locally and internationally.

            There was much resistance from the Swiss bankers, including the chairman of the Swiss Bankers Associated, Patrick Odier who does not think that this automatic release of information is compliant with international standards.

            Steps towards banking transparency had been attempted previously, but failed. A few months ago, the Swiss parliament refused to discuss a bill that would change legislation and comply with US Foreign Tax Compliance Act, a bilateral client information swap with the US.

            But under intense pressure from US, Germany, and France, the banks were signed on to the convention. With many politicians welcoming the change, Stefan Fluckiger, the Swiss ambassador to the OECD mentioned “The signing of the convention confirms Switzerland’s commitment to the global fight against tax fraud,” in a statement. The deal still needs to be ratified in the parliament.

            However, the Swiss banking industry which has reached $8.5 trillion in offshore wealth will have to adapt to these changes. The secrecy was one of the most important attractions for depositors and foreign bank assets have decreased by $921 billion in the last four years as a result of fears that this secrecy would soon be compromised.

            The US has had a long standing problem with this secrecy since UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, in 2009, admitted that it had helped 52,000 Americans evade taxes. Since then, another bank, Wegelin & Co. has also admitted to helping clients hide money including $1.2 billion from American sources. The IRS and the US government are reported to be investigating over a dozen Swiss banks.

            00

            • #
              Barry

              ROM, Swiss banking practices are not illegal. They do not engage in illegal practices and they do not even facilitate illegal practices. They provide a service that other people are using to achieve an illegal end, just as those same people are using trains, planes and phones to achieve the same illegal end.

              Switzerland’s banking practices unlawful only where they are in breach of treaties they have with other countries.

              What we see is the US and Europe trying to intimidate Switzerland into entering into those agreements.

              10

      • #
        Glen Michel

        Pragmatic to be sure!

        20

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      The Swiss are not stupid, and this shows itself in many ways.

      This is just another good example of common sense and pragmatism sensibly rejecting leftist green lunacy…..

      Only the west seems to have abdicated its responsibility to democracy and willingly become mind numbingly stupid, and let the greens / leftists have any say in political power….

      150

      • #
        aussieguy

        Only the west seems to have abdicated its responsibility to democracy and willingly become mind numbingly stupid, and let the greens / leftists have any say in political power….

        Patience…The various forms of eco-parties will have their day. They are wearing out their welcome in politics…It all started out nice with Conservation. But 30 years later, its become a party of outright Economic vandals (anti-Capitalists) and Totalitarians who want to dictate how one should live their life. (While they live their lives in the complete opposite of what they preach! Just look at those who jet around the world preaching their Warmist rhetoric! Note the parking of cars and planes at every “Climate Forum/Conference”.)…One rule for them. Another rule for everyone else!

        I’m glad the people of Switzerland have rejected a policy from the eco-parties in their country.


        That’s what every hard working Australian should be doing. Giving the Greens the finger every time they come up with stupid ideas that are devoid from the real world…And during election time, remind everyone about the stupid ideas of the Greens. People tend not to vote for certain parties when they find out things, the negative consequences caused, and become politically aware.

        As I said many moons ago, time is not on the side of an activist. They must keep agitating and provoking. When people stop listening, they become more aggressive. You can see that when they go from advocating conservation in the 1980s/1990s to outright dictating economic policy in the 2000s. They know full well of what they’re doing. If they cannot influence socially, they will impose their will on everyone economically. Damn the consequences it has upon others.

        50

    • #

      In Canton (State) Bern the people voted to extend Nuclear power. The World Nuclear Association website states Switzerland has 5 nuclear reactors generating 40% of electricity and 2 more reactors planned. The later site also states that a national referendum confirmed Nuclear Energy as part of the electricity mix. Switzerland, also, has a lot of hydroelectricity. In a mountainous country fully covered by snow in winter and some permanent snow in summer, solar and wind would not work too well. I suspect that the voters there saw through the lies of the greens and foresaw the subsidies (handouts) for investment failures.

      80

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Wow!

      I never dreamed that such a simple comment could end up with a string of replies taking up nearly half this thread as of this comment.

      I don’t know whether to feel flattered or scared. ;-)

      01

  • #
    Peter Miller

    This sort of thing makes you wonder why Switzerland is one of the most prosperous countries in the world, while simultaneously being genuine about the environment.

    Ecoloons, on the other hand, want to end prosperity by bringing in universal energy poverty.

    So who are the smart ones and also genuine about the environment – the Swiss or the ecoloons?

    270

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      It also asks another poignant question – do we really have any form of ( non-CAGW ) environmental issues beyond a bit of pollution?

      Seems not….which further tags the whole CAGW nonsense as just that…

      70

  • #
    Just-A-Guy

    The initiative would have encouraged Swiss households to use renewable energy sources, including solar and wind, which would have been exempt from taxes.

    Since the voters rejected it there are a few ways to look at this:

    One: Voters cared about carbon but didn’t believe the government about paying less tax.

    Two: Voters didn’t believe the government about the tax or the carbon.

    Three: Voters thought they might pay less tax but saw that the Greens and Greenpeace were behind it… ;)

    or . . .

    Fourth: They took notice of all the renewable energy companies going under in Germany and elsewhere and figured if these companies are failing why should we rely on this technology.

    I’d rather pay my current tax and keep my reliable source of energy than pay no tax on an unreliable source of energy.

    The most irritating thing to a gruppy is pure common sense. :)

    Abe

    330

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Once again in a fair democracy the people know what’s best for their country and are able to enact these wishes via elected representatives, with the Swiss political system you create citizens that are both knowledgeable and willing to participate in their county’s operation.

    Unlike here where we regressed to a two party choice that holds way too much power over it’s people and resources whilst both representing the same end result.

    140

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      Without looking, I was trying to figure out which country is “here were we regress to a two party choice that holds way too much power over it’s people”.

      America? it fits.
      UK, a good fit.
      Australia, yep that fits.
      NZ, I don’t know how many parties they have there, but I feel it’s likely two.
      Germany, France, Others…. ect.

      40

      • #
        sophocles

        There are seven (7) political parties represented in NZ’s Parliament, out of about fifteen or so registered with the Electoral Commission.

        It has advantages, and disadvantages. Mostly in preventing politicians from doing anything.

        60

  • #
    Neville

    If only the majority of people understood the facts about co2 emissions, nobody would want govts to do anything about cutting emission at all.

    Until 2040 over 90% of new emissions will come from the non OECD and the OECD will nearly flat line until then. Even the Royal Society and NAS report tells us that we could stop all co2 emissions today and the temp and co2 levels would still stay the same for thousands of years.

    130

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      we could stop all co2 emissions today and the temp and co2 levels would still stay the same for thousands of years.

      They lack the imagination, or the perspective of history. OMG some people are in for a shock if ever they wake up.

      130

      • #
        ROM

        we could stop all co2 emissions today and the temp and co2 levels would still stay the same for thousands of years

        .

        Another rather stupid and ignorant alarmist climate “prediction” that has absolutely no basis in science at any level or has any basis in anything else except perhaps astrology.

        Nobody knows even today after some three decades of immensely expensive climate research what the life of a free atmosphere CO2 molecule is in the atmosphere.
        The most likely guesstimate is around 17 years maximum and that is purely a guesstimate.

        20

    • #
      sophocles

      Mankind’s CO2 emissions are only about 3.8% of the total annual global emissions. The oceans and rain forests account for the majority of the rest. With such a tiny proportion, it doesn’t matter where the human emissions come from. And because CO2 growth in the atmosphere follows temperature rise, ie: doesn’t cause it, then why worry about it at all?

      It’s plant food. The more the better!
      Happier, healthier plants means better food for us.

      150

  • #

    Best not to wax too lyrical about the Swiss. They always keep their eye on the financial pea and their own best interests. Just ask about all those emptied bank accounts of people who disappeared as victims of the final solution or the crews of crippled B17s who thought they were limping to safety by heading into their airspace.

    Pointman

    121

    • #
      Leonard Lane

      Good to remember, thanks.

      60

    • #
      Manfred

      The Swiss historically testify to their innate preference to independence, something they may indeed, on notably distressing occasions, appear disposed to ‘pay’ for (as Pointman suggested). However, unlike most of continental Europe, they maintain their own currency and whilst legally ‘relating’ to the EU have managed to maintain a definitive independence from the monster bureaucratic totalitarian green tainted edifice that is Brussels.

      I’d say the Swiss populous followed the old chestnut:
      If it smells bad, tastes bad, feels bad and looks bad, then Greenpus ideology dressed up in the perfumed drag of carbon taxation with its noxious tithe payable to the UN, World Bank, Brussels et al, was about quite literally the last thing any sane (Swiss) person would agree to.

      Clearly the Swiss need a few more ‘sophisticated’ inner city latte swillers. /sarc

      100

  • #
    Peter OBrien

    I wonder if Switzerland will now become an ‘international pariah’ like us. What would the response have been if the proposal was for a new tax not just replacement of an existing one?

    50

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I always laugh at the leftists who call someone a “pariah”

      I guess if you looked at the eft, histroically ( Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Hitler et al ) their main aim is to murder anyone who disagreed with them.

      I’d have called the long list of Lefties who had committed genocide, pariahs.

      Labelling people who exercises common sense and call out the acid tongued left for he lies they spread on CAGW, should be acclaimed as heroes…..

      130

    • #
      Manfred

      Not a chance. Where else could the banksters possible launder their money securely?

      30

  • #
    mem

    One has to understand the mix of energy in Switzerland and the role of electricity in the economy to also understand why the Swiss balked at the idea of such a tax. Quote; Swiss electricity production is dominated by hydro power and nuclear energy. In 2013 hydropower plants contributed 57.9% to overall electricity production, followed by nuclear power plants (39.3%) and conventional thermal and other power plants (5.7%) (source: SFOE) link

    90

  • #
    Robert O

    We could learn a lot from Switzerland; essentially it has a weak federal government and most administration is done by the Cantons. On important matters they have referenda which basically avoids party politics and the citizens have a direct say.

    Here we have two sets of government whereas one would do and citizens haven’t much say in anything. Take euthanasia for example, about 70-80% support it as it allows death with dignity, but politicians will not even have a conscience vote, and we have to thank Kevin Andrews and his bigotted friends for scuttling the NT legislation. Instead if one wants, and can afford it, you have go to Switzerland or Holland and if someone helps you here they are on a charge for murder. Civilised isn’t it.

    52

    • #
      Rod Stuart

      This includes recall elections. In all of the Cantons, a representative can be recalled if there exist sufficient names on a petition.
      When the petition is presented to the Canton, the member is recalled and there is a by-election.
      One wonders what would happen, if, for instance, Australia had this facility with the Senate, particularly because each senator sits for two rotations (six years).
      I am pretty certain there would be no problem in circulating such a petition for Senator Lambie. Probably not for Senator Lazarus either. Could they regain their seat in a by-election? In the house of reps, how long do you suppose it would take to get ten thousand names on a petition to recall Palmer?
      I don’t include Ricky Muir. The bloke seems to be finding his pace.

      60

  • #
    bemused

    My philosophy is that anything the Greens recommend, I immediately reject. That may risk throwing the baby out with the bath water, but that risk is infinitesimally low.

    170

  • #
    Ruairi

    Now this consensus is real,
    When 92% feel,
    To surrender their V.A.T.,
    For this reason or that,
    Would make for a very bad deal.

    120

  • #
    Ross

    Has the final count for this referendum been announced ?

    70

  • #

    Concerning the idea that the climate alarmists have about a consensus settling something. Will they be consistent and bow to the will of the Swiss people’s consensus or will they simply try another path to destroy still another modern civilized nation?

    I suspect it will be that a consensus agreeing with them settles the issue and one that doesn’t can be ignored as irrelevant. No,it is not a double standard. You have to have standards before you can have double standards.

    70

  • #

    Oh dear! What were they thinking?

    The Greens introduced this Referendum, so it shows just how much thought that they put into this, eh!

    (For comparison sake – Australia – Population 22 Million – Total Yearly Power Generation 215TWH)

    Switzerland – Population 8.2 Million – Total Yearly Power Generation – 65TWH.

    65.5TWH.

    That’s made up of:

    Nuclear Power – 24.5TWH

    Hydro Power – 38.2TWH

    Wind Power – 0.09TWH

    Solar Power 0.31TWH

    Biomass and Waste – 1.5TWH

    Umm, ALL Fossil Fuels – 0.9TWH

    Hmm, 0.9TWH. Lot of money to be made there with the introduction of a Tax on CO2 emissions.

    You’d think that the clueless Greens would have checked their numbers before proposing this, eh!

    Tony.

    Source – International Energy Statistics

    Tony.

    170

    • #
      bemused

      You don’t get the point. With the Greens, it’s the seeming that matter, not the reality.

      20

    • #
      bemused

      You miss the point. With the Greens, it’s the seeming that matters, not facts or reality.

      (I think I may have fudged my previous post, hopefully it doesn’t come up twice)

      20

    • #

      A dusty book on my shelf has a chart of per capita GDP against per capita energy consumption.

      The 1972 figures showed Australia’s and Switzerland’s per capita energy consumption to be about the same, but Switzerlands GDP was almost twice as high; at the level of the USA, but the USA consumed almost 3 times the mount of energy per capita.

      Such may indicate greater energy consciousness but also/equally; the difference in the nature of how GDP was generated more than 40 years ago.

      One needs to keep one’s head when playing with statistics otherwise one is 97% certain of producing nonsense. ;-)

      40

      • #

        That energy per capita metric is as bogus as Co2 emissions per capita. It’s taken on overall power generation, which is then consumed in the three sectors, Residential, Commerce and Industry.

        Interestingly, in most of the already developed Countries, residential consumption is surprisingly similar, around 20KWH per day for the average home.

        More commerce and more industry to support larger populations, and then consumption in those non residential sectors skyrockets.

        Look at the number of huge cities in the U.S. and a large city is a huge consumer of electricity.

        Brisbane consumes around the same power as for the whole State of South Australia.

        Melbourne is around SouthAus by almost 2, and Sydney is SouthAus by more than 2.

        Tony.

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          Every “worker” in Deutsche Bank’s HQ in Frankfurt consumes 5 times the amount of energy as the average German household. And that’s after they did an energy audit and spent many millions of renovations to reduce energy consumption.

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    John Watt

    Good to see a more democratic system of government in operation. The Swiss people got a chance to vote specifically on a major policy issue. Meanwhile Australia continues to employ a government system that sees party A reversing party B’s “achievements” as soon as there is a change of government. What happened to policies that have a longer lifespan?
    Perhaps the Swiss system might help us better cope with our future.

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    pat

    don’t get excited. i steered clear of this topic on WUWT because it is misleading.

    PDF: World Bank: Putting a Price on Carbon with a Tax
    2008: Switzerland’s carbon tax covers all fossil fuels, unless they are used for energy. Swiss companies can be exempt from the tax if they participate in the country’s ETS…Tax Rate USD 68 per tCO2e (2014).
    http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/SDN/background-note_carbon-tax.pdf

    July 2014: Reuters: Michael Szabo: CORRECTED-Switzerland threatens 40 pct carbon tax rise if targets not met
    Switzerland threatened on Monday to raise its tax on greenhouse gas output from the energy sector by 40 percent if companies do not meet government-imposed emissions reduction targets this year.
    The Swiss environment ministry said the tax would jump to 84 francs ($94.25) per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2016, from 60 francs currently, if power-related emissions are reduced by less than 22 percent below 1990 levels by the end of this year.
    A cut of between 22 and 24 percent would equate to the tax rising 20 percent to 72 francs/tonne, while a reduction of more than 24 percent will maintain the 60-franc level, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) said on its website…
    Smaller emitters can opt out of paying the tax by participating in the country’s carbon market, while large emitters were forced to join the emissions trading system in 2013.
    Carbon permits in the illiquid and opaque trading scheme, which fetched more than 40 francs each in a May auction, are amongst the world’s most expensive…
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/07/14/switzerland-carbontrading-idUKL6N0PP4F720140714

    9 March: Daily Caller: 9 Of 10 Swiss Voters Reject Carbon Tax
    Les News Eco reports that the proposed measure would increase gas prices to five Swiss Francs a liter (roughly $19 per gallon), which explain the massive rejection both in French and German Cantons — 33 communes even voted 100 percent against the measure, the worst performance for a popular referendum since 1929.
    Green Party Vice President Laurent Seydoux says that the statement about gas prices was a lie and sunk his campaign, Swiss Info reports…
    http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/09/9-of-10-swiss-voters-reject-carbon-tax/

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    pat

    Switzerland was the very first Nation to submit its INDC pledge to the UNFCCC on 27 Feb:

    10 March: CarbonBrief: Simon Evans: How ambitious is the EU’s offer to the Paris climate change talks?
    The EU has set out its contribution to a new international climate change agreement, in advance of talks in Paris this December.
    The EU pledge, known as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), was submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Friday and is the second official submission, following ***first-placed Switzerland…READ ALL
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/03/how-ambitious-is-the-eus-offer-to-the-paris-climate-change-talks/

    UNFCCC: PDF: Switzerland’s intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) and clarifying information
    Switzerland commits to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, corresponding to an average reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent over the period 2021-2030. By 2025, a reduction of greenhouse gases by 35 percent compared to 1990 levels is anticipated. Carbon credits from international mechanisms will partly be used. The INDC is subject to approval by Parliament. The methodological approaches underlying the Swiss INDC are included in this communication…
    Credits from market mechanisms: Switzerland will realize its INDC mainly domestically and will partly use carbon credits from international mechanisms.
    http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx

    as for the recently-defeated Referendum, the plan is to implement something similar INCREMENTALLY!

    Translated form French from Daily Caller’s Swissinfo piece: Sunday’s slap in the initiative “Replacing the tax on the value added by an energy tax” does not discourage Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. According to the Minister of Finance, that not does not mark the rejection of any tax reform. The Government will introduce in the coming weeks a project based on the strategy of small steps.
    The model that will be retained will be sustainable for the economy and households. The revenue from the tax should go to the people. This second stage of the 2050 Energy Strategy will soon be in attendance. The people should be able to decide next year. But only on the main principles….

    or as Breitbart reported: Finance Minister Eveline-Widmer-Schlumpf said: “approval of the initiative would have posed a major challenge for the government and the country’s social security system. The majority of people are sensitive towards energy issues but prefer a realistic step-by-step approach.”

    following link easily found online:

    5 Feb: International Carbon Action Partnership
    Switzerland: Status: ETS in force
    Jurisdictions: The Swiss ETS started in 2008 with a 5 year voluntary phase as an alternative option to the CO2 levy on fossil fuels. Revised regulations entered in force on 1 January 2013. The scheme subsequently became mandatory for large, energy intensive industries. Mediumsized industries may opt-in voluntarily. In the 2013-2020 mandatory phase, participants in the ETS are exempt from the CO2 levy.
    Switzerland is currently negotiating with the European Union on linking the Swiss ETS with the EU ETS. While many elements of the Swiss ETS have been designed to match provisions in the EU ETS (e.g. allocation benchmarks), current negotiations may have further impact on the Swiss ETS…
    Type of ETS: Mandatory with voluntary opt-in…

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    James Bradley

    And not a troll’s comment in sight.

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    The Swiss are literally the last country in the world to join on any bandwagons. They kept out of both world wars and have avoided joining multinational organisations like the UN or European Union. That is why international organisations like the UNIPCC and Red Cross choose to locate there. They are on neutral territory.

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      kept out of both world wars

      For certain values of “kept out”. e.g. Oerlikon

      The Swiss seem to me to be basically pragmatic in that if you bring nothing, you get nothing. Such pragmatic behaviour of the Swiss seems to be the model of the Ferengi :-)

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    Michael

    What Swiss referendum proposition failed that worst? I can’t find it in the mess of the propositions considered including the gold standard rejection 75% against.

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    Ramon Gfeller

    Hi everybody. I am one of the 92% and would like to answer to the above posts from a Swiss point of view. For me it’s quite funny to read the comments which praise Switzerland that much. I follow this blog since a while. For me the topics are like a one to one copy of our problems. Yes, we have a direct democracy which sometimes allows to get politicians back to reality. But: Our governement consists of 7 so called “Bundesräte”. The left parties managed to take one seat of the conservative SVP party (the biggest one with 27%) and give it to the (middle-left) BDP party (5%). So much dirty games are played in politics. In 2011 the Swiss voted for a conservative/liberal parliament and got a left government. They want to double the price of oil, gaz and electricity by 2020. They want to reduce CO2 by 50% until 2030. I really hope people will say STOP when we can vote on that. But I fear the brainwash will be huge again. Before every vote we are told (from the governement, big companies, …) that if we vote this way or that way we will loose our jobs, loose our prosperity etc. This fear campaign works far too often! Another example of environment hysteria: If you replace your old oil heating, you have to cover 10% of your energy consumption by renewables. This nearly doubles the costs of a new heating!

    Switzerland has also big problems with immigration (uh, I should not say that, I could be called a racist). The social spendings rise and rise. Companies rather recruit cheaper foreigners than natives. We have a population growth of more than 1%. This doesn’t sound big but our small country with a lot of mountains where you can’t live doesn’t have much space left. House prices and rents rise. There are already people claiming the limitation of living space per person. The governmental interventions in personal freedom get bigger and bigger. We voted for a control and limitation of immigration one year ago (but only with 50.3%, the fear campaign -our economy will die, the EU will kill us- did almost work). The initiatives are written down in the constitution. They can/should not be very precise in every detail. The parliament and the government then write the laws and regulations. So now they try everything to dilute this initiative.

    Our economic growth (which our government is so proud of) is based to 2/3 on government spending, public health and consumption of the immigrants. Public health costs rise about 4% every year (why are we always told that there is no inflation?). At the moment we have 0 or even negative interest rates and a growing bubble in real estates.

    I have to admit that our public transport system is good, but this is not too hard to establish in a country where everything is so close. But the car drivers pay for this. 2/3 of the tax they pay is taken away from the street and put into the public transport system and elsewhere.

    Maybe this is a pessimist point of view. The funny thing is that here people are pointing to Australia,New Zealand and Canada thinking there is the paradise. Maybe the paradise is always elsewhere;)

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      Thank you Ramon. We do appreciate getting insider information. Sigh. I think our democracies would be better with citizen initiated referendums (where the people vote directly on an issue.) But if the government is too large and influential, perhaps it not that much of a gain. Without education campaigns and funding for the small government side of the issue, the biggest pockets still may win.

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        Ramon Gfeller

        I agree with you Jo. I didn’t want to say that our system is bad. It’s one of the best systems I can imagine. We would be in the EU since a long time without the direct democracy. But it requiers that people are critical and informed, which is not the case here in my opinion. I feel like a problem has to get really (too) big until people wake up and vote against the mainstream. In the last couple of years more initiatives and referendums were accepted against the will of the government and the economy.

        A weak point in our political system is that the government (the seven “Bundesräte”) is elected by the parliament. We do not have coalitions or similar stuff. There is just some kind of consensus about the distribution of the seats. At the moment every party tries to elect the most incompetent candidates of the other parties (the same dirty games every 4 years) because a good minister could gain votes at the next election for his/her party. Our minister for economic affairs is not able to say two sentences without a grammatical error. Everybody laughs at him. But it’s a catastrophe in the current delicate situation with the strong Swiss currency if the responsible minister is not able to communicate.

        A remark about referendums and initiatives:
        There are basically two cases which allow people to vote directly about an issue.The first is the initiative. Everybody can start one. If 100’000 signatures are collected during 18 months, we can vote about it. Often the government/parliament make a direct or indirect counterproposal to the initiative. It’s then possible to accept or reject both the initiative and the counterproposal and decide which one should be thrown away if both ar accepted. The second is the referendum against a decision of the parliament. To bring it to vote one has to collect 50’000 signatures in 100 days.

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          Rod Stuart

          But it requires that people are critical and informed

          You bet it does. And since time immemorial, way back before the Roman emporers invested in ‘bread and circuses’ to entertain the masses, the most effective way to keep people enslaved is to encourage their ignorance through distractions that prevent them from being well informed.

          I have no doubt that the Swiss have all sorts of distractions in the form of cell phones, television, sports, that are much more fun than actually paying attention as the world turns.

          Complacency of the masses is the Achilles heel of self rule. Fundamentally, democracy attempts to have “the people” manage an entire country. Witness the result when the management of a company falls to an heir who is interested in self-indulgence and nothing else. Is it any wonder that the West, with the affluence that capitalism has provided, the leisure time, the entertainment, (and loose morals) can no longer be well managed by people who have so many distractions that they remain ignorant?

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