At Stake in the Referendum:
- Swiss voters will vote in three nationwide referendums on February 9, 2014. These referendums will focus the funding of the Swiss rail system, ending the coverage of abortions by health insurance, and reducing the amount of immigration to Switzerland.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Didier BURKHALTER
- Head of Government: President Didier BURKHALTER
- Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblée Fédérale/Assemblea Federale) consisting of the Council of States (Standerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati) with 46 seats and the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale) with 200 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- Legislative referendums in Switzerland are conducted on the basis of majority vote, with both the majority of people and majority of Cantons approving the referendum. Constitutional referendums and citizens’ initiatives are conducted on the basis of double majority for both votes and the cantonal vote.
Main Provisions in the Referendum
- Do you accept the federal decree of 20 June 2013 regulating the funding and expansion of railway and infrastructure? The constitutional proposal will revise the Constitution to achieve sustainable funding for the operation, maintenance, and expansion of railway infrastructure.
- Do you accept the popular initiative “Paying for an abortion is a private matter – reduce the burden on health insurance by ending basic coverage for abortion?” The popular initiative would end the coverage by compulsory health insurance for terminations of pregnancy and embryo reduction.
- Do you accept the popular initiative “Stop mass immigration?” The popular initiative will change immigration policy to limit immigration and set state quotas for permits issued to foreigners and asylum seekers.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 8,188,649 (2014)
- Registered Voters: 5,139,055 (March 2012)
· Female Population: 4,137,391 (2014)
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (23 January 1987)
· Has Switzerland ratified CEDAW: Yes (27 March 1997)
· Gender Quota: No
· Female candidates in this election: N/A
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 57 (National Council); 9 (Council of States) following the 2011 elections
· Human Development Index Position: 3 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: No
· Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: Yes, accession (15 April 2014)
· Population with a disability: 1,228,297 (est.)
 The Federal Presidency rotates among the 7 members of the Federal Council, which is the formal chief of state. Presently the Federal Council consists of Doris LEUTHARD, Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF, Ueli MAURER, Didier BURKHALTER, Simonetta SOMMARUGA, Johan SCHNEIDER—AMMANN, and Alain BERSET.
 The National Council (155 opposed, 33 in favor) and the Council of States (37 opposed, 5 in favor) both rejected the proposal.
 The National Council (140 opposed, 54 in favor) and the Council of States (37 opposed, 5 in favor) both rejected the proposal.