The Poll Archive RSS

Flag_swiss
(11/28/09) -

Ban on Minarets Rejected by Swiss Majority

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The controversial proposal that seeks to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland is set to fail in tomorrow’s referendum, according to a poll by the GfS Research Institute released by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. 53 per cent of respondents would vote against the proposed ban.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The controversial proposal that seeks to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland is set to fail in tomorrow’s referendum, according to a poll by the GfS Research Institute released by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. 53 per cent of respondents would vote against the proposed ban.

Since 1959, Switzerland has formed its government under a power-sharing agreement known as the "Magic Formula." The country’s four major political parties are represented in the seven-post cabinet. Presidents are elected by the Assembly for one-year terms from the pool of cabinet members. The president remains a member of the cabinet and does not hold any extra powers

Within the frame of Switzerland’s direct-democracy system, a group of citizens or leaders of the eight cantons together can call a referendum to challenge a law approved by the federal legislature. The vote is decided with a simple majority.

Last year, the ultra-nationalist Swiss People’s Party (SVP) gathered more than 113,000 signatures to force a nationwide referendum on banning the construction of minarets in Swiss mosques. The minaret—a tower from which the call to prayer is sounded—is a distinctive architectural feature of Islamic mosques. At this time, only the mosques in Geneva, Wangen near Olten, Winterthur and Zurich have minarets.

The government and most members of the current cabinet oppose the Minaret Initiative, but cannot impede the plebiscite from happening.

Earlier this month, SVP member Oskar Freysinger expressed support for the ban, saying, "The minaret is not an innocent building. It has been used in history to mark territory, to mark the progression of Islamic law in foreign countries."

Polling Data

If the vote on banning the construction of minarets were held tomorrow, how would you vote?

 

Nov. 2009

Oct. 2009

In favour

37%

34%

Against

53%

53%

Not sure

10%

13%

Source: GfS Research Institute / Swiss Broadcasting Corporation
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,213 Swiss adults, conducted from Nov. 9 to Nov. 14, 2009. Margin of error is 2.9 per cent.