The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Federal Council rejects criticism of its own voting communication

According to parliamentary oversight, the authorities only provide "limited appropriate" information before votes. The Federal Council counters - but partially accepts the recommendations of the National Council's Control Committee (CPC-N).

Communication with the authorities before votes repeatedly gives rise to criticism, for example with regard to the information in the voting booklet or the communication of individual members of the Federal Council. In an analysis by the Parliamentary Administrative Control (PAC), four specific votes - including the one on the Responsible Business Initiative - revealed isolated deficits.

The GPK-N report based its criticism primarily on the analysis of four individual voting proposals in which the official information had led to public criticism, the Federal Council wrote in its statement on Wednesday. The verdict was therefore based on a narrow database, it criticized.

Although criticism of the Federal Council's communication is to be taken seriously, it has long since become an integral part of campaigns. It is sometimes used deliberately to undermine the credibility of the arguments of Parliament and the Federal Council.

The Federal Council therefore regrets that the PAC did not analyze whether and in which voting proposals such criticism may have been unjustified, it continued. The Federal Council also doubted that the overall assessment of the CPC-N, according to which communication with the authorities prior to votes was only "partially appropriate", was appropriate.

Nevertheless, the Federal Council accepted some of the GPK-N's recommendations resulting from the report - including a recommendation on the regulation of communication for public statements and posts on social media as well as a recommendation on the exercise of editorial responsibility by the departments.

©Keystone/SDA

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