In another couple of days, after the March 11 vote, we’ll know the answer: will the Swiss choose to give themselves more vacation time?
My prediction? Probably not. This is how direct democracy can function in Switzerland.
Minarets aside, people here are actually reasonable. People here actually go around saying, “Four weeks of vacation is enough. I don’t need six.”
In fact, the proposal for more vacation time, which was created by trade unions, has apparently already caused unnecessary stress among members of the business community, most parties, and the cabinet.
Can you imagine any other country where people would possibly vote not to give themselves more vacation time?
The Americans would vote to give themselves more time off. If they knew what time off was.
The French would vote not to work at all.
The Italians. Wait. They work?
Me? I’m a foreigner and therefore not only loud and dirty, but also unreasonable.
If I could vote in favor of six weeks of vacation, I would do it faster than a Swiss retiree can pass me on a hiking trail.
Having four weeks of vacation (in addition to that nice week between Christmas and New Year’s) allows me to have time for myself as well as time to visit far-flung friends and family.
In fact, my generous Swiss vacation allowance is one of the reasons I have extended my Swiss stay way past its original three years.
So there you have it, folks. The reason the Swiss will vote “no” to extra vacation.
Because if they vote “yes,” foreigners like me will probably never leave the country.
I knew they were a reasonable people.