Whenever the people have a chance to vote, they almost always seem to vote against this stuff:
Face coverings have been banned in public in canton St Gallen in northeastern Switzerland. Two-thirds of voters agreed with the cantonal parliament and supported the so-called “burka ban”, which had been challenged by parties on the political left.
Turnout on Sunday was 35.8%, with a total of 73,830 people – out of a canton of some 500,000 – backing the measure.
The rightwing Swiss People’s Party said it hoped the ban would have a preventative effect. Opponents spoke of “playing to the gallery”, pointing out it was already illegal to force a woman to wear a burka and that the law’s implementation would be “completely random”.
Cantonal police will now have the discretion to decide whether a person whose face is covered “threatens or endangers public safety or the religious or social peace”.
Of course, just because the people vote for something doesn’t mean that the authorities are going to actually accept the results of that vote. Swiss authorities are already promising to ignore the election results:
The cantonal police and justice director said he wasn’t surprised by the result, but said it would have almost no effect.
“I’ve never seen anyone in a burka in St Gallen,” said Fredy Fässler, who added he couldn’t imagine the conditions of the ban ever being fulfilled. What’s more, he didn’t expect cantonal police officers would ever fine a woman wearing a burka.
This is a small election at a local level, but it’s a great example of how contemptuous Western authorities have become of democracy and election results they disapprove of. We’ve seen it with Trump, Brexit, and in this instance in Switzerland. We can expect to see it more and more frequently moving forward.