connect, grow & thrive.

Referendum topics for November 26

I remember the first time after receiving my Swiss nationality that I was able to vote. I was so excited that I hardly slept, it was the first time in my life that I was going to be a part of a democratic process having been previously unable to vote in any country. I duly researched the topics, filled out my ballot form and walked down to the town hall to hand it over. I waited in eager anticipation only to find that the majority had voted the opposite of what I had, but that didn’t matter I was part of the democratic process and my vote had been counted!

Nearly 20 years on I still get excited when I open the envelop containing the topics to be voted on and see my ballot ready to be filled out. There have been memorable topics and then topics like this month’s referendum when you realise that being part of a democratic process also means having to vote on the more tedious aspects of government.

So to it: The first topic is – and I quote – Änderung der Gemeindeordnung (Revisions des Finanzhaushaltsrechts im Rahmen der Einführung von HMR2). Basically agreeing to changes in the municipal code promoting a harmonisation of an accounting model which takes into account new articles having been approved in the municipal code and the new ruling on the towns financial budget. As far as I’m concerned, if it makes it easier for the people who deal with these (fascinating) issues then go for it. All the political parties (besides the SVP) are for this motion to be approved.

Topic number 2: Änderung der Gemeindeordnung (Anpassung des Verfahrens bei der Prüfung von Beanstandungen von städtischen Mitarbeitenden bei der Ombudstelle). More changes to the municipal code, this time with regards to better access to an ombudsman for city employees. Basically a neutral person who can listen to their professional grievances without them having to go through an internal arbitration process first.

Did you know that you have access to an ombudsman should you have any conflicts with the city council? You can contact them here.

Finally voting on the unblocking of 53.7% million francs for the building of a new school in the Reussbühl area. There will be 850 new apartments in this area in the coming years, so this school would serve the children from these homes. The work is due to start in February 2018 and will be completed between 2020 and 2021. The parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the motion.

So those are the 3 bills to be voted on this Sunday. I am going to predict that there will not be a massive turnout of voters, but you can be assured that I will have put my ballot in the post.

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Living in Luzern organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.