Do you trust your fellow citizens more than your leaders?


A Swiss experiment bringing together a group of citizens to prepare an informational sheet for February’s national vote has completed its first stage.

Voting up to four times a year, as the Swiss do, is a nice democratic right, but it also means keeping up with a lot of topics.

Usually this means following the media, talking to family and friends, watching what political parties and campaigners are saying, and wading through information sent out by authorities before vote day.

Last week, in advance of the next national ballot on February 9, 21,000 voters in the town of Sion got something new in the post: an informational sheet, drafted by a group of 20 randomly selected locals, giving a citizen’s take on what’s at stake.

The document, written by the citizen panel over two weekends last November, is the first output of ‘demoscan’: a project aiming to spur participation in a country where turnout rates are low and electoral issues sometimes complex.

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