Why would Sunday’s vote for a lower Radio and TV bill be so close, I wondered, as I read the headlines on Monday. Only about 3700 people tipped this referendum over the top. As I blogged before, anyone with a tv, radio (even a car radio) or an internet connection must pay a licensing fee to the tune of 462 CHF per year in Switzerland.
With 50.08% in favor, the rate will now be 400 CHF per year. Who wouldn’t want a lower fee? Then I found this explanation, and it made a little more sense to me. Right now only the people who have such modern devices pay (and who doesn’t?). Of course, there are people who don’t pay. They don’t answer the door when the company comes by looking to see if you have any of these things. Now everyone will get a bill. Period.
I believe there is also some kind of reform in the works here, but it was not totally clear to me what that means. One newspaper said that national media giants and politicians “must go back over the books and return public service broadcasting to its original purpose. State money should produce programmes which are important for the country and which can’t be financed in the free economy.” That leaves me to wonder what has happened to public service broadcasting. Since we rarely watch tv, and I don’t know what used to be on, I cannot say what this all means.
Here is a discussion on the English Forum about the referendum.
Also on the ballot – the initiative to allow genetic prescreening of embryos passed, while a national inheritance tax and the student grant initiative (which would level the playing field throughout the 26 cantons) were both defeated.