The latest news on this front comes from a really interesting article at Swissinfo written by Domhnall O’Sullivan. Swissinfo is produced by Switzerland’s public broadcasting association and O’Sullivan, originally from Ireland has previously worked in “research and writing in a couple of European countries before joining swissinfo.ch in 2017”. His writings on direct democracy are widely followed. According to O’Sullivan:
When Covid-19 hit last year, many worried the emergency measures could mean a threat to democratic freedoms. Not only might autocrats use the confusion to boost their power, but traditional democracies could all too easily neglect the liberties they have taken for granted for decades, went the argument.
In Switzerland, with its system of modern direct democracy, these fears had a particular flavour. Beyond the danger of arbitrary government action (a fear still sparking protests), the worry was that new rules would make life impossible for citizen campaigners, who rely on human contact and rallies to launch initiatives and referendums.
This week, it became clear that those fears were – if not unfounded – at least exaggerated.