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Che Wagner, “The Swiss Universal Basic Income Vote 2016: What’s Next?”

The following is an abstract from Che Wagner, the co-director of the Swiss Campaign for Basic Income, for his Medium article “The Swiss Universal Basic Income Vote 2016: What’s Next?

On June 5, 2016 all Swiss citizens were asked if they would like to amend their federal constitution with a Universal Basic Income (UBI). The proposal was declined, but the campaign not only prepared us for future discussions on social welfare in Switzerland, it also gave us the key insights for how we can talk about the future of work and income in general.

In analyzing the voting results along with representative surveys asking voters why they voted for/against UBI, we learn about how much it matters how we speak about UBI and in what context of contemporary society. Additionally, with those reflections we are able to detect some patterns of “key groups” who might play a major role in pushing the framework of UBI further.

Lastly, the question remains: What’s next? In the case of Switzerland, there were strong indications that most voters want the debate about UBI to continue, even if they voted against the proposal. One way to continue would be to set up trials or experiments on local levels and survey’s show a high approval rate for that. Lately, there had been a series of meetings and discussions about setting up experiments in various places in Switzerland. But there still remains the question: what would be a set-up that would make sense – both on a political agenda and a international scientific agenda. It will be most crucial to discuss premise and purpose before the set-up is done. For the UBI debate is certainly a global phenomenon and will leave marks on both sides of the Atlantic.

For the full article:

Che Wagner, “The Swiss Universal Basic Income Vote 2016: What’s Next?“, Medium, Feb. 8, 2017.

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The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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