Freedom Party of Switzerland


Freedom Party of Switzerland

The Freedom Party of Switzerland (FPS) ( _de. Freiheits-Partei der Schweiz; _fr. Parti suisse de la liberté / PSL) is a minor populist right-wing political party in Switzerland. Its president and leading representative is Jürg Scherrer, the head of the security department in the city government of Biel/Bienne.

History

The FPS was founded 1984 in Zürich by Michael E. Dreher and other right-wing politicians as "Autopartei" ( _en. Automobile Party). It was intended to be a counterpart to the Green Party of Switzerland and the contemporary concerns about the supposed "Waldsterben" due to acid rain. Focusing initially on personal mobility issues, one of its more well-known slogans was "Freie Fahrt für freie Bürger" ("A free road for free citizens").

The party enjoyed moderate success in the cantonal parliaments, particularly in St. Gallen, Thurgau and Schaffhausen). The height of its power was reached in the 1991 National Council elections, when it captured 8 out of 200 seats and 4% of the national vote. Afterwards, the party's fortunes started to decline as many leading figures left the party in the course of internal disputes, mainly for the more mainstream Swiss People's Party. Despite re-naming itself to "Freedom Party" in 1994, the FPS lost all national mandates in the 1999 elections and, as of 2006, retains but a very few parliamentary seats in some cantonal and municipal parliaments.

Agenda

The FPS campaigns on a pronounced right-wing agenda, advocating strict asylum and immigration laws, as well as a law and order approach to crime and drugs and a strong Swiss Army. It opposes Swiss membership in international organisations, but favors a laissez-faire economic policy, deregulation, tax cuts and a reduction of state spending. [De icon [http://www.freiheits-partei.ch/article-369-parteiprogramm-fps.html Party platform of May 8, 1999] on the party's website]

The party and its exponents are also noted for their aggressive rhetoric, at least compared to that of mainstream Swiss parties. Its leader Jürg Scherrer has been (unsuccessfully) sued several times under Swiss anti-discrimination laws on account of his disparaging statements about black people and foreigners in general. The following excerpts from a statement of Scherrer's, posted on the party's website in 2006, may serve to illustrate the party's take on current issues:

External links

*De icon [http://www.freiheits-partei.ch/ Website of the Freedom Party of Switzerland]

References

*HDS|17418|Freiheits-Partei|author=Hans Hirter|date=2005-04-05

Notes


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