Voting papers for the next lot of referenda are long in Geneva. A total of 10 questions on seven subjects will be put to voters.
In addition to the two votes on state pensions (one to spend more, one to spend less), there will be questions on a monster building development, the minimum number of signatures required to hold cantonal and municipal referenda, extending the signature collection deadline during easter, halving car tax, and officially recognising Geneva’s unofficial anthem written in the local, but largely unused, dialect.
The Praille-Acacias-Vernets (PAV) urban development project is a new district southwest of the city centre with 12,000 planned apartments. Voters will decide on a number of aspects of the project, among them increasing the percentage of certain apartments held by the government for social housing from 12% to 24% and requiring owners to live in the apartments they own. The proposal was accepted by parliament in May 2023 and now requires voter approval.
In Geneva, vote organisers have 40 days to collect enough signatures to launch a cantonal referendum. However, certain days do not count, for example from 15 July to 15 August and 23 December to 3 January. On 3 March 2024, voters get to decide whether to add easter to this list.
Voters will also be asked whether the number of signatures should be reduced. In Geneva, minimums are defined by a certain percentage of the voting population. The proposal aims to cut these percentages, which would increase the number of votes. It seems a ballot of 10 is not enough for some.
The the population will then be asked whether the anthem “Cé qu’è lainô” should be specified as the official cantonal hymn in the canton’s constitution. The song recalls the story of the Escalade when the Savoyards were repelled by local cunning and resourcefulness on 12 December 1602.
Currently, annual vehicle taxes are based on a vehicle’s power and emissions and can be raised when there is inflation. Some do not like the current system and would like to see it overhauled to bring the cost down, projected to represent a cut of around 50% of the current level. A majority of the government rejected this proposal and it has put forward an alternative. Voters get to decide on both and signal their preference.
Geneva voting brochure (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
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