“Democracy and the rule of law can never be taken for granted,” said Albert Rösti at the Albisgüetli Conference in Zurich.
Tobias OchsenbeinEditor Politics
Election campaign is close to the people. In this election year, the parties must mobilize their voters. For that they have to get close to the people. Must reach hearts and minds with robust slogans. Yes, campaigning is important. Also for the SVP.
Domenik Ledergerber (35), President of the Zurich SVP, gave the directive to the more than 1,000 guests in his welcoming speech at the 35th Albisgüetli Conference: “All of you, the entire SVP must be in the election campaign. Because the past year is not only remembered because of the impending power shortage, but also because of new record numbers in immigration.” Ledergerber set the tone right at the beginning of the event and painted the gloomy picture of Switzerland’s 10 million people.
The population growth is destroying the environment, endangering the security of supply with electricity and food and otherwise leading to massive problems. It was therefore high time, Ledergerber decided, to replace the parliamentarians who allowed this immigration. Because, this much became clear once again that evening in the Schützenhaus Albisgüetli in Zurich: For the SVP, Switzerland’s immigration policy is also a seismograph for developments in energy, education or economic issues.
«Everything in free fall»
With the usual pithy words, the old Federal Councilor and SVP father Christoph Blocher (82) once again worked through the well-known buzzwords. The “density stress”, the “Switzerland of 10 million” and the “unreasonable immigration” were therefore central themes in his speech, which lasted around one hour. And like the old Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer (72) two weeks ago at the SVP management conference in the Hotel Bad Horn, Blocher also used the dead end metaphor. Switzerland and with it the SVP ended up in a dead end, driven in by the left and the greens. Sovereignty, the rule of law, democracy – everything is in free fall.
On the other hand, according to Blocher’s conclusion, there is really only one solution: the SVP. The party must now turn things around and win the elections against the Reds and Greens. “This is the only way for Switzerland to get out of the impasse,” Blocher reassured his party colleagues. And so on. After each of these slogans, many of those present in the hall laughed and applauded. Because Blocher told them what can be printed well on SVP election posters. And with which they can find their way out of the impasse and switch to a cracking offensive.
At the end of his speech, the SVP doyen made recommendations for the elections in the canton of Zurich on February 12 on behalf of the Zurich SVP: The two proven SVP government councilors Nathalie Rickli (46) and Ernst Stocker (67) had because of their good work deserves re-election.
Support also for the other commoners
Blocher also expressed his support for the non-party bourgeois Zurich government councilors Carmen Walker-Späh (64, FDP) and Silvia Steiner (65, center) as well as the director of the Avenir Suisse think tank and FDP government council candidate Peter Grünenfelder. They were all present on Friday evening.
In any case, there were many prominent politicians at the foot of the Uetliberg: from former Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer (72) to party president Marco Chiesa (48) to former National Councilor Christoph Mörgeli (51) and the National Councilors Magdalena Martullo-Blocher (53), Mauro Tuena (50) and parliamentary group leader Thomas Aeschi (44) were all there that had rank and name in the SVP.
Weidel and hash browns
And beyond that: The German AfD politician Alice Weidel (43) and her Swiss partner were also spotted in Albisgüetli. As the city of Zurich’s SVP President Ledergeber told the “Tages-Anzeiger”, she was not invited by the party, but came with another guest.
The most prominent guest, however, was the new SVP Federal Councilor Albert Rösti (55). Right at the beginning of his speech, the new energy minister remarked that new federal councilors actually only express themselves after 100 days in office. “Maybe I confused it with 100 hours – that’s how long I’ve been in office,” said Rösti. After some banter and pleasantries, he said that democracy and the rule of law can never be taken for granted. “Democracy can only be lived if you can discuss with each other and the people have the last word in elections.”
“Great respect for people’s expectations”
Finally, Rösti came to talk about security of supply in Switzerland. “I have great respect for the expectation that people in Switzerland will have enough electricity and energy,” said the new Federal Councilor. He can’t promise anything, but he will work day and night to make it happen. And then he roughly repeated what he had already said two days ago at the electricity congress in Bern: You have to ensure a large amount of electricity production very quickly and make sure that energy sources are not switched off “unnecessarily early”.
“After just 20 days in office, I can’t get to the heart of a lot,” said Rösti. But he promised to represent the arguments and views of the SVP with vehemence in the Federal Council.
At the end of his speech, Rösti promised that he would continue to get feedback from the base. The delegates applauded enthusiastically. Standing ovations for the man who should now judge it in federal Bern. And then those present toasted: to the election campaign, the conviviality – and Switzerland.