A canton celebrates: The Jura is happy about the election of its first Federal Councilor.
Pascal TischhauserDeputy Head of Policy
Faces often speak volumes. This was also the case on election day, when several party presidents were shocked. After Albert Rösti (55) beat Hans-Ueli Vogt (53) with 131 votes in the first ballot, Elisabeth Baume-Schneider (58) surprisingly prevailed against SP favorite Eva Herzog (60).
Surprised? Very much, because whoever knows where the necessary votes came from, with which Baume-Schneider managed to win the absolute majority in the third ballot, the world no longer understands.
A lot spoke against her
Because actually almost everything spoke against Baume-Schneider. She comes from Romandy, but the task was to fill a Swiss-German SP seat. She is a representative of the country regions, where city dwellers are already in short supply in the Bundesrat. And she comes from another recipient canton in financial equalization.
Opposite her was Herzog, who has made a name for herself throughout Switzerland as a Basel finance director. She is considered to be assertive, objective and dossier-proof.
Is “possible” enough?
After Baume-Schneider had won with 123 votes, it was said that Parliament would rather have “possible” Federal Councilors. There’s something about that. “EBS” is a well-positioned Jura. With her sympathetic nature, she relegated the strict Herzog, who achieved 116 votes, and the wild candidate Daniel Jositsch (57). And the fact that the Romands stick together when it comes to German-speaking Switzerland and that the black-nosed sheep keeper had the peasant lobby behind her also helped.
But do you get enough votes that way? “Yes, if you include those of the FDP,” says a party strategist. Actually, the liberals had not wanted to choose a candidate from western Switzerland. Suddenly, Baume-Schneider was acceptable for a transitional period – yes, more than that, as Blick research shows.
Elisabeth Baume-Schneider: “We must build bridges”(00:31)
Election assistance from the FDP
If you want to help the FDP, you should vote for Baume-Schneider: Party President Thierry Burkart (47) made this statement to his parliamentary group on the morning of the Federal Council election, say liberals. Not having a German-Swiss representation in the Federal Council and not having a city dweller like Herzog from Basel is a shame for the SP, according to the reasoning.
Burkart contradicts this – and at the same time confirms the statement. “That’s not true,” says the party leader. He said three things: “First, that everyone is free to make their choice and follow their convictions. Second, that we should choose from the official candidates and not choose wild candidates.”
And thirdly, he had shown what consequences the choice of Herzog and that of Ms. Baume-Schneider would have. “Among other things, I showed that two SP representatives from Romandy were not conducive to the Social Democrats.” This is not a recommendation, but an assessment, according to Burkart.
It is obvious that liberals still understand the third statement as a recommendation.
Keller-Sutter is said to be behind it
It is rumored that Karin Keller-Sutter (58) is behind this “assessment”. Burkart’s proximity to the FDP Federal Councilor is no secret. Also that KKSas the St. Gallen is called, definitely wants to switch to the Finance Department (EFD), is known.
And that’s why no former finance director like Herzog was allowed to move into the Federal Council. But above all, Keller-Sutter didn’t want Herzog in the government because she didn’t want another strong woman who would dispute her leadership position in the committee. That’s what several people say who should know.
Party leaders dismayed
Now it is less surprising that Baume-Schneider won the race. And Burkart beamed all over his face after the elections. Almost as the only party president: Not only the SP leaders Mattea Meyer (35) and Cédric Wermuth (36) had the disappointment written all over their faces after the Jura coup, but also the center president Gerhard Pfister (60) from the donor canton of Zug and the rest GLP boss Jürg Grossen (53), who was always in a good mood, was depressed.
The commitment of the FDP was high, because before the elections they publicly opposed a French candidate. The fact that she now helped him into office damages the credibility of the party. The fact that the business party is involved against the representative of an urban economic engine and donor canton should also do harm. In any case, the frustration in Basel is enormous.
It remains to be seen whether the maneuver is worthwhile
Whether the FDP maneuver was worth it remains to be seen. Because Elisabeth Baume-Schneider could enchant the population in office just as much as the parliamentarians in the hearings. At least Meyer and Wermuth can console themselves with the fact that they now have a Federal Councilor who is good as a sympathetic mother of the country. However: As the case of Doris Leuthard (59) shows, it does little for a party if its Federal Councilor is popular. In any case, the CVP (today in the middle) could hardly benefit from Leuthard’s popularity.
One would rather have a strong Federal Councilor who shapes the government. And Grossen and Pfister would also like to have someone in government who can stand up to Karin Keller-Sutter.
Baume-Schneider on the happy day: “I have many weaknesses – I don’t do enough sport”(02:30)