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As the world’s attention focuses on the social media-driven frenzy of another US election, voters heading to the polls this Sunday in Switzerland are faced with a more old-fashioned approach to campaigning: leaflets, placards and face-to-face meetings.
In keeping with the Alpine nation’s collaborative style of politics, which eschews highly personalised campaigning, both politicians and voters have shunned Twitter and Facebook in this month’s national campaign despite being overshadowed by Europe’s refugee crisis and fears of uncontrolled immigration.
(...) “To reach people, it is enough to go to the main town in a canton and stand in the market place at the weekend,” says Adrian Rauchfleisch, a communications researcher at Zürich university. Twitter in Switzerland remains an “elite network,” used mostly by journalists and other opinion formers, he says. “It is not a good channel to reach people, because penetration is so low.”
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