Matthew Feeney on 'Pro-Freedom' Parties That Aren't on Immigration


Credit: Tambako the Jaguar / Foter / CC BY-ND

Last weekend, the Swiss voted for immigration restrictions supported by the nationalist and euroskeptic Swiss People's Party, the party with the most seats in Switzerland's lower house of the Federal Assembly. The party campaigned for the restrictions using the depressingly common fear mongering about overpopulation.

The vote was praised by nationalistic, xenophobic, and euroskeptic parties across Europe. It shouldn't be surprising that members of such parties support the referendum, which was backed by 50.3 percent of Swiss voters. However, Matthew Feeney argues, what is notable is that European politicians and parties in favor of the Swiss immigration restrictions are exhibiting a behavior seen in the Republican Party when it comes to debates on immigration; giving lip service to freedom without being able to match the rhetoric with action.