“Et maintenant?” Big debate tomorrow in Nyon, Autumn Fair in Founex

Vision Nyon 2030
What will Nyon look like in 2030, when it comes to housing, living together and work opportunities? If these questions interest you, the City council in partnership with the economic magasine Bilan and Uni Global Union are hosting a big debate tomorrow morning Friday 19th of September, from 8:30 to  12:15 at UNI Global Union headquarters. Bringing together the major players in the area, from politicians to demographics specialists, this morning of debate will tackle issues such as the aging of the population, work opportunities, what it means to live in Nyon and more. Among the people taing part in the debate will be president of the Grand-Conseil Pierre-Yves Maillard and Tibère Adler, head of Avenir Suisse for Romandie.

 

Autumn fair 2014-4

La Côte Church Autumn Fair in Founex

La Côte Church will be hosting its Autumn fair on Saturday the 27th of September. There will be a number of stalls including a book stall, a chutney and pickle stall and more. Live music, dancing and food for the adults, while the kids can have fun in the children’s corner. The fair is on from 10:00 to 17:00 in Founex

La Côte Personality 2012 Award, Les Hivernales Rock’n’Beat Festival this Weekend

Courtesy lacôte.ch

The La Côte  “personality of the year” Award 

At the end of last year, the local newspaper La Côte decided to host a competition to elect the most influential personality of the year in the la Côte region. This competition was part of  the newspaper’s aim to establish its role as an important player on the local scene. The final round of the competition was narrowed down to  five people – see below. Readers were  invited to vote for their favourite “personnalité de La Côte 2012”.

Sport, Politics and Music

The finalists selected by La Côte readers come from various sections of society and regions, from Morges, Jura, Nyon and Gingins.

Ellen Sprunger – Olympic Athlete living in Gingins

Youngest of the lot, and probably the one with the most international exposure is Gingin’s own Olympic champion, 26 year old heptathlete Ellen Sprunger. She won the title of “feminine athlete of the year 2012″, and competed in the London Olympics last summer, where she finished 19th. Alongside her athletic achievements, she is also studying for a Masters degree in sports.

Benjamin Zumstein – Music promoter

The next finalist is Benjamin Zumstein, whom Living in Nyon readers might recognise as the owner of La Parenthèse (see here for article on La Parenthèse), the music venue in the centre of Nyon. Benjamin Zumstein lives a double life: financial investment counsellor by day, he becomes the programmer of La Parenthèse by night, turning Nyon into an important place on the musical scene, helping discover rising bands- many of which then go on to play at the Paléo Festival.

Nurria Gorrite, Yves Defferard and  André Rosé – from the political scene

The next two finalists share in common their socially committed political engagement- even though not on the same level.

Nurria Gorrite, ex-”syndique” (the Swiss equivalent to a mayor) of Morges, is now a member of the Conseil d’Etat. From a working-class background, she continues to fight for the development of the region, especially when it comes to public transport.

Yves Defferard is something of a local hero in the events that took place last year when Novartis decided to close down its factory in Nyon. Trade unionist for Unia- one of the big Swiss trade unions- he was one of the people who managed to make Novartis backtrack and stay in the area. Passionate about travelling-as a way of opening up to different cultures and sensibilities, he is also part of Amnesty International.

Last but not least, André Rosé. Employee of  Nyon municipality for 16 years, this ex-swimmer has always been extremely involved in organising all of the sports events- one of his nicknames is “Monsieur Manifestation”- ie “Mr Event”. Impossible to name all of the events he helped organise over the last few years; he was in charge of the big screen on the lakeside during the Euro 2008, he helped organise the first Fête de la Vigne in 2011 and many other events, such as the Swiss wrestling competition in 2001, or the numerous events at the Stade Nyonais and the Nyon Triathlon.

 

Courtesy Samuel Fromhold – André Rosé and Nuria Gorite, winners of the award

A joint victory

The awards ceremony was held at the Usine à Gaz-  another important venue on the local scene, with a host of local personalities, and a series of concerts by local bands. Appreciated for their commitment to their respective towns and region by the readers of La Côte, Nurria Gorite and André Rosé were jointly elected Personality of La Côte 2012, with a shared total of 370 voices, thus linking Morges and Nyon ever closer. Quite a coup for the first instalment of what looks ready to become a new tradition in the area! Benjamin Zumstein also received a prize from the Commercial School of Nyon.

Les Hivernales- Nyon’s Newest Music Festival

Nyon deserves its title of the “Town of Festivals”, and in the past four years has added another to its list – “Les Hivernales”. Thsi festival is spread out throughout Nyon in several different venues, and shakes the hibernating city out of its stupor for a week of frenzy and dancing through the night. Dedicated to the electro-rock universe (and its multiple and expanding sub-genres), the festival presents big headlines in its two main venues, the Usine à Gaz and the Salle Communale. But its success is due to the conviviality and proximity with the artists you can get in the multitude of satellite venues across town. From the Villa Niedermeyer on the lakeside to La Parenthèse, there are more than 9 different venues in which you can discover a rich line up of electro and rock bands.

This year, Puppetmastaz, Naïve New Beaters or South Central will help you chase the winter away dancing. Les Hivernales Rock’n’Beat Festival takes place from the 28th February to the 3rd March.

Check the line-up with this video, and get more information, including the full line-up, location of all the venues and ticket prices here.

 

Apero Jazz at The Caveau de Nyon

The Caveau de Nyon, situated under the Castle, is hosting a Jazz concert and “apero” on Thursday 28th February, with clarinettist Gilbert Rosman and guitarist Marc Vittoz. Enjoy some nice music while discovering some good local wine in a nice setting in the cellars of the Nyon Castle.

Booking Required.

More information here

 

 

Interview with Daniel Rossellat, Mayor of Nyon and President of Paléo Festival

Photo above – Daniel Rossellat at Paléo 2102

Living in Nyon has begun a new series of interviews entitled “Afternoon Tea with…”  in which we interview local personalities from the Nyon and la Côte region. We find out a little bit more about the professional and personal lives of each individual over afternoon tea.

Photo above and below, courtesy – La Boîte à Thé

This first interview was held in La Boite à Thé in Rolle. This lovely gem of a place has been previously featured on this site see here.  The tea room has two quiet rooms to sit and sip teas from around the world.

It also has a good selection of gifts idea for those last minute Christmas presents!

For this first interview, we caught up with Mr Rossellat the day before he was due to take a flight to Côte d’Ivoire. Read on to find out why he was making the trip to West Africa, and how he divides his time between his two roles; mayor of Nyon and President of Paléo festival. We also find out which musician he hopes to hear play in Paléo one day, his vision for the future of Nyon and what he will be cooking for Christmas dinner in 2012!

Photo above – courtesy Daniel Rossellat

Mr Rossellat, you are en route to Abidjan, what are you expecting to find or hear there?

I’m going to Côte d’Ivoire for the meeting of the Association of Francophone Mayors. I haven’t had the chance to attend for the past couple of years, and this year the meeting is being held in Abidjan. The Mayor of Quebec asked me to be a member of this association, but I wasn’t sure about it. I thought that perhaps Nyon was too small a town and that joining the Assocation didn’t seem to be  a logical step to take. However, after I spoke to the president, the Mayor of Paris, he repeated that he wanted Nyon to be a member. He pointed out that Nyon was well known in the French-speaking world and has a good reputation due to its festivals. I think it’s an interesting platform for exchange and dialogue, especially for the Canadian/European francophone mayors to meet and listen to the African francophone communities.

How many times a year do you travel to hear new music in  your role as President of Paléo? 

In the last twelve months, I’ve been to Nashville to the Bonnaroo Festival, to the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Quebec Summer Festival, as well as visiting Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine to hear music for the Village du Monde area of Paléo for 2012. This autumn I have been to Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa, and soon I’ll be going to Zanzibar, to do some research for next year’s festival.

Have your tastes in music changed over the years?

When I was 15 or 16 I was already listening to an eclectic mix of music, but I didn’t have such an extensive knowledge of music as I do now. Over the years I have discovered a lot more about classical music too, and I continue to listen to  classic rock, folk, pop and world music. I’ve also got to know a lot of styles from Asia, Africa and Latin America, where there are  some music  fusions that are still not that known over here. The first time I went to  China, I thought that the same song was playing over and over again all day, but I’ve learned  since that  is obviously not the case, it’s just that our ears have to get accustomed to new sounds.

Have you come across any real surprises when visiting countries?

I’m always very moved by countries that are full of history. For example, when I went to Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, no matter how much you read up or look at pictures before you go, you can’t imagine what it feels like to be in a place with such ancient and recent history. It’s the same in the Far East, where there is such an incredible heritage of different civilizations. There is also plenty to discover in places with more modern history.

What is the idea behind the Village du Monde?

The goal is to look for a wealth of different music and culture. We want to show cultural wealth of places that not everyone knows. This year it was the Middle East, next year it will be the Indian Ocean, and the year after that it will be the Andes Cordillera. We then look for artists that correspond to the different styles of music, find the cuisine and artisanal goods, and then think about décor and the staging. We want people that have already been to the region to recognise their surroundings, and people that haven’t, to be transported somewhere new.

Photo above – A volunteer painting the scene for the Village du Monde area.

The rumour is that you have a vision board of artists you want at Paleo, including Sting. Who else is on the list?

When we first started the festival there was a certain list of artists that we dreamed of hosting: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Sting. So far we are still missing Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen and Paul McCartney. We ask Clapton ever year and hope that one year he will make it.

Sting –  Courtesy Paléo / Anne Colliard

What do you personally think the secret to Paléo’s success? 

I think the secret to Paleo’s success is the values that we have stood by since the beginning of the festival: the respect for the public, the volunteers, the artists and the environment. Being open-minded and tolerant towards other cultures is important to us. I don’t think that it has been difficult to uphold these values, but there is certainly always a risk of arrogance that comes with success. I believe that we should never forget those fundamental elements.

How do you divide your time during the week between Paleo and Nyon?

On Monday morning, I have a finance meeting at Paléo and then a meeting with the director of Opus One (an events company) until 09:00.  I then have a meeting with the sustainability team of Nyon, followed by a meeting with the different heads of department of the town. At 11:00 sharp I play tennis, and then it’s on to a municipality meeting.

On Tuesdays I spent the entire day at Paléo, and Wednesday and Thursday in Nyon. On Friday mornings I’m at Paleo, and the afternoon is flexible. On Saturdays I go through my messages and emails from the week, and on Sundays I prepare for the week ahead.

As Mayor of Nyon, do you have a personal vision for how you would like to see Nyon in 10-20 years time? 

The ideal would be to have kept the soul and the character of the town along with creating new infrastructure that has met the  needs of a growing population. Combining these two needs is a constant challenge.

Photo above – view from the roof of Nyon high school

We are trying right now to ensure the town isn’t simply a museum where time stands still, but somewhere that is vibrant and interesting to live and visit. We are keen for it not to turn into simply a dormitory town for commuters who work elsewhere. With all the new construction in Nyon we also are trying to ensure that each new area  has a soul and a centre to it with a social life. We also don’t want to end up with areas that end up with different classes of areas ie: one is  business class and the other “economy class”.

What programmes or support is there to facilitate integration between the incomers and the local populace?  

There is no specific programme such but we are working on this. To be honest I think  the amount of expatriates that have recently arrived here took us a bit by surprise. We weren’t quite ready but we are addressing the issue now and trying to make the town and information on living here more accessible.

Some expatriates are only here for a few years. How can these newcomers get the  most out of their time in Nyon? 

Whether you are single, married, with or without children, I would say try to join a local club such as a sports club or some other kind: it’s a good way of meeting locals. If you can’t do that, then I would say keep things “local” as much as you can, go to a  music concert or arts event in your area, and eat in local restaurants: it’s a good way of discovering what’s out there. I try to do the same when I am travelling, if I have a meeting say in a town in Brazil I don’t then eat in a restaurant say in a Hilton hotel, I go out and eat in a local Brazilian place. If you know you have a fixed time here then I would suggest that you explore your local area. When the time comes to leave you will do so having got to know a little bit about this part of Switzerland.

Finally as you are such a busy person with your two roles, how will you spend Christmas day? Are you able to totally “clock off”? And what will be on the menu for the day?

Christmas day is a rare day when I truly do switch off. I don’t look at emails at all and I look forward to being with my  family and having some down time. As I like to cook, then that’s the day I will be in the kitchen. I am not sure what I will be serving yet, it could be volaille, it could be something else.  With out any doubt  though the meal will be served with a good bottle of wine. I am very interested in wine, I like a good Swiss wine of course but I’m also fond of wines from the new world such as Argentina or Chile.

——————-

Keep checking out this site for more “Afternoon  Tea with…” interviews coming up in 2013.  If you want to find out more about the Paléo festival or local politics  in the Nyon area, just type in “Paléo” or “Politics” in the search button at the top of this site to read previous articles.

Which way to vote? The political parties give their views

Which path to take?  Should you go left, right, through the centre, on the green grass or take the independent route?

With the local elections just under a week away, Living in Nyon asked all the political parties to send in their views and standpoint on local issues. So if you have received your voting papers and are still unsure of  who to vote for, then read on to hear the views from the following parties that sent their comments in.

Please note however, this post is provided purely as public service information for the expat community and does not imply endorsement of the parties’ views by Living in Nyon.  If you are unsure about the actual voting procedure then this previous post on how to fill out (the rather complicated forms!) should help you.

Time to vote

In no particular order we begin with the Parti Indépendant Nyonnais (PIN) The Nyon Independent Party. This was submitted by its president Bob Jenefsky –  jenefsky@iprolink.ch Tel:079 2025014

The PIN is a Nyon-based party founded over 60 years ago.  We are currently represented by 13 city councillors (i.e. 13%) and 1 member of the city government (Claude Uldry, responsible for buildings, human resources and church affairs).  Non-ideological and solutions-oriented, we defend the quality of life in Nyon on the basis of specific projects, whether proposed by our own members, the city government or others.  Sitting astride the Left-Right divide in the city council, we often are the de-factor arbiters of the outcome of closely-contested votes.  Our councilors  -men and women from all walks of life -enjoy complete freedom to take the floor during council debates and to vote as they choose.

Our priorities for the coming legislature (2011 – 2016) are

1)     Housing:  Find creative solutions to Nyon’s housing shortage.  The adult children of Nyon families who want to stay here should be able to find affordable housing.  The city may ultimately have to choose between “nice-to-haves” (such as a conference center-hotel complex near the train station) and “must-haves” (such as affordable housing).  Watch this space!

2)     Urban development:  Keep Nyon from becoming the victim of its own success.  Fight urban sprawl and the creation of ghettos of high-priced condos before it’s too late.  Clean up the mess around the train station.

3)     Mobility:  Solve Nyon’s traffic problem, which is becoming big city-like.  This will require some courageous decisions (including building new roads) and incentivizing commuters to using (to-be-improved) public transport.

4)     Safety and security:  People should be able to go anywhere in Nyon at any time of day or night without having to “watch their back”.  The solution, we believe, lies in both prevention and appropriate police action, but also in giving speedy “feedback” to juvenile offenders (not currently the case).  A recent visitor from New York, who was last here 4 years ago, told me “Nyon is looking a bit seedy these days”.  Coming from a New Yorker, that has to hurt!

5)     Integration of newcomers: Sometimes it seems like everybody wants to move here.  The diversity of our population is a plus for Nyon.  Everybody needs to feel welcome, and that starts with feeling at home with the language and Swiss culture, values and institutions.  Nyon’s many local sports and associations make a major contribution to this important effort, and deserve our support.  More can be done, however.

6)     Environment:  We believe that the city of Nyon should be exemplary in its respect for the environment and use of energy.  Claude Uldry has been working towards this goal in building and renovating municipal buildings.

For more information, please refer to our website (in French) , which also contains links to some recent TV debates in which we participated.  Thanks for your interest in the Parti Indépendant Nyonnais.  who can make the difference with new and fresh ideas !

————————————————————————————————————————–

Next it’s the turn of  The Social-Democratic party of Nyon (in French – the Parti Socialiste). This was submitted by Braulio Mora, a member of the party and of the conseil communal.  See an interview with Braulio in a previous Living in Nyon post from Feb 2010.

“The Social Democratic Party has a track record of achieving its goals and aims on the issues it is concerned about.  With a left wing majorityrepresentation in the Municipality, it has transformed the town by improving the quality of life of its inhabitants. It has achieved solidarity and a level of security and has adapted to the needs of the population with an improved public service benefitting not only the local population but also the economy and tourist industry.

With the upcoming renewal of the local authorities in next week’s election, we are keen to continue with all the work we have initiated and to work on the  challenges that awaiting us in the future. The Social Democrat party of Nyon has a list of candidates all of them with varied professional and social backgrounds, experiences, and areas of competence. Thanks to their convictions they will endeavour to place the following main points at the centre of their actions:

HOUSING FOR EVERYONE: By building new housing at an affordable prices, improve the encounter of people in their neighbourhoods and ensuring a quality environment for the housing.

NYON A CITY THAT MOVES: Improve transport public service and frequency, encourage and develop un-motorized mobility and moderating traffic in the neighbourhoods .

TOWN THAT THINKS GLOBALLY: We find it important to invest for a town that is growing constantly, keeping in mind that the search for exterior funds and integrating Nyon in a regional investment policy is the way for our town to anticipate its development and not suffer from it.

TOWN FOR FAMILIES: In order to continue a strong and efficient family policy our party finds it important  that additional capacity be added in nurseries, that there is increased possibilities of temporary assistance for those who need it careless of the age, and by the development of places for intergenerational encounters .

NATURE IN TOWN: Reconquer  the vacant parts town  in order to give them life and create green public  places of quality,  creation of small gardens in neighbourhoods, as well as guaranteeing the protection and accessibility of all the lake shores in the town’s territory.

ANOTHER APPROACH TO SECURITY: We find it important to think and act globally on the issue of security. We believe we not only have to use repressive measures but also improve prevention by hiring additional social workers and police forces in order to apprehend criminality, violence and incivilities. A better lighting of streets and renovation of decrepit places also collaborated to diminish the feeling of insecurity!”

Link to the party website

See also a short presentation movie in French of our candidates, programme and motivations here on U tube

List of candidates to the city council  and the list of candidates to the municipality:

————————————————————————————————————————–

Thirdly, here are the issues as seen by the local and Liberal-Radical Party (PLR) of Nyon. This was submitted by party member and member of the conseil communal Brian Jackson.

The town: We will continue to fight to build, as soon as possible, the two major roads that are planned – the inner ring road (la petite ceinture) and the urban service road (route de desserte urbaine (RDU)).
We oppose the suppression of parking spaces in the town centre in order that people may continue to park close to businesses and shops.

Family: We intend to provide more sheltered housing for old people, through new constructions, to improve integration across all ages and social strata, that are the richness of our town.

Taxation: We are against  tax increases. We endorse change and propose to remove benefits that are not essential.

Security: We will continue to support the police force and staff to improve efficiency.
We will continue to fight insecurity and depredation using dissuasive measures such as surveillance cameras and increased police checks at key locations.

Economy: We will fight to create opening hours of shops that reflect the needs of the working population.
We will support any plans to make Nyon a real conference town with hotels and the necessary  infrastructure, because tourism creates jobs and wealth.

The full programme is posted on our website: www. plr-nyon.ch and may also be requested either by e‑mail info@plr-nyon.ch or to PLR, PO Box 1207, 1260 Nyon.

————————————————————————————————————————

Next, here is the view from the Green Party entitled “Oliver Mayor: Not just talking but delivering” this was submitted by party member and member of the conseil communal Bernadette Nelissen.

“A town council can only achieve its aims through teamwork. But is it good to point out what each municipal has really achieved in their field during their period in office. After fewer than five years in service, Olivier  Mayor, in charge of Social Affairs, Education & Youth and Sport has fulfilled his promises to improve the quality of life in Nyon,  between 2007 -2011 realised the following projects. See website.

Schools

  • Project on Respect: “working better together at school”
  • Harmonisation of school hours
  • Creation of  90 places for pre-school children, as well as lunch-break care for primary schoolchildren
  • Doubling of free sports activities for schoolchildren
  • Creation and extension of school libraries for teenagers

Youth

  • Planning and realisation of the day-care centre “Le Cèdre Magique” (48 places) and extension of the “Classes Tartines” (24 places)
  • Extension of network of “mamans de jours” (child minders) with an increase from  50’000 hours in 2006 to 180’000 hours in 2010
  • Creation of a network of crèches in Nyon and installation of one tariff structure
  • Opening of facilities in the evenings for free sport activities
  • Opening of an activity centre for young people during the holidays

Senior citizens

  • Further  development of activities for senior citizens with “Pro Senectute”
  • Improvement in quality of “Christmas baskets”  with more local products
  • Start-up of “Quartier solidaire” (Neighbourhood Solidarity) in the north-east of Nyon

Integration

  • Creation of  “integration platform” with Caritas and “Lire & Ecrire” for French lessons for foreigners and those with reading difficulties
  • Creation of Commission for Integration of Foreigners of Nyon (CISEN)
  • Opening of “Maison de quartier” (community place) in la Levratte

Housing

  • Creation of individual housing assistance policy (AIL)
  • Planning of 52 apartments for the elderly
  • Social housing (24 apartments at Chemin de Bourgogne and 10 at Promenade de Jura)

Sports

  • Creation of beach sports facilities at the lake-side
  • Installation of ice-skating rink
  • Creation of Nordic Walking course
  • Regionalisation of “Festival of sport”
  • Contract with UEFA for Colovray stadium which has resulted in yearly savings for Nyon of  CHF 800’000
  • Increased financial aid to sport clubs in Nyon with 50%

Vote for Olivier Mayor and the Green Party so he and they can start and finish other projects to improve the quality of living in Nyon!”

————————————————————————————————————————–

Finally, last but not least, here we have the views of the Liberal Greens. This was submitted by Alex Braunwalder.

We need your vote ! In just about 3 weeks on 13 March 2011, the population of Nyon will elect its new members of the communal council.  The 100 current members represent the entire political spectrum from left to right.  For the first time, the emerging party of the Liberal Greens (Vert’Libéraux) contests this local election ready to go beyond the usual political divide !

The Vert’Libéraux see themselves as bridge-builders who are not saddled with political dogma and preconceived ideas and care more for concrete outcomes in the interest of all rather than ideological rigidity.  The axes on which we build our pragmatic political platform are respect for the environment and respect for the human being .  Our tenet sees the economy not as a problem, but as part of the solution to the questions of tomorrow’s world, and we look for the complimentarity between economic aspects and the need to ensure sustainable solutions for the environment.

Our social policies aim to assist the most vulnerable, without wanting to impose an absolute socio-economic parity. Each human being should find an active place in our society in respect and understanding of the individual responsibilities and accountabilities we all have.  People that have immigrated are appreciated for their diverse and valuable contribution and renewal to society.  We defend individual freedom but see the overall need to maintain social peace in the context of our occidental values.  On our website (nyon.vertliberaux.ch),  you can see how we break down this broader code of conduct into exciting new ideas and proposals for the town of Nyon.

We are keen that the foreigners in Nyon – – who have the right to participate in local polls – – exercise their right to vote.  If you are a foreigner, 18 years of age, currently residing in Nyon, have been living in the canton of Vaud for the last 3 years and have been in Switzerland for the last 10 years at least, you have the right and opportunity to vote.

Hopefully you cast your vote for the Vert’Libéraux who can make the difference with new and fresh ideas!

Local election time again in Vaud – A guide for those eligible to vote

  

It can’t have escaped your notice that it’s local election time again as campaign posters from all the political parties spring up around the towns and villages of Vaud. The candidates that are putting themselves forward for the Nyon elections usually can be found  Place St-Martin (in the centre of Nyon) every Saturday morning. They are there to answer your questions on local issues, so go and chat to them! The date for the first round of elections is March 13th.   

Photo above : campaigning in the rain back in 2007 photo below: campaigning in 2011  

Too young to vote - but still interested.

 

 Did you know that if you are a foreign citizen who has been regularly domiciled in Switzerland for at least 10 years, of which at least 3 have been in the canton of Vaud, then you can vote!  If so, you should have received your voting papers in the post by now and if you have, you will see  there are a lot of candidates on lots of lists and it can all seem a bit confusing!   

Thankfully, help is at hand as Bob Jenefsky, a member of the conseil communal has very kindly written a clear outline about these elections and the voting procedures for Living in Nyon readers.    

Note: This site will be inviting all the political parties concerned to send in their comments and their stand on local issues, however this is provided  purely as public service information for the expat community and does not imply endorsement of their views by Living in Nyon.    

Now it’s over to Bob for an explanation of  the voting system and the elections.   

 Local elections – Voting the Nyon way   

On March 13, voters in the canton of Vaud will elect their local authorities – the deliberative body (conseil communal or, for smaller communities, conseil général) and the executive (conseil municipal) for the 5-year legislature, which begins on July 1, 2011.   

 In Nyon, the conseil communal (100 councilors) is elected by the proportional-representation system, whereas the conseil municipal, usually referred to as the “Municipalité” (7 members, including the mayor) is elected by majority vote.    

Swiss citizens whose legal domicile is in Nyon are eligible to vote in the city election, as are foreign citizens who have been regularly domiciled in Switzerland for at least 10 years, of which at least 3 in the canton of Vaud.   

 Most voters received their package of election materials this week, together with detailed explanations about the mechanics of voting.    A first glance will suffice to convince you that it’s a bit complicated, so here are some explanations to help you out.   

 Conseil communal   

 The conseil communal is somewhat akin to a cityparliament (UK = town council), although it is not a true legislature in the sense that it does not make laws.  Candidates (Swiss citizens or eligible foreign nationals, see above) must be on an official party ballot. There are 7 parties: from the “left” to the “right” of the political spectrum, the Parti POP-Gauche en movement-La Gauche; the Parti Verts et Ouverts; the Parti Socialiste Nyonnais; the Parti Indépendant Nyonnais (PIN); the Parti Vert’Libéral; the Parti PLR.Les Libéraux-Radicaux and the Parti Union Démocratique du Centre.  In addition to the official party ballots, you will also find a blank ballot, which can be filled out by hand, in the voter’s package.    

 Perhaps you are a member or supporter of a party, or know one or more candidates and would like to vote for them.  It’s important to understand that you must first vote for the party and then for the candidates, in order to increase their chances to be elected!   

 Because there are 100 seats to be filled in the conseil communal, each voter has 100 “suffrages” (as you can see from the blank ballot, which has space for the names of 100 candidates).  The official party ballots have between 10 and 50 names printed on them.     

You have a number of options when voting:   

 1.     You can simply choose a party ballot and place it, with no changes, in your voting envelope, together with your ballot for the Municipalité (see below).  This is referred to as a “liste compacte”. In that case, the party will receive 100 “suffrages”.  When the ballots are counted on March 13, each party will receive the number of seats in the conseil communal corresponding to the percentage it received of the total number of “suffrages” cast by all voters.  The actual seats won by the party will then be allocated to the candidates on its list in descending order of the number of “suffrages” each candidate has received as an individual.  You can increase the election chances of the candidates you like by writing their names in a second (but not a third!) time by hand on the printed ballot (but not on the back!).  This is referred to as “cumul”.    

  1. If you have a preference for a particular party, but like some candidates from other parties, you can vote what is referred to as a “liste panachée”: take the official party ballot, and add each of the names of the candidates from the other parties that you want to vote for, once or (at most) twice.  Each vote for a candidate from another party will be deducted from the maximum 100 “suffrages” going to the party whose list you’re using.  You may also cross off the names of candidates on the printed list if you wish (this only reduces those candidates’ personal chance of being elected, but doesn’t deduct “suffrages” from the party).

  1.Finally, you can take a blank list and fill it in by hand with up to 100 names (or 50 names, each entered twice, or some combination of names entered once and entered twice).  If the total number of names is less than 100, some of your “suffrages” will be lost, unless you write the number and name of an official party list in the upper right-hand corner of the ballot, in which case any remaining “suffrages” (these are referred to as “suffrages complémentaires”) will go to that party. Municipalité   

 The 7 members of the conseil municipal (they’re referred to individually as Municipal in the masculine, Municipale in the feminine and as Municipaux in the plural form) are elected in a two-round process:   

 March 13 (first round)   

 In the first round, candidates for the Municipalité must receive the absolute majority (50% of votes cast plus one vote) to be elected.  Those not elected in the first round must face a runoff election on April 3.  Each voter can cast a single ballot containing up to 7 names, which may be those of official candidates or of any other eligible person (i.e. write-ins).   

 April 3 (second round)   

 To fill any remaining seats in the Municipalité, a runoff election will be held on April 3.  Candidates are elected by relative majority, i.e. those candidates receiving the most votes cast will fill any remaining seats.   

 Election of the mayor   

 The mayor is primus inter pares among the Municipaux, so he must first be elected as a member of the Municipalité.  Although the current incumbent, Daniel Rossellat, is running unopposed for re-election, he must first overcome the technical hurdle of being elected to the Municipalité, as only members of that body are eligible to run for mayor.  The election for mayor also takes place in 2 rounds: the first, on May 15 (absolute majority required), and the second (if necessary) on June 5 (relative majority).    

 Need more information?   

 Got it?  Well, if not, don’t worry: you’re in good company!  Many native Swiss don’t understand the system, either. If you have any questions after reading all the official information, call me on 079 2025014 or e-mail me at jenefsky@iprolink.ch and I’ll try to help.    

 Bob Jenefsky – Conseiller communal – President, Parti Indépendant Nyonnais   

Note: If you received your free copy of La Côte yesterday you should have also got the special election supplement which lists all the candidates in the district of Nyon.