Lausanne: Ein Kanton verbietet Wahldebatten an Schulen

Perhaps the education director of Vaud, Frédéric Borloz, himself does not know where he lost his love for freedom. At the end of August, the FDP State Councilor decided to ban all political debates in schools in the canton – ten weeks before the elections. Borloz justified this by stating that while such debates are important to educate young people as responsible citizens, schools must remain politically neutral. This is stated in the law.

Borloz responded to a letter from two left-wing candidates for the Waadtländer Ständerat, in which they asked the education director to support „the organization of adversarial debates.“ The left-wing party tried to overturn Borloz’s decree in the Great Council, but faced resistance from the conservative side. As a result, they planned to file a lawsuit with the Waadtländer Constitutional Court this Wednesday, hoping that the ban on debates will be temporarily lifted.

In the cantonal parliament, a party colleague of Borloz from the Free Democratic Party stated that school is a „place for learning“ and not for „making politics“. A politician from the Swiss People’s Party even went so far as to claim that such debates during election campaigns are a „manipulation“ to „highlight certain personalities“.

Nur: The debate on how young citizens of Vaud should form their own opinions did not provide an answer for now. In an interview with the newspaper Le Temps, Borloz explained that he never aimed for a general ban. Instead, he only wanted to prevent students from being influenced. The whole thing is just a „precautionary measure limited to ten weeks“.

Wieso ausgerechnet ein Freisinniger dem politischen Argument an den Schulen das Wort verbieten will, konnte Borloz bisher nicht schlüssig erklären. Ebenso wenig, was kontradiktorische Wahlkampfdebatten mit „Propaganda“ zu tun haben sollen. Zumal in anderen Kantonen, auch in bürgerlich dominierten, politische Podien bewusst gefördert werden.

But at least the students from Western Switzerland have now gained an impression of how politics works during election campaigns: In order to harm the political opponent, one’s own political principles are often betrayed. And if the young people from Vaud had no idea who to vote for on October 22nd – or perhaps who not to vote for! – they may know now.