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In Switzerland, one of Europe's smallest nations, amendments to the co

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In Switzerland, one of Europe's smallest nations, amendments to the co [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 02:58
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RMD007 wrote:
AR15J wrote:
Hi Expert,

Please explain the cause of rejecting the choice B. I read the existing post but am not convinced with the reason of rejecting choice B.


I got this question wrong, but I can explain why B is wrong here.

Argument structure is as follows:
In swiss -
1. Constitution can be initiated by referendum.
2. referendum should have--
i - Issue on which referendum is based should be 18 months long.
ii - 100K Signatures.
Conclusion - Swiss takes long time to amend a constitution.

To amend a constitution, time required is - Issue should be 18 months long + time reqd for a citizen to take 100K signatures.

If we say that it is easy to take 100K signatures, time reqd for overall process is likely to decrease. This is opposite of the conclusion.

Later part of option B i.e. for a constitutional amendment within 18 months. is a trap. It uses the phrase mentioned in argument but it is not relating to the argument.


Why u guys are discussing "Swiss takes long time to amend a constitution". Nowhere it is written that Swiss government takes long time to amend constitution.
The sentence is "the Swiss government must be spending a lot of time amending the country's constitution." Which means a major portion of overall time (say in a year or 2 year or 5 year) of Swiss govt. is spent on constitution amendment. It doesn't mean that they are taking long time.

The whole chain of discussion has been misguided from here...
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In Switzerland, one of Europe's smallest nations, amendments to the co [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 03:06
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In Switzerland, one of Europe's smallest nations, amendments to the constitution can only be initiated after a successful vote on a national referendum. In order to initiate a referendum, a citizen must merely collect 100,000 voters' signatures, in support of a given issue, over a period of 18 months. Clearly, the Swiss government must be spending a lot of time amending the country's constitution.

Which of the following premises, if true, best supports the conclusion above?



P.S. : i opted for option B but now I think E has an edge over B. Otherwise option B and E are very similar.

Question Stem says that amendment to the constitution can be initiated after a successful vote on national referendum. And a referendum can be initiated by collecting 100,000 voter's signature in support of issues.
Conclusion : Swiss government must be spending a lot of time amending the country's constitution which means A major portion of the period of Swiss government is utilized in constitution amendment. Now lets get down to options.

A. Swiss citizens initiate many referenda every year.
This doesn't tell whether refrenda is about constitutional amendment or not.

B. It is easy for a citizen to collect 100,000 signatures for a constitutional amendment within 18 months.
Citizens can easily collect 100,000 signatures for constitutional amendment within 18 months which means a lot of referendum can be initiated by the citizens but citizens do it or not is not clear. If the citizens do raise a lots of referendum regarding constitutional amendment, surely it is going to take a lots of time of swiss govt. Though this is a strong contender of the correct answer, we will check other options. If there is no better option we can go for this one.

C. The Swiss government spends much more time on constitutional amendments than governments of other countries do.
It spends much more time than other countries but it is not clear that whether it spends a lots of time or not which a major portion of swiss govt. governance time.

D. All referenda must be initiated by Swiss citizens over 18 years old.
This is out of scope. Even if this is the case a lot or very less referenda may be raised.

E. Referenda requiring constitutional amendments are both frequent and popular with Swiss voters.
Now this is one step ahead of Option B. Option B states that people can easily raise Referenda requiring constitutional amendment. This option says that the referenda is actually raised and it is popular with swiss voters. SO this option is better and one step ahead of Option B. Hence this is the correct answer


Answer E
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Last edited by shashankism on 10 Aug 2017, 05:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In Switzerland, one of Europe's smallest nations, amendments to the co [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 03:27
rbramkumar wrote:
nitesh181989 wrote:
I'm still unable to comprehend the reasoning behind option E.
Suppose the Swiss citizens initiate 100 referenda each year, a figure that may suggest that referenda's are popular among the citizens. However, it is not certain whether the referenda's would get the requisite number of votes. It is also possible that none of the referenda got the requisite number of votes, and hence no time was spent by the government in amending the Constitution.


I re-read the question after your comment, and it looks like "if you get 100,000 votes, you can initiate the referendum". So, the idea of a referendum not getting enough votes is not valid.

So, E says - frequent (many referenda) & popular (that cross 100,000 votes) referenda that require constitutional amendment -> more time.
A refers to those referenda (generic; may include those that do not require amendment)


Dear Friend, thanks for your insight.
Referendum(Meaning): a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.

As you've rightly mentioned that you can initiate a referendum with just 100,000 votes. However, just the initiation of a referendum is not sufficient in itself to cause an amendment to the constitution. As per the first line, it is only after 'a successful vote on a national referendum' that the suggested amendment can be made. So there is still a possibility that a successful vote for the amendment is not achieved in the national poll. So even though there are 100 referenda, there is a possibility that none of them made it into a successful constitutional amendment.

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Re: In Switzerland, one of Europe's smallest nations, amendments to the co   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2017, 03:27

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