By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press Writer
GENEVA – The campaign poster was blatant in its xenophobic symbolism: Three white sheep kicking out a black sheep over a caption that read “for more security.” The message was not from a fringe force in Switzerland’s political scene but from its largest party.
Under the plan, entire families would be expelled if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offenses or benefits fraud.
“We believe that parents are responsible for bringing up their children. If they can’t do it properly, they will have to bear the consequences,” Ueli Maurer, president of the People’s Party, told The Associated Press. The party claims foreigners — who make up about 20 percent of the population — are four times more likely to commit crimes than Swiss nationals. So far, however, there has been little popular backlash against the posters.
“We haven’t had any complaints,” said Maurer.