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On Sunday, Switzerland voted in a referendum on whether to impose the use of the Covid passport among the country's citizens in the face of strong resistance among the Swiss public, where the percentage who have had their double jab is slightly over 65%. Although the result is the least important aspect, 61% voted for the government of the Swiss confederation to make use of the certificate, with a strong campaign opposing the move from the right-wing populist party Democratic Union of the Centre (UDC), which has just over a quarter of the seats in the legislature.

Although referendums are a constant on the agenda in Switzerland and others have already been held this year, including votes on equal marriage rights and climate law, in this case, the country is the first in the world in which a measure of this nature has been decided by the citizenry as a whole. It is possible that an important factor has been the start of the sixth wave of the virus and the news about the arrival in several European countries of the new southern African variant - named Omicron by the WHO - and its transmission capacity. Especially at a time when this has triggered hysteria and studies will need a few more weeks before they are conclusive. This, at a time when the figures for Covid-19 continue to rise in Catalonia at a worrying rate.

I have always been an advocate of referendums of all kinds, which can only bring citizens a degree of maximum responsibility for and commitment to decisions that affect them. The Catalan government has promised to hold one in the Pyrenean counties on the question of moving forward with the Barcelona-Pyrenees Winter Olympics candidacy. What better way than to resolve such a complex decision at the polls, when positions within the territory are so antagonistic? Sure, governments or legislators could decide, as they have up till now, but if we do it like that, let's not complain if there is disaffection with the policies among the population when decisions are made hundreds of kilometres away from the region affected.

Democracy is consolidated through permanent democratic procedures even if this is enormously uncomfortable for those in power, who never like to be defeated and who are afraid of being left in the minority. It would be good for the Catalan government to work as hard as it can to promote this type of consultation and for it not to be something exceptional like the proposed name-change for the town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita to La Ràpita. Nothing is easy on this path, because the political culture for it is virtually non-existent and the strength of the parties is so great that they end up drowning out many initiatives of this type.p