Views #967 | Intermediate 5

Swiss Politics

Anja talks about politics and voting and her country.

Todd: So, Anja, you are from Switzerland?

Anja: Yes, exactly.

Todd: So, I thought we would talk a little about your country.

Anja: OK.

Todd: First of all, what do you like most about being Swiss?

Anja: Actually, what I like the most about Switzerland is that the country is neutral, so that means that we have an army but we don't have war with any country. We go abroad to support people and help people if there is some sort of war or some trouble abroad, but we don't fight against any country.

Todd: So when there's a major conflict, you don't take a side.

Anja: That's exactly this.

Todd: So, how about ,,, are Swiss people very political? Like are they in terms of your country, like are they very involved with politics?

Anja: Yes, actually you have to, especially young people are very involved in politics as well, and like we have votes and what not, like every month there's something we have to give our vote, and people always do it. It's really amazing. I like that a lot.

Todd: What a minute! You vote every month?

Anja: Yeah, for some local things or prefectural things and we always get the stuff back home in the mail, and then we have to fill it out. You know, tick a yes or a no and bring it to the, how do you say?

Todd: Like the post office?

Anja: Yes. Then vote.

Todd: So, it's like a referendum? It's about some local issue.

Anja: Yes, exactly. Like referendums or yeah, for the prefecture, for your city or for your village all the time.

Todd: That's pretty amazing. Now, are these issues that you take time to look into, or do you just kind of guess?

Anja: Well, it depends a little bit, like, if it's not of very big importance, like of course, everything is important, but then, you know, you just do what you feel is the right thing and you just tick a yes or no, but if you feel like it's a really big deal, like a lot of money's being invested or it's like something that concerns the whole country, then of course you will do like research on it and well, it's on the news anyway, so you .. they like the government informs you a lot and you get brochures like for the topics and so, yeah. It's a really big deal.


Learn Vocabulary from the lesson



I'm neutral about politics.

When we are 'neutral' we have no strong opinion. Notice the following.

  1. They were arguing but I was neutral.
  2. I'm neutral about the up coming election.

a major conflict


It was a major conflict.

A major conflict means a serious war. Here are two samples.

  1. WWII was a major global conflict
  2. The Middle East has seen major international conflict for decades.

take a side


Sometimes we must take a side.

When we 'take a side' we chose to support one side or the other. Notice the samples.

  1. I hate taking sides in family arguments.
  2. Don't ask me to take a side on that issue.

involved with politics


He's not involved with politics.

To be 'involved' with or in something means to be a part of it. Here are some samples.

  1. Students should become more involved with politics.
  2. The Bush family is heavily involved in politics.

tick a yes or no


Tick yes or no on the answer sheet.

We tick something yes or no to choose an answer. Notice the sample sentences.

  1. Don't tick the boxes yes or no. Blacken them in.
  2. You need to tick yes or no on the entrance application.

look into


It will take time to look into.

When we look into something it means we want to find out some information. Notice the following.

  1. It's an old case so it will take some time to look into.
  2. I'm not sure where to study English so I'm going to take time and look into it.

a big deal


The reunion tour is a really big deal.

Something that's a really big deal is very important. Here are two samples

  1. Graduation is a really big deal.
  2. We're late, but I don't think it's a really big deal.

Vocabulary Quiz

neutral • major conflicts • take a side
involved • tick yes or no • look into • big deal
  1. Graduating from high school or university is a for most people.
  2. She wants to getting a more eco-friendly car.
  3. Are you in any clubs at school?
  4. Two of my friends always argue, but I prefer to keep a position.
  5. Most countries have many throughout their history.
  6. Sometimes my friends and get involved in arguments that are not their own.
  7. You don't have to write out an answer.  Just .
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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