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Old 03-17-2012, 03:50 AM   #1
darryl
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Swiss Referendum on Fixed Book Prices

This is an interesting link published back on 27 Feb about a then upcoming Swiss Referendum on Fixed Prices for Ebooks. Those who have read some of my past posts will realise that, whilst I sympathise with the point of view of the author of the article, I do not agree with it.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis.../?spt=hs&or=an

This referendum is now all over with the result that 56.1% of the voters were against the reintroduction of fixed ebook prices. The Booksellers and Publishers Association was quoted as being disappointed but acknowledged such fixed prices were now off the agenda. I recommend Google Translate for people such as myself who's skills are limited to the English language only.

http://www.tagesschau.sf.tv/Hintergr...chpreisbindung

A post on Slashdot summarises and contains the relevant links I have quoted above.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/03/...price-controls
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:33 PM   #2
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When was the last time we had a democracy, I mean a referendum?
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:31 PM   #3
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Ummmm..........

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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
When was the last time we had a democracy, I mean a referendum?
Rizla, sorry to be a pedant, but "referendum" is a form of "direct" democracy (i.e. Switzerland) where those permitted to, vote on political measures directly, whereas in a "representational" democracy ( US, UK, most of Europe) those permitted to vote, do so to elect pepresentatives that determine political measures for them.

[ I just happened to have done some research on government by referenda in the past.....]
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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It may be that small bookshops face doom anyway with the rise of Amazon and the e-book
Yep. The US is of course ahead of the curve here, with small bookshops mostly gone and big ones staring at doom.

Is Amazon now incentivized to move some of its operations from Germany to Switzerland? And how does this affect eBooks in the short to medium term?
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #5
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The majority of the general public will always choose the cheaper price. I'm actually surprised that the numbers were as close as they were. In America, merely suggesting that bookstores shouldn't be allowed to discount would have people protesting who haven't bought a book in their lives.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
When was the last time we had a democracy, I mean a referendum?
In California you have them all the time.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by J. Strnad View Post
The majority of the general public will always choose the cheaper price.
I know I do. And you may be more generally correct. But this New York Times article leads one to suspect that the referendum, if conducted in Germany, would have gone the other way.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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Germany is a special case. They always vote for the candidate who promises to raise taxes.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:14 AM   #9
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Germany is a special case. They always vote for the candidate who promises to raise taxes.
I thought they always voted to protect JOBs. (not the departed person)
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpetmojo View Post
Rizla, sorry to be a pedant, but "referendum" is a form of "direct" democracy (i.e. Switzerland) where those permitted to, vote on political measures directly, whereas in a "representational" democracy ( US, UK, most of Europe) those permitted to vote, do so to elect pepresentatives that determine political measures for them.

[ I just happened to have done some research on government by referenda in the past.....]
A referendum is a direct vote by the population on a specific issue. It is not only Switzerland that have them, they aren't popular but neither are they uncommon in other European countries. It is usually on issues that aren't ideologically divisive, like moving from driving on the left side of the road to the right side like most of the world (Sweden 1966 [Swedes preferred the left side but the government ignored the result of the referendum since they are consultative]), a lot of countries had referendums about joining the Euro currency, or joining the EU or the new EU constitution.

In the US referendums are fairly common on state level, usually as a result of some popular grass roots movement. The closer a voter is to an issue the higher the vested interest. The advantage of a referendum is that once it has been decided implementation will be swift,
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
Is Amazon now incentivized to move some of its operations from Germany to Switzerland? And how does this affect eBooks in the short to medium term?
Amazon's ebook operation is located in Luxembourg. Wherever they are located they can simply sell books at fixed prices in Germany and Austria and at discounted prices in Switzerland. However, Switzerland is unlikely to turn into the bargain price book shopping place for the German language market, you can just expect prices to drop to German levels. Whatever you buy, it is almost always more expensive in Switzerland than in Germany. Good to see that people have the power to decide issues themselves, instead of having them decided by lobby financed politicians, though.
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