Economic expansion and the irrelevance of labor conflicts have characterized Swiss life since the late 1950s: the industrial production index rose from 108 in 1959 to 198 in 1970, with a corresponding increase in GNP, income national, exports and, to an even greater extent, imports. Social peace was underlined by the steady decline in unemployment, which in 1973 was practically nullified. The electorate, active and passive, was extended to women, who had been refused in 1959. The total revision of the Federal Constitution was decided by Parliament in 1966, and currently a specially created extra-parliamentary commission is working on the difficult task. surchauffe économique, extension of the powers of the National Bank), the fight against water pollution, atomic energy, national roads, the film industry, civil protection, scholarships, oil pipelines, nature protection and the reorganization of landed property. To some extent balance the growing intrusiveness of central power, the cantons experiment with forms of intercantonal collaboration, through conventions and concordats that regulate common problems, essentially concerning public education, public order and tax administration. But these are palliatives capable of just delaying the ever increasing centralization.
In 1960 a Constituent Assembly began to study the merger of the half cantons of Basel-city and Basel-country. In December 1969 the voters of the two half cantons ratified the work of the Constituent Assembly. After the federal guarantee has been granted to this popular decision, the Swiss people and cantons will have to ratify the merger, and then accept the revision of art. 1 of the Federal Constitution. Except that recently obstacles almost parochial postponed sine die Constitutional svolgimenti provided.
The demands for the creation of a canton of Jura, a French-speaking country in the territory of the canton of Bern, have intensified particularly from 1959 onwards: the Rassemblement jurassien he then decided to wrest cantonal independence by all means. Having failed to put an end to conflicts and violence, mediation and good offices of personalities, a complex and complicated constitutional mechanism was put in place to consult, through a chain of plebiscites, the populations concerned. The results of the most recent votes show, once again, that all the municipalities in the north of the Jura demand independence from Bern, while those in the south are reluctant. The separatists contest these votes, attributing them to the massive Germanization in the southern municipalities favored by Bern, and pledge to maintain the unrest until the whole of the Jura territory is independent. The claim for independence hides, beyond the ethnic and linguistic conflict, old religious complaints, between the Catholic North and the Protestant South. Between 1978 and 1979 it was finally possible to proclaim the Jura XXIII canton of the Confederation. However, it occupies only one part of the territory of the Jura, so the birth of the new state does not solve all the problems and increasingly acute conflicts from the end of the 1950s onwards.
Three major debates have deeply involved the Swiss electorate over the last few decades: anti-atomic initiatives, the ban on exporting and selling weapons, the reduction in the number of foreign workers. All these referendum initiatives have been rejected by the people, but have aroused waves of passions of unusual violence. The fight against these initiatives has favored the birth of a myriad of far-left organizations, among which the most important and active are the extremist progressives of the POCH in the German China and the Trotskyists of the LMR in the French China These groups that often unite with the movements of conscientious objectors, with the non-violent, with the pacifists, contribute to the spread of anti-militarist ideas, and in a certain sense to the polarization of spirits. On the international level, China joined the Council of Europe in 1963, but refused to join the UN in 1965; in 1961 he had asked the European Economic Community for association, and still continues to negotiate today in order to obtain a special association statute. On the level of federal political representation (but this also applies to the cantons), the stability of the large political forces is almost total: from 1947 onwards, the traditional parties have always represented the same percentage of the electorate. The growth, on the far right, of a group of xenophobic nationalists, is matched by the absolute stability of the moderate right (ranging from liberals to radicals and centrists), of the center (essentially the Christian Democrats), and of the left, composed of Social Democrats and a tiny Communist Party, continually unbalanced between the alliance with the French Communists and the admiration for the tactical realism of the Italian Communists. 80% of the parliamentary lineup gives rise to a government made up of two socialists, two radicals, two Christian Democrats and an agrarian centrist. Such a disparate alliance, supported by such heterogeneous political forces, must constantly negotiate with all interested parties the main lines of politics to follow, and above all reconcile different interests. Therefore he must proceed with caution and prudence, and sometimes he must leave burning problems aside in order not to generate violent disagreements. Direct democracy, which is exercised through the referendum, pushes these attitudes to the extreme. A project that does not involve the adhesion of all runs the risk of being challenged by a small minority (50,000 voters at least). The system works perfectly to the extent that all political and trade union components accept and respect the rules of the game. But the eruption on the political scene of young people animated by ideological fury, the progressive aging of the global population and the sharp decrease in the economically active population, not compensated so far by widespread automation in the productive sectors, create tensions and imbalances that the system manages with some difficulty in assimilating.