Eight referendums were held in Switzerland during 2002. The first two were held on 3 March on popular initiatives for Switzerland to join the United Nations and to reduce working hours. UN membership was approved, whilst the shorter working hours proposal was rejected. The next two were held on 2 June on amending the penal code regarding abortion, which was approved, and a popular initiative "for mother and child", which was rejected.
The next set referendums was held on 22 September, with a popular initiative on adding surplus gold reserves to the country's pension fund and a counter-proposal, as well as a federal law on the electricity market. All three were rejected. The final two referendums were held on 24 November on a popular initiative "against misuse of asylum rights" and a federal law on compulsory unemployment insurance and compensation for insolvencies. The asylum proposal was rejected, whilst the federal law was approved.
|Turnout||Cantons for||Cantons against|
|March||United Nations membership||1,489,110||54.6||1,237,629||45.4||20,386||11,800||2,758,925||4,721,422||58.4||11||2||9||4|
|Reducing working hours||686,935||25.4||2,021,198||74.6||30,981||11,665||2,750,779||58.3||0||0||20||6|
|June||Strafgesetzbuch amendment on abortion||1,399,545||72.2||540,105||27.8||30,008||8,465||1,978,123||4,730,594||41.8|
|Popular initiative "for mother and child"||352,432||18.2||1,578,870||81.8||32,912||8,382||1,972,596||41.7||0||0||20||6|
|September||Surplus gold reserves into pension fund[a]||984,058||46.4||1,085,072||51.1||10,997||9,663||2,143,027||4,744,197||45.2||6||0||14||6|
|Counter-proposal on gold reserves[a]||984,537||46.4||1,057,398||49.8||10,997||9,663||2,143,027||49.8||6||1||14||5|
|Electricity market law||972,770||47.4||1,078,412||52.6||62,974||11,058||2,125,214||44.8|
|November||Popular initiative on asylum||1,119,342||49.9||1,123,550||50.1||23,749||9,941||2,276,582||4,749,994||47.9|
|Federal law on unemployment insurance||1,234,793||56.1||966,430||43.9||50,879||10,019||2,262,121||47.6|
|Source: Nohlen & Stöver|
a In the referendum with the counter-proposal voters could also give no answer. For the main question 53,237 voters (2.5%) did not answer, whilst for the counter-proposal 80,432 (3.8%) did not answer.
- Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p1943 ISBN 9783832956097
- Switzerland, 22 September 2002: Surplus gold reserves into the AHV Funds (Gold Initiative) with counter-proposal Direct Democracy (in German)