Friday, 24 April 2009

Voting on ethics versus religion

A truly intriguing election takes place tomorrow. The citizens of Berlin are going to the polls to vote in a referendum which we could best describe as a contest between ethics and religion. At issue is a decision made in 2006 whereby ethics became a compulsory subject for all high school students in Germany's capital city and religion an an optional one. A "Yes" vote advocated by the "Pro Reli" campaign would see those rules changed so that pupils would have to choose between ethics and a faith-based religion class divided along religious lines, with Protestants, Catholics and Muslims being taught separately. The "Pro Ethik" campaign, advocating a "No" vote, wants  to keep ethics compulsory and religion optional.

Der Spiegel reports that with a few days to go until the referendum, opinion polls show that Berliners are split nearly exactly down the middle, with polls showing a 51 percent to 49 percent divide, sometimes for one side, sometimes for the other.
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