A report here in Heute.at has the, pro-professional army, SPÖ (Social Democrats) suggesting that the decision of two ÖVP (conservative) district councils, in Lower Austria, to call out the army to clear snow may have had something to do with this Sundays referendum. Certainly the pro-conscription ÖVP has made much of the role of conscripts and those doing (the alternative) Civic Service in disaster relief.
According to the report, on Thursday and Friday there were 125 soldiers (including 104 conscripts) clearing snow in Baden. PR stunt or not the snowfall has provided some good pictures in the papers and on TV for those favouring the retention of conscription in Sunday’s referendum. However, some comment pieces in the papers have questioned the role and value of the army and such efforts.
He’s my take on the debate: Conscription what is it good for? Absolutely….