Ralph Sommerer is the mastermind behind the Jim Pans for Berne [german] campaign to elect an executive councillor of the Canton of Berne. It is a fake campaign to protest about the farcical election with only a single candidate (ballots cast for Jim Pans will be considered void).
The election became necessary because the previous office holder resigned after having been elected to the Council of States in the Swiss parliament. Whereas such elections to succeed a resigning councillor are usually uncontested, this one caused a bit of a stir because there's only a single "official" candidate running for the office. He is therefore guaranteed election victory if as few as a single vote is cast for him. Most other states allow anybody who's entitled to vote to be nominated for election by simply writing their names on the ballot. Berne, however, requires candidates to be registered beforehand (together with 30 signatories endorsing the candidacy). Of course, once you discover that only a singe candidate is running, it is too late to register another one, leaving a single candidate with almost certain election victory.
3 February 2008
Ralph Sommerer ran for a seat in the Swiss National Council (federal parliament) on the ballot of the Green Party of Berne/Democratic Alternative (GPB/DA). Voting took place on October 21, 2007, and, predictably, Ralph did not make it. At all.