Swiss political party seeks to ban PowerPoint

Switzerland has moved controversially in recent years to ban burqas, mosque minarets, and most recently, to phase out nuclear power. Now, a Swiss political party is taking on a new target: PowerPoint.

The Anti-PowerPoint Party, or APPP, "is an international movement (in the organizational form of a party) whose objective is to influence the public to put a stop to the phenomenon of idle time in the economy, industry, research, and educational institutions," the party website states. "Particular attention is to be paid to the economic damage resulting from presentations using PowerPoint*."

The party has "at its core the firm belief that the Microsoft presentation software is a waste of fine Swiss resources," CNET's Chris Matyszczyk reports.

The APPP contends that the software program--which has gotten extensive use, and no small amount of derision, within the U.S. military-- "costs Switzerland 2.1 billion Swiss Francs (about $2.5 billion) every year," Matyszczyk's report continues. The calculation is based on the rough estimate that approximately 11 percent of the Swiss population is forced to endure PowerPoint presentations approximately two times per week. Of those, the party judges, a full 85 percent are "demotivated by these presentations," thus stifling the Alpine nation's productivity by a couple billion dollars.

Or so APPP founder and president Matthias Poehm contends, as you can see in the video below.

As an alternative presentation device, Poehm urges his Swiss compatriots to turn to a tried and true visual display method for their presentation needs: the old fashioned flip-chart. With "over 14 years of public-speaking training, I have noticed that the use of flip chart beats PowerPoint in 95 [out] of 100 cases," Poehm says in a statement on the party's website. "This is not wishful thinking on my part but proven experience."

Nor do the APPP's aspirations to liberate the PowerPoint-oppressed stop at the neutral nation's borders.

"The APPP regards itself as the advocate of approximately 250 million world citizens (500 000 in Switzerland) who, every month, are obliged to be present at boring presentations in companies, at universities or at schools and who, up to now, have not found a political representation in politics," the party website states.

No word yet from Microsoft on its newest political foe--or concerns over the next time Bill Gates is due to speak at Davos.