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Political System

You might have heard that Switzerland's political system is known as a direct democracy and that we don't have one head of government. We won't go too deap into our political system, but here are a few facts:

Switzerland is governed under a federal system at three levels: the Confederation, 26 cantons and 2148 communes

  1. Switzerland does not have an official (de jure) capital city in the technical sense. Chosen as the seat of government, Bern is referred to as the 'federal city', and operates as the de facto capital.

  2. The Swiss federal government, the Federal Council, is made up of seven members, who are elected by Parliament and who are each members of one of the strongest parties.

  3. The Swiss Parliament (Federal Assembly) has a total of 246 members, who are directly elected by the people. Switzerland has a bicameral parliament consisting of the National Council (200 members) and the Council of States (46 members).

  4. Eleven parties are represented in the Swiss Parliament. Those parties with the largest share of the popular vote are represented on the Federal Council.

  5. Some 5.5 million citizens above the age of 18, roughly 63% of the total population, are eligible to vote at federal level.

  6. Few other countries offer their citizens as many opportunities to vote on political issues as Switzerland does. Every year there are between three and four popular votes in which the electorate can have their say on a particular issue.

  7. In two cantons (Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus), cantonal votes and elections are still held by show of hands on a square in the cantonal capital. This form of democratic participation is known as the 'Landsgemeinde', or 'People's Assembly'.

If you want to read more about our political system, here's where we found the info and there's much more to discover: https://www.eda.admin.ch/aboutswitzerland/en/home/politik-geschichte/politisches-system.html

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Julia Ecker

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