General democracy

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Votes, elections, initiatives and referendums

Parliamentary elections 2019 When the world is in a fever, stable Switzerland feels it too

Not much has been written so far about the historical significance of the recent Swiss elections. Yet a look back in history can help us.

Initiative withdrawn  Campaigners to curb child protection services admit defeat

Swiss voters will not have the final say on an initiative aimed at curbing the powers of the child and adult protection authorities.

This content was published on November 4, 2019 3:58 PM
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Democracy - the Swiss Model

Full powers How Swiss direct democracy made a comeback after authoritarian rule

It wasn’t until 1949 – exactly 70 years ago – that Switzerland returned from authoritarian rule and put direct democracy back on solid footing.

federalism How wealthy Swiss regions subsidise their poorer cousins

Each year, Switzerland’s unique redistributive system, a cornerstone of federalism, shifts money from richer to poorer parts of the country.

Participatory democracy Swiss town tests citizen panel to help voters analyse information

The municipality of Sion in Switzerland is planning a participative democracy experiment first tried out in the US state of Oregon.

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Global democracy in Taiwan As populism spreads, cities, not states, are advancing direct democracy

Activists gathered in Taipei to establish an international league of democratic cities to coordinate grassroots democracy on local levels.

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Digital Democracy

internet use Self-censorship increases online amid data privacy concerns

The Swiss are using the internet more than ever but have growing angst about companies like Facebook violating their privacy.

This content was published on October 24, 2019 1:12 PM
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Explore 600 national votes How direct democracy has grown over the decades

The number of issues put to vote has increased considerably since the 1970s. The graphics present more than 600 nationwide votes since 1848.

Direct democracy What’s a people’s or citizens’ initiative?

Swiss citizens can either propose legislation of their own, or work to defeat legislation already approved by parliament.

Direct democracy What’s a referendum?

Switzerland gives its citizens the chance to play a direct part in political decision-making. Although direct democracy is not unique to ...

in depth

Politics Parliamentary elections 2019

Green parties posted a landslide victory in the 2019 elections to the Swiss parliament on October 20.