Votes, elections, initiatives and referendums

Direct democracy Voters to have final say on digital ID

Campaigners have handed in the necessary signatures to challenge a decision for the creation of a digital identity of internet users in Switzerland.

This content was published on January 16, 2020 3:47 PM

Opinion ‘Yes to an initiative promoting moderately-priced housing’

The free market in Switzerland has built housing units that remain empty because they are too expensive, says Marina Carobbio Guscetti.

Opinion ‘No to an initiative that is dictatorial, costly and not focused on real needs’

The initiative on more social housing is not in keeping with real economic or environmental needs, says Fabio Regazzi.

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Global democracy

A democratic new year? A world caught between protest and ballot

Never before have so many people around the globe taken part in popular votes. Yet never before have governments worldwide come under such pressure .

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Democracy - the Swiss Model

Swiss political system  A pluralistic government built on consensus 

A look at the issues affecting Switzerland's multi-party government, which will be elected for a four-year term on Wednesday.

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.

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Digital Democracy

Digital democracy What Switzerland and Taiwan can learn from each other

Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s minister for digitalisation, discusses the systems of democracy in Switzerland and Taiwan.

parliament E-voting dealt another political blow

Politicians in the House of Representatives have indicated that they’re in favour of shelving e-voting trials completely.

This content was published on December 10, 2019 3:58 PM

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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General democracy

Press Private media sound alarm bells over subsidies 

Swiss newspaper publishers warn of a drastic drop in the number print titles over the next few years if they don’t receive more state subsidies.

This content was published on January 8, 2020 3:31 PM

Political financing Parliament takes small step towards more transparency

The Swiss Senate has rejected a people’s initiative demanding more transparency around financing in politics, proposing an alternative softer reform.

politics What’s the point of a parliament in a direct democracy?

Under direct democracy, where the people have the last word on almost all issues, what does parliament do?

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in depth

Vote February 9, 2020

Swiss voters will decide on a proposed reform of the anti-racism law to include homophobia and a proposal to boost social housing.

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 ...

Visual data

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.

in depth

Politics Parliamentary elections 2019

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