Civic bloc

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As Bürgerblock were in Switzerland and in Austria during the interwar period coalitions bourgeois parties designated with clearly anti-socialist thrust. The term was used similarly in the Weimar Republic .


After the transition to proportional representation for the National Council elections, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) lost its absolute majority in parliament. The rising Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SPS), the later Social Democrats, positioned itself at the same time as a clearly system-critical power in opposition to the existing bourgeois order. With the founding of the Swiss Communist Party and later the various parties and groupings of the front movement , further opposition parties emerged to the left and right of the existing political spectrum, which were also clearly in opposition to the existing legal and state order. In response to this challenge, the FDP formed an informal coalition together with the Conservative-Catholic Party (KK), the later Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP), and since 1936 also with the Farmers, Trade and Citizens Party (BGB), which as « Bürgerblock »was designated. On the principle of voluntary concordance , the civic bloc parties, which together had a clear majority in parliament, divided the seats in the Federal Council among themselves:

  • 1919–1929: 5 seats FDP, 2 seats KK
  • 1929–1943: 4 seats FDP, 2 seats KK, 1 seat BGB

The inclusion of the SPS in the Federal Council in 1943 and the establishment of the magic formula in 1959 marked the end of the actual citizens' bloc. In Swiss political reporting, the term is occasionally used as a collective term for the bourgeois parties in the Swiss government.


In Austria, a government coalition was established in 1920 between the Christian Social Party and the two German national parties, the Greater German People's Party and the Landbund , which was known as the "Citizens' Block". The coalition had a clearly anti-socialist thrust.

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