Josef Anton Schobinger

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Josef Anton Schobinger

Josef Anton Schobinger (born January 30, 1849 in Lucerne ; † November 27, 1911 in Bern , legal resident in Lucerne) was a Swiss politician and master builder . From 1874 he was a member of the government council of the canton of Lucerne , from 1888 also the national council . For seven years he presided over the Catholic-Conservative parliamentary group (today's CVP ). In 1908 he was elected to the Federal Council, to which he belonged until his death.


Study and job

He was the son of the hospital administrator Josef Heinrich Schobinger and Barbara Gloggner. After attending grammar school in Lucerne , he stayed in Chambéry for a long time in order to better master the French language. Schobinger then studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zurich . After a brief activity as a freelance architect, he joined the Lucerne canton administration and worked as a cantonal master builder. In this role he was involved in the planning of numerous public buildings. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Cowan from Scotland and the couple had one daughter. In the army, Schobinger rose to the rank of colonel in the artillery .

Cantonal and federal politics

In 1874 the Grand Council of the Canton of Lucerne elected Schobinger to the government council . The election caused a sensation, as he was only 24 years old at the time and had hardly appeared politically. He was a member of the government council for the next 34 years, most of which he headed the building department. Schobinger dedicated himself in particular to the expansion of the railway network; so he promoted the construction of the Bern-Luzern-Bahn (opened in 1875) and the Seetalbahn (opened in 1883). He often came into conflict with his government colleague Philipp Anton von Segesser , who was skeptical of technical progress. After the Kulturkampf had subsided , he tried to create a less strained relationship with the liberals.

After Segesser's death on October 23, 1888, a by-election for his successor in the National Council took place in the constituency of Lucerne-Northeast . Schobinger clearly prevailed against his liberal opponent and joined the Catholic-Conservative parliamentary group. At the federal level, he soon gained a high reputation due to his experience in government, his speaker talent and his impeccable manners. The journalist Georg Baumberger described him as follows: "The figure and face would make an excellent model if they were put into the habit of a Spanish grandee of the 17th century." Schobinger was parliamentary group president from 1895 to 1902, and in 1904 he was president of the National Council . Due to his extensive experience in the railway sector, he sat on the board of directors of the Swiss Federal Railways, founded in 1902 .

After Josef Zemp had announced his imminent resignation, the claim of the Catholic Conservatives to the vacant seat in the Federal Council was largely undisputed. The parliamentary group initially favored Gustav Muheim , but he rejected it for health reasons. In the replacement election on June 17, 1908, Schobinger received 141 out of 178 valid votes in the first ballot; on Gustav Loretan accounted for seven votes to Giuseppe Motta five votes on Georges Python four voices and more people 19 votes.

Federal Council

Since Schobinger was the youngest in office, he had to change departments every year, as was customary at the time. In 1908 he headed the Justice and Police Department and in 1909 the Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Department . In 1910 he was head of the Finance and Customs Department , and in 1911 the Department of the Interior . Due to the constant change, Schobinger could not set any big accents and remained relatively inconspicuous. All the more so since he was denied the railroad and postal department, for which he would have been best suited from the point of view of his abilities. The only significant deal he got through parliament was the ban on artificial wine . In mid-November 1911, he became acutely ill with pleurisy and died two weeks later at the age of 62.


Web links

Commons : Josef Anton Schobinger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Steiner: The Federal Council Lexicon. P. 246.
  2. Steiner: The Federal Council Lexicon. Pp. 246-247.
  3. Steiner: The Federal Council Lexicon. P. 247.
  4. Steiner: The Federal Council Lexicon. Pp. 247-249.
predecessor Office successor
Josef Zemp Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Giuseppe Motta