Eligible voters

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Switzerland in particular, people entitled to vote (including the people ) are those residents who can exercise certain political rights . In most cases, the right to vote coincides with the right to vote .



Responsible men and women ( women at the federal level since 1971 ) aged 18 and over (previously 20 years) with Swiss nationality are entitled to vote . As a rule, four times a year, those entitled to vote can take a position on factual issues and make binding decisions on them - in referendums on:

  • Submissions of popular initiatives and mandatory and optional referenda ,
  • every amendment to the federal constitution, every proposal for a total or partial revision of the constitution that must be accepted by the people and the majority of the cantons,
  • any accession to organizations for collective security or to supranational communities - examples: UN- accession approved (2002); EEA accession refused (1992).


100,000 voters can request an amendment to the federal constitution by signing them . The majority of those entitled to vote and the majority of the cantons (6 of the 26 cantons are considered half-cantons and only have half a vote) must agree to the change by means of a simple majority. The acceptance of initiatives is rather rare, because politicians often try to meet the requests of those entitled to vote by means of counter-drafts.

The cantons also have the right to take an initiative; but this has never happened before.

Mandatory referendum

Optional referendum

50,000 voters who do not agree with the content of a law can take the referendum. Referendums are also possible against certain types of federal resolutions and certain international treaties. The optional referendum is also seen as the “cause” (“origin”) of the Swiss collegiality principle policy ( concordance democracy ).

Cantons also have the right to hold a referendum; this has only happened once so far.

Canton, municipality

The cantons are generally free to shape their political system for themselves and their communities. However, from the “point of view” of the federal government, they must provide the right for those entitled to vote to change the cantonal constitution. Cantonal votes - on submissions, initiatives and referenda - are not as frequent as federal votes. As a rule, they coincide with the date of the federal.

Some cantons provide additional instruments for those entitled to vote, e.g. B. the motion or people's motion , which should move parliament to pass a law. Many cantons - especially in western Switzerland - also allow foreigners or residents who do not have Swiss citizenship to participate in cantonal or community-specific votes and elections.

The last canton to introduce women's right to vote and suffrage was the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden in 1991, albeit not voluntarily, but after a corresponding federal court ruling from 1990. On May 6, 2007, the Glarner Landsgemeinde submitted the JUSO's application Glarnerland to reduce the active voting and election rights to 16 years, approved. Thus, the canton of Glarus is the first canton with this regulation.

Parish assembly, Landsgemeinde

Many municipalities are familiar with the municipal assembly , at which the municipal council (depending on the canton executive , administration , also legislative tasks, "quasi-legislative") presents current business (such as the budget, the municipal administration's invoice, tax rate changes, building projects, projects, Land use planning, Tempo 30 zones, land sales or purchases, community mergers, granting citizenship, hiring a teacher, etc.)

The drafts are discussed, supplemented, changed, and also rejected for revision - often the voters decide, in some communities it is all residents, even in the assembly about them. As in the assemblies of the Landsgemeinde , which still know two cantons ( Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus ) - here, too, many decisions are made directly by voters ( direct democracy , direct democracy in Switzerland ).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Example of the use of the term "people" in the sense of those entitled to vote: More say for the people . In: baz.ch . ( bazonline.ch [accessed on August 30, 2018]).