Political System in Switzerland

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 24, 2022, 8:47

Switzerland is a federal state with a strong tradition of direct democracy. One of the most complex federal states, Switzerland follows a local political structure, unlike most European countries that support centralized polities.

Political System in Switzerland - Overview

The Political System in Switzerland is a mixture of direct democracy, federal aspect, and non-parliamentary legislation. It has proven to be highly stable when compared to other European nations because of factors due to the direct democracy that is practised, which empowers citizens by giving them the freedom of speech on decisions at all political levels.

One of the smallest but oldest countries in the world, the Swiss political system is governed under a federal system at three levels:

  • The Confederation
  • The Cantons
  • The Communes

The major counterparts of Switzerland's economy include the service sector, which generates a GDP of 74%, and the industry sector, which adds up to 25% of the GDP of this country.

Other important sectors contributing to the nation's wealth include mechanical engineering, biotechnical research and manufacturers, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Switzerland became a federal state in 1848. Since then, the country has exponentially increased the opportunities for democratic participation. Swiss citizens are updated on the country's political process at all times. This is ensured by Switzerland's federal structure.

The Communes are granted many powers and are closest to the Swiss people. However, sometimes, the powers are delegated upwards to the Confederation and Cantons. But this happens only when it is necessary.

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Components of the Political System in Switzerland

Let's take a brief look at the components of the Constitutional System In Switzerland, the Swiss Electoral system and Direct Democracy -

Executive Power

Switzerland is run by the seven-member Federal Council, unlike other European countries with a single entity. All the members of the Federal Council are chosen during the new legislative period by a joint session of parliament.

Legislative Power

The leading political organization of the country, The Federal Assembly, is a bicameral body that is authorized to take all the decisions and solve issues of the general public and the ones who are appointed for the individual cantons.

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Judicial Power

The judicial system of Switzerland can be defined as the combination of centralized and canton-level structures. The highest court of the state (Federal Tribunal) consists of 30 individuals chosen for six years by the National Assembly.

The power to make decisions for the conflicts arising between the cantons and federations is decided by the national court. However, these courts are not authorized to rule on the constitutionality of federal laws


Switzerland is composed of 20 cantons and 6 half cantons, which are made up of about 2900 communes. Located in Bern, the central government has no control over the cantons and communes. Each canton and commune are independent and are free to choose its own government and electoral system.

Switzerland is a federal state that consists of cantons, which were previously sovereign states. The Constitutional System In Switzerland today works in such a way that the general public has a voice and can use it to make important decisions that affect them. The concept of Direct Democracy works so well that there is transparency and freedom to live life peacefully and comfortably.

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FAQs on Political System in Switzerland

Q1. What is the Political System in Switzerland?

The Political System in Switzerland is a semi-direct democratic federal republic. The federal legislative power is vested in the Council of States and the National Council (The two chambers of the Federal Assembly). The leading parties ruling the country have been on the right-wing since 2011.

Q2. What Party is Regulating the Political System in Switzerland Currently?

The Swiss People's party is ruling and governing the Political System in Switzerland, which is a right-wing nationalist party.

Q3. What Type of Political System in Switzerland Do We See?

The Federal Constitution, adopted on April 18 1999, regulates the Political System in Switzerland, which establishes the Swiss Confederation as a federal republic of 26 states (cantons).

Q4. What Type of Government Constitutes the Political System in Switzerland?

Four types of government constitute the Political System in Switzerland, including Federal Republic, Confederation, Directorial System, and Direct Democracy.