Navigation

The cantonal majority principle

In Switzerland, any initiative which may lead to constitutional change has to win the backing of both a majority of voters and of cantons.

This content was published on September 22, 2002 - 19:06

This was the case with the two gold initiatives, which were thrown out on Sunday.

The federal system, as it is known, can undermine the principle of "one person, one vote" by giving each canton the same political weight.

Critics of the federal system point to the fact that it gives small cantons - some with just a few thousand residents - the same political weight as cantons like Zurich, which has more than one million inhabitants.

The effect is that one vote in the tiny canton of Appenzell-Inner Rhodes equals 31 votes in canton Zurich.

Critics say it is unfair that cantons with small populations are able to "veto" initiatives, which may have won the support of either the majority of Swiss voters or of the largest cantons.

swissinfo

Articles in this story

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?