stage img
  • Notes from the Federal Palace

ABC of the Swiss political system at a single click


How do I correctly fill out a ballot paper? Who do I have to contact if I haven’t received the voting material? Can Swiss living abroad vote? Who can vote online? Who can launch an initiative? What is the role of a cantonal government or parliament? Who can stand as a candidate in federal elections, and how?, the new content provided by, gives you answers to these and other questions., the official portal of the Confederation, cantons and communes, has expanded its content with the addition of, and now offers a wide range of information dedicated to how the Swiss political system functions. Fresh content and lots of links to external websites of federal, cantonal and communal authorities are brought together on one single website, making it easier and faster to access information on the functioning of the Swiss political system at all political levels.

The wide-ranging content published on gives useful, practical information explained clearly and simply for all citizens, both in Switzerland and abroad. The new portal is especially useful for Swiss living abroad as it contains information of particular interest, including explanations on how they can exercise their political rights. On citizens will find questions and answers such as: How can I vote if I don’t live in Switzerland? Who can use e-voting? Who can I contact to obtain voting material? Can Swiss people living abroad participate in all elections and votes? Can they stand as a candidate in elections in their canton of origin? What conditions need to be met?

Besides giving this practical information, the portal explains how the Swiss political system functions and how it is organised. There are several pages explaining federalism, the principle of subsidiarity, the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches, and the role of the Swiss courts. There are also descriptions of the various political parties and political movements in Switzerland. is continually being developed. We intend to add new and up-to-date multimedia content to address the needs and wishes of the portal’s users both in Switzerland and beyond the country’s borders.

The illustrations, graphics and video clips which augment the explanations in the texts make a dynamic and attractive website for younger citizens too. The public can also keep abreast of the latest news in our democratic system via, and so exercise their political rights more easily.

The site is available in five languages: Italian, French, German, Romansh and English.