The Conservative State of Switzerland

Another student post on coalition governments, this one on Switzerland and their oversize or grand coalition government.

Within the country of Switzerland, four predominate parties have prevailed over time in the political paradigm. They are: The Swiss Peoples Party, Social Democratic Party, Radical Party, and the Christian Democratic Party. These four parties have been noted to collectively receive a 70-75% of the votes within each election, and received the top four votes within both the upper and lower houses of government.

The Swiss Peoples Party (SVP), originated in 1971, has emerged as the strongest party within the state. In the most recent parliamentary election, this right-wing party received the largest percentage of votes (26.6%), with nearly 8% more than the runner-up. This resulted in attainment of 54 out of the 200 seats on the National Council. Additionally, within Council of States, they received 5 out of the 46 seats (10.9% of the seats).

The Social Democratic Party (SPS) has established itself as the second strongest party within Switzerland. This center-left party is from the Socialist family, and remains the only of the top four parties on the left-most side of the political spectrum. Within the latest election of the National Council they received 18.7% of the votes, and thus, received 46 seats in Parliament. They also received 11 seats on the Council of States (23.9%).

The third strongest party is the Radical (FDP) Liberals. This founding party, originated in 1848, is a center-right aligned party, and has received 15.1% of parliamentary votes and allowed them to acquire 30 seats on the National Council. Within the Council of States, the FDP received the second number of seats with 11 out of the 46 (23.9).

The fourth strongest party within Switzerland is the Christian Democratic Party (CVP). The CVP has a center-right alignment and received the fourth highest percentage of votes in parliament with 12.3%. This allowed the Christian Dems to receive 28 seats in the National Council. More importantly, though, is the fact that they received the greatest number of seats on the Council of States. With 13 out of 46 seats, they are responsible for 28.3% of seats on the senate.

Ultimately, these four parties make up the core coalition of government within Switzerland. Within the executive branch as well, each of the parties have 2 of the seats on the Federal Council (1 from SVP). This shared proportion ultimately highlights the equal-representation coalition of the Swiss Government. Through this equal representation of parties, w can say that the overall government of Switzerland has a center-right ideology. Focalized around the center-right positioning, and only somewhat balanced by the Social Democratic Party, this right-leaning rooting has been present throughout the history of the country. As shown in the figure to the right, the FDP, CVP, and SVP formulate an estimate as to where the country lies as a whole. Thus, Switzerland has established a long-standing reputation for remaining a state of conservatism, proven by the political philosophies of the four parties that make up the core coalition of the Swiss Government.


“Conservative Democratic Party.” CVP Schweiz NATIONAL. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2012.

Greene, Richard Allen. “Swiss voters choose moderate, center parties over far right.” CNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.

“IPU PARLINE database: SWITZERLAND.” Parliamentary Democracy. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.

“Radical Party of Switzerland.” FDP.Die Liberalen. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2012.

“Swiss Democratic Party.” Startseite. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.

“Swiss Federal Election, 2011.” Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.,_2011

“Swiss Party Politics 2007.” Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.

“Swiss People’s Party.” Britannica Online Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.

“Swiss Peoples Party.” Schweizerische Volkspartei SVP. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.

“Switzerland Politics, Government, and Taxation.” Encyclopedia of the Nations. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.

“The Swiss Political System.” SwissInfo. Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, 3 Feb. 2011. Web. 22 Mar. 2012.


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