Understanding the national parliament

At the end of this week, the Swiss will be going to the urns to vote on an incoming parliament. Here we give you an overview of the various political factions (in their own words) and how the parliament is divided.

At the end of this week, the Swiss will be going to the urns to vote on an incoming parliament. Here we give you an overview of the various political factions (in their own words) and how the parliament is divided.

There are 200 seats in parliament and these are currently divided between 7 political factions and these 11 political parties:

The Schweizerische Volkspartei – SVP – 64 seats

Für eine freie und sichere Schweiz: For a free and safe Switzerland

The group presents itself as for an independant and neutral Switzerland and against the EU. They want to curb immigration to help locals get jobs and kick out foreigners who have been condemned with a crime. They want to protect the AHV (pension) system but they also want to lower taxes.


The Social Democrat Party – SP – 42 seats

Für alle statt für wenige: For the many versus the few

This party wants everyone to be treated fairly. Everyone should have the right to an education as well as a job. Noone should give more than 10% of their income to their health insurance. They also want to seriously tackle the climate crisis but not giving anymore money towards fossil fuels but focusing on renewable energies instead. Work, Health, Sex Parity and the Environment are the focuses of their program.


FDP. Die Liberalen – FDP – 33 seats

Gemeinsam Weiterkommen: Advancing Together

They fight for the individual’s freedom. It isn’t about pitting the city gainst the land, rich against poor or young against old; together all Swiss citizens should make the Switzerland of tomorrow. A sustainable politic for the future, for more jobs, more security and a better home. Together all Swiss can make it happen.


Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei – CVP – 26 seats

Freiheit und solidarität – wir halten die Schweiz zusammen: freedom and solidarity – we keep Switzerland together.

The party sees its policies as centrist. They want an all encompassing health system, is of good quality and affordable for all. Their social policy is centered around insuring that future generations have a fair and secure pension.They want Switzerland to remain a sovereign state but at the same time have good trade deals with other countries. Their economic policies are promoting more encouragement for entrepreneurs along with more responsibility towards society and environment. Their enviromental policy is to protect the environment by investing in renewable energies.


Grüne – 11 seats

Haltung Zeigen: Klimawahl . Show Resolve: Choose the Climate

The Green Party believes that environmental protection goes with social responsibility. The protection of the environment goes with a sustainable economy. They want shared prosperity, affordable rents and health insurances, fair trade and an active peace making policy.

Grünliberale Partei – GLP – 8 seats

Es ist Zeit. Mehr Klimaschutz. Mehr Innovation. Mehr Europe. The time has come: More Climate Protection. More Innovation. More Europe.

The relation between economy and environment is at the heart of our politics. An intact environment, an innovative economy and healthy financial system are the basics for our wealth. We want to provide this through a sustainable growth.


Bürgerlich – Demokratische Partei – BDP – 7 seats

BDP. Langweilig, aber gut. Boring but good.

If you don’t want to deal with big political personalities then come to the BDP. The focus is on doable solutions. They want to link the retirement age to life expectancy. Carers should have the time they invested looking after others “paid” back to them when they retire. They believe in climate change and want renewable energies. They are against joining the Eu but for a bolateral system. They want Switzerland to stop selling military equipment in war zones and believe in an responsible Switzerland.


Evangelishe Volkspartei – EVP – 2 seats

Aus leidenschaft für Mensch und Umwelt. Für Gerechtigkeit, Nachhaltigkeit und Menschenwürde. Out of compassion for people and the environment. For Fairness, Sustainibility and Human Dignity.


Lega del Ticinesi – LdT – 1 seat

Eine Bewegung für die Leute – A movement for the people


Partei der Arbeit – PdA – 1 seat

Mensch vor Profit! Wir verteidigen die grossen Ziele, vor allem der kleinen Leute! People before Profit! We defend big ideas, foremost the little people!


Mouvement Citoyens Genevois – MCG – 1 seat

Weder links noch rechts, Genf zuerst! Neither left nor right, Geneva first!


So that’s the political parties, now onto how the people get to vote. The parliament is divided into the national council and the council of states.

The council of states has two representatives from every canton, but the national council takes into account how many people live in the canton.

So Zürich has the largest number of representatives (35), followed by Bern (24) and Waadt (19) with Uri, Nidwalden and Obwalden all only have 1 representative. The canton of Lucerne has 9 representatives and Zug has 3.

In a separate post we will look at who and what Luzern will be voted for this coming Sunday.

If you want to go into more detail about the upcoming elections, go to this link.

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