Development of Direct Democracy in Swiss Cantons between 1997 and 2003
This paper describes institutions of direct democracy between 1997 and 2003 in 26 Swiss cantons (states), specifically the statutory initiative and referendum, the constitutional initiative, and the fiscal referendum. In particular, it discusses their applications, but also the legal requirements for making use of them, including the signature requirements, the time available for their collection, and the financial thresholds. Optional and mandatory forms of these direct-legislative institutions are distinguished. This paper also provides calculations of the index and sub-indices of direct democracy for the additional years 1997 to 2003, in continuation of Stutzer (1999), using the identical methodology. Extending Trechsel and Serdült (1999) and Stutzer (1999) this paper includes the political institutions of the so-called Landsgemeinde cantons. Description of these institutions is based on the author’s reading of 26 cantonal constitutions in their versions between 1997 and 2003.
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