Transformations within the Swiss "magical  formula" at the beginning of the XXI century, in the context of consensual democracy Cover Image

Przekształcenia w obrębie szwajcarskiej „magicznej formuły” na początku XXI wieku w kontekście demokracji konsensualnej
Transformations within the Swiss "magical formula" at the beginning of the XXI century, in the context of consensual democracy

Author(s): Beata Kosowska-Gąstoł
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: KSIĘGARNIA AKADEMICKA Sp. z o.o.

Summary/Abstract: The article analyses the changes of the convention setting out the political composition of the government (Federal Council). This issue is considered in a broader context of the consensual democracy. The development of the ‘magical formula’ dated 1891 and the shape it had in 1959 (2 FDP + 2 CVP + 2 SPS + 1 SVP) are presented. However, the central focus of the analysis are the changes within the Swiss ‘magical formula’ which appeared at the beginning of the century. After the 2003 election the Switzerland’s formula of the government composition was altered, with an additional seat being given to the SVP (so called ‘new magical formula’: 2 FDP + 2 SPS + 2 SVP + 1 CVP). The situation after the 2007 election was even more challenging. The parliament denied the candidate presented by the victorious party (SVP) – Christoph Blocher – an appointment to the Federal Council. Instead, Eveline Widmer -Schlumpf was elected. The SVP expelled her from the parliamentary group after she refused to step down from office. She then joined the newly founded Conservative Democratic Party (BDP). Then the second SVP Federal Councilor (Samuel Schmid) left the SVP of his own accord and joined the BDP, thus as a result depriving the SVP of any seat in the government. The largest party went into opposition. In the article an attempt to answer the question of the character of this opposition is made. On the one hand, various forms of the direct democracy (including veto) are available to the opposition, but on the other hand the evidence of the SVP opposition suggests that the political culture and the principle of concordance work against opposition and make life very hard for a party used to its governmental benefits. In the late 2008 the SVP returned to the government after a self-chosen, one -year long retreat in the opposition. The government composition was as follows: 2 FDP + 2 SPS + 1 CVP + 1 BDP + 1 SVP. After the 2011 election the allocation of the seats in the government is the same, however it does not correspond to the electoral support of the parties, therefore the future shape of the ‘magical formula’ remains questionable.

  • Issue Year: 9/2012
  • Issue No: 21
  • Page Range: 365-376
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish
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