Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/1414

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1058

SWITZERLAND

Council, and a ' Nationalrath/ or National Council. The first is composed of forty-four membeis, chosen and paid by the twenty- two cantons of the Confederation, tw^o for each canton. The mode of their election and the term of membership depend entirely on the canton. Three of the cantons are politically divided — Basel into Stadt and Land ; Appenzell into Ausser Ehoden and Inner Rhoden ; and Unterwald into Obwald and Nidwald. Each of these parts of cantons sends one member to the State Council, so that there are two members to the divided as w^ell as to the undivided cantons. The ' Nationalrath ' consists of 147 representatives of the Swiss people, chosen in direct election, at the rate of one deputy for every 20,000 souls. The members are paid from Federal funds at the rate of 20 francs for each day on which they are present, with travelling expenses, at the rate of 20 centimes (2d.) per kilometre, to and from the capital. On the basis of the general census of 1888, the cantons are represented in the National Council as follows : —

Canton

Number of Represen- tatives

Canton

Number of Represen- tatives

Bern

Ziirich

Vaud (Waadt) .

Aargau .

St. Gallen

Luzern (Lucerne)

Ticino (Tessin)

Fribourg (Freiburg) .

Basel — town and country

Graublinden (Grisons)

A^alais (Wallis)

Thurgau .

Neuchatel (Neuenburg)

Geneve (Genf) .

27

17

12

10

11

7

6

6

7

5

5

5

5

5

Solothurn

Appenzell — Exterior and

Interior Glarus .... Schaffliausen . Schwyz .... Unterwald — Upper and

Lower ....

Uri

Zug ....

Total of representatives in\ the National Council /

4

4 2 2 3

2 1

1

147

A general election of representatives takes place by ballot every three years. Every citizen of the Kepublic who has entered on his twenty-first year is entitled to a vote ; and any voter, not a clergyman, may be elected a deputy. Both chambers united are called the ' Bundes-Yersammlung,' or Federal Assembly, and as such represent the supreme Government of the Republic. The finest step towards legislative action may be taken by means of the 2yo2)ulao^ initiative, and laws passed by the Federal Assembly may be vetoed by the popular voice. Whenever a petition demanding the revision or annulment of a measure passed by the Legislature is presented by 30,000 citizens, or the alteration is demanded by eight cantons, the law in question must be submitted to the direct vote of the nation. This principle, called the referendum, is fre-