Geneva has had more referendums than any other canton in Switzerland

Geneva has had more referendums than any other canton in Switzerland

In a nation famed for its constant elections and referendums, it turns out that Geneva has been brought to the polls the most over the last 25 years, a new study finds.

Canton Geneva has had 40 votes since 2018

According to Le Temps, Geneva has been subjected to 40 cantonal votes in the past three years. Alongside federal and local elections, the Swiss government also allows votes that only concern a specific canton. These can range from adopting a new minimum wage to changes to the school system.

There are currently six local issues to be voted on in the latest round of Genevan elections in November 2021. These include votes to change the pension of cantonal officials, changes to salaries, new laws on how to dismiss a council member, and an amendment to working hours.

Geneva yet to allow expats to vote in Swiss referendums

Geneva is also unique as it is considering giving the vote to expats, which would make it one of the only Swiss cantons to allow them to do so. This would enable the expat population of Geneva, which is estimated to be around 45 percent of the total population, to have a say on local issues.

Since 1996, Geneva has had 70 referendums, compared with 60 in Basel Land, 41 in Canton Vaud and 38 in Canton Zurich. Even before the new year has begun, two new cantonal votes are already scheduled to take place for February 2022.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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