MONET 2030: Participation in elections and national popular votes

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Significance of the indicator
The indicator shows the participation rate in National council elections and in federal popular votes. It shows the extent to which the Swiss population that has the right to vote and to stand for election uses its rights to political participation at national level.

In Switzerland, the population has various possibilities for institutional and social participation. To take part in political decisions, those with the rights can vote and elect. The electorate’s interest and participation in political processes helps make political decisions more acceptable to society as a whole. In the interests of sustainable development, increased participation in popular votes and elections should be sought.

Help for interpretation
The indicator does not measure the participation of foreign nationals, who do not have political rights at federal level. Some cantons and communes, however, do give foreign nationals the right to vote and to be elected.

International comparability
The International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), of which Switzerland is a member, collects data on electoral participation in countries in the whole world. Participation in elections and in federal popular votes tends to be lower in Switzerland than in other democratic countries. This is because the Swiss population is often asked to vote in federal popular votes and because the stakes in federal parliamentary elections are not as high as elsewhere due to the consociational nature of the Federal Council.



The indicator shows the participation rate in National Council elections and in federal popular votes. For federal popular votes, participation was calculated by using average vote participation rates in the two-year period prior to and following National Council elections. Data come from the Federal Statistical Office’s Election and vote statistics.


5b Social and political participation
Social and political participation should be promoted.


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