Free Democratic Party of Switzerland

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Free Democratic Party
Radical Democratic Party
German name Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei (FDP)
French name Parti radical-démocratique (PRD)
Italian name Partito liberale-radicale svizzero (PLR)
Romansh name Partida liberaldemocrata svizra (PLD)
Founded 1894
Dissolved January 1, 2009 (2009-01-01)
Succeeded by FDP.The Liberals
Headquarters Neuengasse 20
Postfach 6136
CH-3001 Berne
Ideology Liberalism
Classical liberalism
Conservative liberalism
Political position Centre-right[1][2][3]
International affiliation Liberal International
European affiliation European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
Colours Blue
Politics of Switzerland
Political parties
Elections
Swiss Federal Council
Federal Chancellor
Federal Assembly
Council of States (members)
National Council (members)
Voting

The Free Democratic Party or Radical Democratic Party[4][5][6] (German: Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei, FDP; French: Parti radical-démocratique, PRD; Italian: Partito liberale-radicale svizzero, PLR; Romansh: Partida liberaldemocrata svizra, PLD) was a liberal,[7][8][9] classical liberal,[10] and conservative-liberal[11] political party in Switzerland. It was one of the major parties in Switzerland until its merger with the smaller Liberal Party, to form FDP.The Liberals on 1 January 2009.

The FDP was formed in 1894 from the Radicals, who had dominated Swiss politics since the 1830s, standing in opposition to the Catholic conservatives, and who from the creation of the federal state in 1848 until 1891 formed the federal government.

The FDP remained dominant until the introduction of proportional representation in 1919. From 1945 to 1987, it alternated with the Social Democratic Party to be the largest party. In 1959, the party took two seats in the magic formula. The party declined in the 1990s and 2000s (decade), as it was put under pressure by the Swiss People's Party. In response, the party formed closer relations with the smaller Liberal Party, leading to their formal merger in 2009.

History[edit]

The elements 'liberal', 'radical' and freisinnig (an obsolete German word for 'liberal',[12] or literally "free thinking"[4]) in the party's name originate from the conflicts during the period of Swiss Restoration between the Catholic-conservative cantons and the liberal cantons. This conflict led to the foundation of the Swiss federal state in 1848 after the victory of the predominantly Protestant and liberal cantons over the conservative and Catholic ones in the Sonderbund war.

From 1848 until 1891, the Federal Council was composed entirely of Radicals. The radical movement of the restoration was anti-clerical,[5] and stood in opposition to the Catholic Conservative Party. They were otherwise heterogeneous, including and classical liberal 'Liberals', federalist 'Radicals', and social liberal 'Democrats': placing the radical movement on the 'left' of the political spectrum. It was not until the rise of the Social Democratic Party in the early 20th century that the FDP found itself on the centre-right.

The FDP was the dominant party until the 1919 election, when the introduction of proportional representation led to a leap in the representation of the Social Democrats. In 1959, the Free Democrats joined the other major parties in agreeing the 'magic formula' to divide up the seats of the Federal Council, with the FDP permanently receiving two of the seven seats.

After the federal election 2003, lawmakers of FDP and Liberal Party formed a common parliamentary group in the Federal Assembly. In June 2005, they strengthened their cooperation by founding the Radical and Liberal Union[13] They merged on 1 January 2009 to form FDP.The Liberals.

Popular support[edit]

In 2003, it held 36 mandates (out of 200) in the Swiss National Council (first chamber of the Swiss parliament); 14 (out of 46) in the second chamber and 2 out of 7 mandates in the Swiss Federal Council (executive body). By 2005, it held 27,2% of the seats in the Swiss Cantonal governments and 19,7% in the Swiss Cantonal parliaments (index "BADAC", weighted with the population and number of seats). At the last legislative elections, 22 October 2007, the party won 15.6% of the popular vote and 31 out of 200 seats.[14]

List of party Presidents[edit]

Name Canton Years
1st Gottisheim, Christian Friedrich !Christian Friedrich Göttisheim Basel-Stadt 1894–1896
2nd Brenner, Ernst !Ernst Brenner Basel-Stadt 1896–1897
3rd Stossel, Johannes !Johannes Stössel Zurich 1897–1898
4th Hirter Johann !Johann Hirter Bern 1898–1903
5th Scherrer, Paul !Paul Scherrer Basel-Stadt 1904–1906
6th Bissegger, Walter !Walter Bissegger Zurich 1907–1910
7th Decoppet, Camille !Camille Decoppet Vaud 1911–1912
8th Bonjour, Felix !Félix Bonjour Vaud 1912–1913
9th Lohner, Emil !Emil Lohner Bern 1914–1918
10th Schopfer, Robert !Robert Schöpfer Solothurn 1919–1923
11th Meyer, Albert !Albert Meyer Zurich 1923–1929
12th Schupbach, Hermann !Hermann Schüpbach Bern 1929–1934
13th Beguin, Ernest !Ernest Béguin Neuchâtel 1934–1940
14th Wey, Max !Max Wey Luzern 1940–1948
15th Pini, Aleardo !Aleardo Pini Ticino 1948–1954
16th Dietschi, Eugen !Eugen Dietschi Basel-Stadt 1954–1960
17th Celio, Nello !Nello Celio Ticino 1960–1964
18th Glasson, Pierre !Pierre Glasson Fribourg 1964–1968
19th Schmitt, Henri !Henri Schmitt Geneva 1968–1974
20th Honegger, Fritz !Fritz Honegger Zurich 1974–1977
21st Richter, Yann !Yann Richter Neuchâtel 1978–1984
22nd Hunziker, Bruno !Bruno Hunziker Aargau 1984–1989
23rd Steinegger, Franz !Franz Steinegger Uri 1989–2001
24th Buhrer, Gerold !Gerold Bührer Schaffhausen 2001–2002
25th Langenberger, Christiane !Christiane Langenberger Vaud 2002–2004
26th Schweiger, Rolf !Rolf Schweiger Zug 2004
28th Kleiner, Marianne !Marianne Kleiner Appenzell Innerrhoden 2004–2005
28th Pelli, Fulvio !Fulvio Pelli Ticino 2005–2009

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Switzerland: Selected Issues (EPub). International Monetary Fund. 10 June 2005. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-4527-0409-8. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Damir Skenderovic (2009). The Radical Right in Switzerland: Continuity and Change, 1945-2000. Berghahn Books. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-84545-948-2. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Kriesi, Hanspeter; Bernhard, Laurent (2011). The Context of the Campaigns. Political Communication in Direct Democratic Campaigns: Enlightening or Manipulating? (Palgrave Macmillan). p. 20. 
  4. ^ a b Lublin, David (2014). Minority Rules: Electoral Systems, Decentralization, and Ethnoregional Party Success. Oxford University Press. pp. 232–233. 
  5. ^ a b Thompson, Wayne C., ed. (2014). "Switzerland". Western Europe 2014 (Rowman & Littlefield). p. 242. 
  6. ^
    • "FDP. The Liberals". Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
    • Roberts, Geoffrey K.; Hogwood, Patricia, eds. (1997). European Politics Today. Manchester University Press. p. 383. 
    • Lansford, Tom, ed. (2013). "Switzerland". Political Handbook of the World 2013 (CQ Press/SAGE). pp. 1400–1401. 
  7. ^ Mines Action Canada; The Monitor, Mines Action Canada. Cluster Munition Monitor 2011. Monitor. pp. 236–. ISBN 978-0-9738955-9-9. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Erik Lundsgaarde (5 December 2012). The Domestic Politics of Foreign Aid. Routledge. pp. 105–. ISBN 978-0-415-65695-5. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Edgar Grande; Martin Dolezal; Marc Helbling; Dominic Höglinger (31 July 2012). Political Conflict in Western Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-107-02438-0. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Jan-Erik Lane; Svante O. Ersson (1999). Politics and Society in Western Europe. SAGE Publications. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-7619-5862-8. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Hans Slomp (2011). Europe, a Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. pp. 489–. ISBN 978-0-313-39181-1. 
  12. ^ "PONS Online Dictionary German-English". 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "New alliance counters left-right polarisation - swissinfo". 
  14. ^ "Nationalrat 2007". 

External links[edit]