A Brief Note On Switzerland

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Switzerland is best described by conveying an understanding of its geography, political, economic, cultural and social environments. The geography of the country has had a significant impact on its way of life. Switzerland is bordered by Germany in the north, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein in the east, Italy in the south and France in the west. This represents many significant European cultures converging on Switzerland – the German speaking region, the French and the Italian. Two thirds of the Swiss population lives in the Plateau, between Lake Geneva and Lake Constance, in 30 percent of the country's surface area. There are 450 people to every 1 km2 (1,166 per square mile). This makes the country one of the most densely …show more content…
In wars between nations, Switzerland is neutral.
The Bicameral Federal Assembly (parliament), comprising the National Council and the Council of States. Both chambers are directly elected, but while the number of seats per canton in the National Council is apportioned according to the size of the population, each canton elects two representatives into the Council of States and each half-canton elects one representative, irrespective of the size of the population. Any law passed by both houses that modifies the constitution must be submitted to a referendum. Laws must also be submitted to a referendum if this is demanded by eight cantons or 50,000 citizens. Citizens may initiate changes to the constitution by gathering 100,000 signatures to petition for a referendum (people's initiative).
People can take direct influence by two means:
1. Initiative: 100'000 citizens can request a voting about a change or extension of the Bundesverfassung ("constitution") or the Bundesgesetzt ("federal law").
2. Referendum: If the Bundesrat wants to change or extend the Bundesverfassung ("constitution") or the Bundesgesetz ("federal law"), 50'000 citizens can request a voting about it.

All the cantons are divided into municipalities or communes of which there are at present 2903. Their number is tending to diminish as these municipalities merge.
Around one-fifth of these municipalities have their own parliament; in the other four-fifths,