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Swiss Political System: More than You ever Wanted to Know (II.)

The structure of the Swiss executives is a particularity that I think is not often stressed enough.

As you mention, the government is a group of 7 people (at the federal level). This means that the power of the executive branch of the state is not owned by one political group.

In all the other systems I know, the executive power is not shared - there is one president. This forces coalition to form to win this position. You have people allying themselves with other parties only to "win" elections. Coalitions are here only as a way to control the executive.

In Switzerland, this does not happen - power must be shared at the executive level. Coalitions exists, but more around particular issues. Two parties can align on how retirement should work but not on laws on hunting. Decisions are not monopolised by one groupe - they are made by shifting alliances.

This structure where the power of the executive is also the same at the different level of the state (canton and municipalities). The concept of mayor is also not as strong in Switzerland than in France for instance.