Landsgemeinde


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Landsgemeinde

Last Sunday of April
Landsgemeinde is an open-air meeting to conduct cantonal business, held once a year in Appenzell, in the canton of Appenzell Inner-Rhoden in Switzerland. At the meeting, citizens vote on representatives for cantonal offices and on budget and tax proposals. Voting is by raised hands.
The assembly is a tradition that dates back to the very early days of the Swiss state. Women may wear richly embroidered national costumes, and men swords. Other districts in central and eastern Switzerland also have these assemblies, each with distinct customs. In Stans, for example, the blowing of a horn signals the time to walk to the meeting place outside the town; the horn is a reminder of the ancient call to battle.
Landsgemeinde has echos in the town meetings of the United States ( see Town Meeting Day).
CONTACTS:
Cantonal Administration Canton AI
Marktgasse 2
Appenzell, 9050 Switzerland
41-71-788-9327; fax: 41-71-788-9339
www.ai.ch/en
References in periodicals archive ?
Die Entstehung der direkten Demokratie: Das Beispiel der Landsgemeinde Schwyz 1789-1866.
Their outdoor public vote by a show of hands is known as the Landsgemeinde.
Check out Switzerland's democracy at work: Appenzell's Landsgemeinde is scheduled for April 27 in the town's main square; Glarus will hold their annual vote on May 4 at 9:30.
The highest decision making body in Canton Glarus is the landsgemeinde or provincial assembly, an annual meeting comprising all citizens of voting age.
This year, weather permitting, the landsgemeinde will take place off May 7; May 14 is the backup date.
Appenzeller tradition reaches its peak every April at the Landsgemeinde outdoor electoral meeting, where a show of hands still decides political policy of all kinds, from changes to the Constitution, legislation and amendments to the taxation system.
The Landsgemeinde issues and revises the cantonal constitution and its laws.
Democratic as it may sound, the Landsgemeinde system has its flaws.
Is the Landsgemeinde an effective and just way of voting?
This also points at the fact that the Landsgemeinde is not very democratic.
And usually at the beginning of every vote, the in-charge explains everything for the benefit of those who haven't read the Landsgemeinde booklet.
Perhaps a combination of a Landsgemeinde to deliberate and electronic voting to decide or cast vote would be ideal.