Directly elected by the people

In contrast to the federal government, the members of the 26 cantonal governments are directly elected by the people.

Cantonal elections are usually held every four years, except in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Geneva and Jura, where they are held every five years, and in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, where elections are held every year.

The number of the members of the cantonal governments varies between 5 and 7 depending on the canton.

Cantonal governments are generally elected by a majority system (first-past-the-post). The council in Ticino is elected by a system of proportional representation, while in the canton of Bern, a seat is reserved for a member from the Bernese Jura (to represent the French-speaking minority in Bern).