Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland

Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland

Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei (German)
Parti Démocrate-Chrétien (French)
Partito Popolare Democratico (Italian)
Partida Cristiandemocratica (Romansh)
PresidentGerhard Pfister
Vice PresidentsIda Glanzmann,
Charles Juillard
General SecretaryGianna Luzio
Members in Federal CouncilViola Amherd
HeadquartersHirschengraben 9
CH-3011 Bern
Youth wingYoung CVP
Membership (2015)100,000[1]
IdeologyChristian democracy[2]
Social conservatism
Political positionCentre[3][4][5] to centre-right[6][7]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party (Associate)
International affiliationnone
Colours     Orange
Federal Council
1 / 7
National Council
27 / 200
Council of States
13 / 46
Cantonal executives
40 / 154

The Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland (German: Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz, CVP; French: Parti Démocrate-Chrétien, PDC; Italian: Partito Popolare Democratico, PPD; Romansh: About this soundPartida cristiandemocratica Svizra , PCD) is a Christian-democratic[8] political party in Switzerland. It is the fourth-largest party in the National Council, with 28 seats, and the largest in the Council of States, with 13 seats. It has one seat, that of Viola Amherd, on the Swiss Federal Council.

The party was founded as the Catholic Conservative Party in 1912. The party peaked in the 1950s, having three members of the Federal Council (1954–58) before agreeing to the Magic formula. It adopted its current name in 1970. From 1979 to 2003, the party's vote declined, mostly in the favour of the Swiss People's Party, and the party was reduced to one Federal Councillor at the 2003 election.

The party sits in the centre to centre-right of the political spectrum, advocating Christian democracy, the social market economy, and moderate social conservatism. The party is strongest in Catholic rural areas, particularly Central Switzerland and Valais.


In 1912 the Catholic-Conservative Party of Switzerland (German: Katholisch-Konservative Partei der Schweiz) was founded. From 1919 on, the party occupied two out of the seven seats in the cabinet. Aided by the political climate of the postwar period, the party experienced its peak in the 1950s: It was represented by the biggest parliamentary delegation in the national assembly, and from 1954 to 1958 the party occupied three out of seven seats in the cabinet. Nonetheless, the party had to relinquish the third seat in favor of the 'Magic formula', which was introduced to the cabinet in 1959. In 1957 it changed its name to the Conservative-Christian-Social People's Party (German: Konservativ-Christlichsoziale Volkspartei) and to its current name in 1970. In the ensuing decades, the Catholic voter base dissolved somewhat. The reduction of the voter base, in addition to less cohesion among politicians in the party, led to six successive losses in federal elections after 1980.

Beginning in the 1990s, conservative voters from former strongholds of the CVP switched to vote for the right-wing populist Swiss People's Party. Due to that voter switch and the resultant 2003 national elections to the national assembly, the party lost their second seat in the governing Federal Council, retaining only one of the seven seats.

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