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The Most Democratic Town in the World

One Swiss town takes democracy to a new level.

Reuters

The Swiss town of Appenzell is probably best known for Landsgemeinden, held outdoors on the last Sunday of every April. Every citizen over 20-years-old must appear personally to cast their vote on municipal issues (if you don't, you receive a ticket and fine).

Landsgemeinden is the ultimate legislative body of the town; at their annual meeting they elect the town executive board. Various committees also present small-ticket items. No one knows when it started.

 Photo credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.