Paul Troxler (1780-1866), r. 1840. Foto: Wikipedia

The founder of direct democracy

On 6 March 1866, Ignaz Paul Vital Troxler, one of the founders of modern Switzerland, died.

He was born in Beromünster in 1780. At nineteen, he left his post in the Napoleonic administration of the Helvetic Republic (1798-1803) to study in Jena.

He was successful in ophthalmology in Göttingen. However, his republican and liberal sentiments were unwanted after 1815. Troxler wanted the (political) establishment to recognise what the citizens want and what concerns them.

Geneva, 25 September 2022, the national optional referendum.

Politicians must remain in permanent (critical) dialogue with them and give them the last word. That is how Ignaz Troxler formulated and shaped the Swiss direct democracy and political style.

His thinking is still topical nowadays in Switzerland and beyond.