Period III

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

The founder of direct democracy

One hundred years ago, on 6 March 1866, Ignaz Paul Vital Troxler, one of the founders of modern Switzerland, died.

He was born in Beromünster in 1780. He left his post in the Napoleonic administration of the Helvetic Republic at the age of nineteen to study in Jena.

He was successful in ophthalmology in Göttingen. However, his republican and liberal sentiments were unwanted in the period after 1815.

Troxler wanted the (political) establishment to recognise what the citizens want and what concerns them.

Politicians must remain in permanent (critical) dialogue with them and also give them the last word.

That is how Ignaz Troxler formulated and shaped Swiss direct democracy and political style.

His thinking is still valid topical nowadays, in Switzerland and beyond. (Source, Brigitte Hilmer, Neue Zürcher Zeitung 5.3.2016).