In its 2003 publication “Get to Grips with Political Rights”, the Terminology Section marked the Federal Chancellery’s bicentenary by leading its readers on a voyage of discovery to find 60 fundamental terms relating to Switzerland’s political system. Since then, political rights legislation has continued to evolve; 2011, an election year, is the ideal time to update and add to the terminology in this field, as it is directly relevant to all Swiss citizens. The following collection of 135 specialised terms now explains the fundamentals of Switzerland’s political system, a leading example of direct democracy, in which Switzerland’s voters make a direct contribution to the country’s political decisions in popular votes and elections. Switzerland has a relatively complex political structure, with a federal system of 26 cantons and a multilingual society. With four national languages, Switzerland’s institutions face a truly formidable challenge; the task is to provide essential information so that all Swiss citizens can participate actively and knowledgeably in Switzerland’s political life. The inclusion of English terms in the collection is a response to the steadily growing demands of globalisation, and takes account of a similar increase in international interest in Switzerland’s democratic model. This glossary, which has been produced in the Federal Chancellery by the Terminology Section in close cooperation with the Political Rights Section, is primarily intended to be of informative value. The terms are not presented in alphabetical order, but in nine subject areas, ranging from institutions through the political system to the allocation of seats. The book is not limited to providing linguistic information; definitions and additional useful information help to explain the essential features of the system and how they relate to each other. An index also makes it easy for readers to find all the terms and their equivalents in the other four languages, using an entry number. All the terms can also be found in TERMDAT, the Federal Administration’s terminology database. TERMDAT not only provides additional information such as contexts, explanatory notes and guidance on usage, but also indicates all the sources used in this book and contains countless other specialised terms from the field of political rights.