At stake in this Referendum:
- A federal decision on a constitutional article on research on human. A federal decree providing better legal protection for animals. A federal law adjusting the minimum conversion rate for the Occupational Retirement, Hinterlassenenund Disability Pension Plans (BVG)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Doris LEUTHARD *
- Head of Government: President Hans-Rudolf MERZ
- Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung/Assemblée Fédérale/Assemblea Federale) consisting of the Council of States (Standerat/Conseil des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati) with 46 seats* and the National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale) with 200 seats**.
* The Federal Presidency rotates among members of the Federal Council, which is the formal chief of state.
* Single-member districts correspond to half-cantons. The electoral system is first-past-the-post. Two-seat districts correspond to full cantons. The electoral system is MNTV.
** Seats are apportioned to each canton or half-canton in proportion to its population. Voters have the option of panachage. In single-member districts, this is effectively a first-past-the-post system.
- An absolute majority of voters must vote "yes" in order for passage.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 7,604,467 (July 2009 est.)
- Registered Voters: 5,030,915 (November 2009 )