THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE OF LEYSIN: Through the Lens of L’Entente Leysenoude

La Suisse est un pays multilingue, avec quatre langues officielles.  Bien que l’anglais n’en soit pas une, il est une langue très utilisée en Suisse et la lingua franca de notre monde globalisé.  À Leysin, une cinquantaine de langues sont parlées entre les habitants qui viennent de plus d’une centaine de pays.  Les nombreux anglophones de notre village sont originaires du Canada, des États-Unis, d’Angleterre, d’Irlande, dÉcosse, d’Afrique du Sud, d’Australie et de Nouvelle Zélande—un mélange impressionant même parmi les anglophones!  Le texte qui suit, de Kim Oppenheim (Entente Leysenoude), introduit le paysage politique suisse et leysenoud à l’intention des anglophones vivant à Leysin, et des habitants qui viennent de pays non-anglophones mais qui parlent anglais, et souhaite les inciter à participer à la vie politique locale.


While we, the residents of Leysin, are well aware of the awesome natural beauty of our Swiss alpine village—the breath-taking views of the Chamossaire, the Dents du Midi, and our signature Tours d’Äi, Mayen and Famelon—many of us are not as aware of what it takes to run this beautiful village.  The Municipality and the Conseil communal, or town council, are the political forces which ensure the safety, comfort, and economic viability of the local residents, the Leysenouds.

                As many of you may know, the executive body of the commune of Leysin is the Municipality, which is elected for five years.  It is headed by the syndic Jean-Marc Udriot (Entente Leysenoude), along with four other members: M. Pierre-Alain Dubois  (Leysin Libre), Mme Noémie Isenschmied (Entente Leysenoude), M. Daniel Nikles  (Forum Socialiste), M. Jan Sanden  (Entente Leysenoude).  The Conseil communal (the legislative body) consists of 45 elected members who also serve for a term of five years.  Five political parties are represented in the current Conseil communal: the Entente Leysenoude, with 23 seats, the Forum Socialiste with 8 seats, Leysin Pour Tous with 6 seats, Leysin Libre with 5 seats, and the UDC with 3 seats.

                L’Entente Leysenoude is a relatively new but seasoned political group, created in 2006, which unified the traditional Radical and Liberal parties with an emphasis on the political views of the center-right.  Members of the party come from diverse backgrounds and include native-born Leysin citizens, Swiss citizens from other areas of Switzerland, and long-time non-Swiss residents representative of a variety of native languages including English, German, Portuguese, and Serbo-Croat.  The stated mission of L’Entente Leysenoude members is “to dedicate themselves to be engaged in their political work with openness and willingness to debate in a reflective and constructive manner”, and the party eagerly solicits ideas, concerns, and questions from all the multilingual citizens and residents of Leysin. The party motto of “Innovation…Cohesion…Liberty” defines its values as both forward-thinking yet grounded in preserving the traditional character of our village.

After observing the “political landscape” of Leysin through the “zoom lens”, it may also be helpful and interesting to take a more “wide angle” look at some basic facts about the Swiss political system. There are 26 cantons in Switzerland, and the Council of States (Conseil des États), equivalent to the US Senate, represents the cantons with its 46 members who are elected for four years.  In the National Council (Conseil national) the 200 members are elected every four years as well, and the number of representatives from each canton is determined by the population of the canton, one seat per 37,500 residents.  Our canton of Vaud has 18 seats.  In fact from 1999 to 2007, Leysin was fortunate enough to hold one of those seats as it was represented by a member of the Entente Leysenoude, Réné Vaudroz, who was also a long-term member of the Conseil communal in Leysin.  Finally, the Federal Council (Conseil fédéral) is the executive body consisting of seven members with equal rights and authority, a very unique and authentically democratic system of government.  Each member acts as a head of a specific department of the federal administration, but all major decisions are voted on by all seven members.  The members of the Conseil fédéral are elected by both chambers (Conseil des États and Conseil national) in turn to serve as president on a one-year rotational basis.  The current president of the Conseil fédéral is the vaudois Guy Parmelin, a viticulturalist from Bursins, who also serves as head of EAER, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.

                Each citizen of Leysin has the opportunity to be involved in the political activities of our commune, and any resident with a C-permit who has resided in the canton of Vaud for more than three years is eligible to vote in the communal elections.  In fact the next communal elections will take place March 7, 2021, so be ready to get informed and involved!  Helpful informational websites include:, providing detailed information on political issues and infrastructure in Leysin; which offers helpful background information in English on geography, history, and economy in the canton of Vaud;

which along with its Facebook page outlines the party’s objectives and also provides a link to the informative LeysInfos publication; and where a translation of the Federal Constitution is available in not only the four national languages but in English as well as in Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Japanese and even Nepali!  These are all excellent resources and an effective first step to getting involved in your local political scene—as Leysin residents we can have a positive impact on helping to maintain the vibrant political landscape of our village as well as the magnificently beautiful natural landscape.


Les Sections PLR de Leysin et des Ormonts unissent leurs forces

Un comité PLR Leysin-Les Ormonts (PLRLO) rassemble 5 personnes issues des comités des sous-sections

de Leysin et des Ormonts. Chacune d'entre elles conserve son indéprendance et son autonomie pour les affaires

purement communales.


Le PLR Leysin-Les Ormonts (PLRLO) promeut les valeurs libérales et défend la politique d'une droite ouverte,

moderne, humaniste à la fois responsable, solidaire et qui encourage l'esprit d'entreprise.

Il veille au respect des libertés individuelles et à la défense du bien commun. Il vise plus particulièrement

à défendre les valeurs PLR sur le territoire des trois commines de Leysin, Ormont-Dessous et Ormont-Dessus.