Appenzell holds annual town meeting.
The townsfolk of Appenzell Inner Rhodes met yesterday in the main square for the annual ‘Landsgemeinde’.
It’s the oldest form of direct democracy in Switzerland where the locals will vote on issues by a show of hands.
It’s been held annually for the past 600 years.
Voters elect members to the government and also this year decided to ban fracking and allocated money for a new hospital.
To make sure everyone can attend, public transport is free for the day.
The meeting is highly symbolic and steeped in tradition. It was only in 1991 the canton allowed women to vote.
It used to be a very common way of decided local matters in Switzerland. But over the years cantons have ditched the practice. Only Glarus is the other canton which still holds open-air meetings.