The largest legislatures, in Zürich and St. Gallen, have 180 members each, whilst the smallest, in less-populous Appenzell Innerrhoden, has only 49 members. Appenzell Innerrhoden is also the only legislature that is non-partisan. All other legislatures operate party political systems. The Swiss People's Party (SVP) are the largest party in ten legislatures, whilst FDP.The Liberals and the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) are the largest in seven each and the Social Democratic Party (SP) are the largest in one legislature.
Two cantons, Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus, hold Landsgemeinden as their highest legislative body. Under this system, a form of direct democracy, all adult citizens may attend an annual general assembly, where they may vote on laws. A permanent legislature also sits more frequently, but sovereignty resides with the Landsgemeinden. For the purpose of this article, the permanent legislature is considered the cantonal legislature.