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Switzerland. Appenzell Innerrhoden canton. Appenzell. The Landsgemeinde or "cantonal assembly" is one of the oldest forms of direct democracy. Eligible citizens of the canton meet on a certain day in the open air to decide on laws and expenditures by the council. Everyone can debate a question. Historically, or in Appenzell until the admission of women, the only proof of citizenship necessary for men to enter the voting area was to show their ceremonial sword or Swiss military sidearm (bayonet), this gave proof that you were a freeman allowed to bear arms and to vote. The Landsgemeinde is still the highest political institution of Appenzell Innerrhoden canton. © 1991 Didier Ruef