Samuel Schmid (born 8 January 1947) is a Swiss politician who was a member of the Swiss Federal Council from 2000 to 2008. He was the head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports (notably acting as a defense minister for Switzerland).
He was elected to the Federal Council on 6 December 2000. He was a member of the Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC), and is now a member of the Conservative Democratic Party of Switzerland. During his time in office he has held the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports. In 2004, he was the vice-President of the Confederation and President in 2005.
Schmid was a member of the SVP's centrist/agrarian wing. He was put under pressure by the party's nationalist wing, led by former Federal Councilor Christoph Blocher, for taking a moderate stance on certain issues. After the SVP became the largest party in the Federal Assembly in the 2003 federal elections, the SVP threatened to remove Schmid from the Council if it didn't get an additional seat (which eventually went to Blocher).
After Blocher was defeated for reelection to the Federal Council in favour of another SVP moderate, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the SVP caucus voted to exclude Schmid and Widener Schlumpf from the party group. Some called for them to be thrown out of the party altogether. However, Swiss parties are legally federations of cantonal parties. For Schmid to have been expelled, the SVP's Bern section would have had to terminate his membership, and it refused to do so. In 2008, Schmid joined the newly formed Conservative Democratic Party, along with almost all of the SVP's Bern section...
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