Although a member of the UDC, a party in Switzerland's reigning centrist coalition, Christoph Blocher very much embodies the Swiss populist right. Questioned about a European Council report which portrays him as a right-wing extremist, the UDC chairman of the Zurich canton rejects the accusation along with any parallels with Jörg Haider's party in Austria. Christoph Blocher claims to be a strong supporter of democracy, and more particularly the specifically Swiss form of direct democracy. He sees it as the best safeguard against a political class which over the past few decades has seized power within the Federation and threatened to empty it of true democratic substance. Neither nationalist or xenophobic, Christoph Blocher claims above all to be a patriot ready to defend Switzerland against the threat of immigration and the internationalist federalism embodied by the European Union.