See that a lot of people are confused on electronic distributors, pretty easy check to see if the distributor is working properly. Pull the distributor out leave the pickup wires hooked up and spin the shaft, the coil should fire. Pretty easy check of the whole system. If not firing pull the two prong plug, take the cap off and put the distributor somewhere you can spin the shaft and have a multi meter hooked up to the pickup coil plug. Set the meter on the lowest AC scale and you should see a small millivolt pulse coming from the pick up. If so the pickup is good COLD. If it does not have spark when hot use a hair drier on the pickup to heat it and re do the procedure.
No the pickup is not a switch, it produces a small voltage that is amplified by the ECU that triggers the coil.