Political system of germany
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Political system of germany
Introduction Index Major Parties Federal Executive Branch Federal Legislature Judicial Branch Recent Politics :-1. Red Green Coalition2. Christian Democrat Comeback3. Grand Coalition 2005 – 20094. CDU-CSU-FDP Coalition of 2009 - Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany
Introduction The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, based on representative democracy. The Chancellor is the head of government, while the President of Germany is the head of state which holds a ceremonial role but substantial reserve powers. Executive power is vested in the Federal Cabinet and federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.
Major Parties Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Christian Social Union (CSU) Social Democratic Party (SDP) Free Democratic Party (FDP) The Left Alliance 1990 (The Greens)
Federal Executive Branch
Chancellery in Berlin
Federal legislative power is divided between the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The Bundestag is directly elected by the German people, whilst the Bundesrat represents the regional states. The federal legislature has powers of exclusive jurisdiction and concurrent jurisdiction with the states in areas specifically enumerated by the constitution. The Bundestag is more powerful than the Bundesrat and only needs the latters consent for proposed legislation related to revenue shared by the federal and state governments, and the imposition of responsibilities on the states.
Reichstag Building, Bundestag
Judicial Branch The Judiciary in Germany is totally independent. The organisation of courts is traditionally strong, and almost all state actions are subject to judicial review. Germany has a powerful Constitutional Court. This is somewhat unique because the Basic Law stipulates that every person may file a complaint to that court when his or her constitutional rights, especially human rights, have been violated by the state and when he or she has exhausted all stages of appeal in the regular court system. The Constitutional Court also handles several other procedures such as disputes between state institutions over their constitutional powers. It has also the power to outlaw political parties when their goals contravene the principles of the constitution.
Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe
Red Green Coalition After 16 years of the Christian liberal coalition of Helmut Kohl, the Social Democrats together with the Greens won the elections of 1998. Initial problems of the new government, marked by policy disputes between the moderate and traditional left wings of the SPD, resulted in some voter disaffection. The CDU won in the first state election after the federal election held in Hesse in February 1999, but in other state elections of this time, the respective SPD- or CDU-led coalition governments were re-elected into power. The popularity of the CDU dropped severely in 2000 when it became public that Kohl had accepted high party donations. The next election date for the Bundestag was September 22, 2002.
In its second term, the red green coalition lost several very important state elections, for example in Lower Saxony where Schröder was the prime minister from 1990 to 1998. In 20 April 2003, chancellor Schröder announced massive labour market reforms, called Agenda 2010 including cuts in unemployment benefits and subsidies for unemployed persons who start their own businesses etc. These reforms had sparked massive protests they were credited with being in part responsible for the economic downswing and the rise of unemployment in Germany in the years 2006/07. This paved way for the return of Christian Democrats.
On 22nd May 2005, CDU won the election while SPD did not even receive 25% of the total polls. The most likely outcome of the coalition that had happened during the 2005 election was known as the ‘Grand Coalition’ between the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats. On 22nd November 2005, Angela Merkel swore in as the Chancellor of Germany. She is the first woman to become a Chancellor. Since 2008, CSU lost its absolute power in Bavaria. In 2009 the Grand Coalition ended and new elections came.
CDU/CSU and FDP together hold 332 seats (of 622 total seats) and form a coalition since 27 October 2009. The Green Party (Grüne) and the Left Party (Die Linke) both have all-time highs in their number of seats, 68 and 76 respectively. The SPD has the smallest number of seats since 1953. Angela Merkel was re-elected as chancellor, Guido Westerwelle serves as the Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany.