geändert / updated: 17/04/08


 ... unabhängige Analysen für die globale Polis ...

(The Ströbele factor; 03-02; p.2)

Causes have been analysed thoroughly and commented on in length; the factual reason for the PDS's outcome is the vote of some citizens in Berlin: voters of the election district 84, comprising the Berlin suburbs of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and eastern Prenzlauer Berg (i.e. parts of Pankow), chose the lawyer Hans-Christian Ströbele as their MP.


Peculiarities of the German election system

To characterise the effect of this vote some remarks about the German election system are necessary which differs strongly from e.g. its British counterpart. In Germany every elector has two votes that he or she may use. With his second vote (translation of 'Zweitstimme') he decides about the parties' share in the parliament. With his first vote (translation of 'Erststimme') he may elect a candidate of his district directly into the Bundestag if the candidate gains a relative majority in the district. This mandate is given independently from any outcome of the second vote; a successful candidate becomes automatically a member of parliament.

The interesting part starts with co-ordinating first and second vote. As stated, decides the second vote the parties' share in the parliament and this may only be disturbed on the federal level by directly elected candidates. Thus overhanging mandates (translation of 'Überhangmandate') may be generated which have to be compensated by balancing mandates (translation of 'Ausgleichsmandate'): if a party has more directly elected candidates in a parliament than her share of the second votes - this way creating overhanging mandates -, other parties have to be compensated with balancing mandates.

On the federal level however, this rule does not exist: according to the fathers of the law, the directly elected candidate shall precede the outcome of the proportional elections. As a very effect of this framework on the current elections the Social Democrats (SPD) will have three overhanging mandates more than the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) although both have a 38.5 percent share in the second votes. Thus, the SPD will be the largest party in the next, the fifteenth German Bundestag. (read on here)

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