(Earthquake; 01-03; p.4)
To avoid jumping to conclusions and "minute-to-minute
politics", one should bear in mind that the elections took
place on the Länder's level and at the beginning of the federal
Representatives elected in Lower Saxony stand for about 8.0 millions
of inhabitants, Representatives in Hesse for about 6.1 millions
of inhabitants. So, the developments acknowledged are grounded
on about 17 percent of all inhabitants of Germany. - That is certainly
not a share to ignore, but is also not a share, the majority has
Since Germany is a federal republic, there is
the federal parliament, the "Bundestag" and an upper
chamber or Senate, called the "Bundesrat". States ruled
by CDU-led governments had already a majority within the Bundesrat
which by now has become larger.
Proposals affecting the Länder have to pass the Bundesrat. Therefore,
proposals of the federal government - consisting of a SPD-Greens
coalition - could be disapproved by a CDU-dominated Bundesrat
more easily. If this is a line that voters will appreciate for
the rest of federal legislative term, is arguable. At any rate,
it will prove very difficult to complain about "reform-unwillingness"
while being the constant cause of un-passed laws.
The federal government in turn could try to
declare most proposals as not affecting the Länder, so in a way
by-passing the Bundesrat. - Since courts in Germany may not reject
questions as political - as is possible e.g. in the US - such
a tactic will surely not lead to laws but a lot of lawsuits.
What is needed therefore is that delegates in
the Bundesrat consider themselves mainly as representatives of
their state, not their party, and that in a common effort proposals
are brought about in the Bundestag's committees which have a chance
to be approved by the Bundesrat.
- Merely creating some government's commissions, some opposition's
commissions and thereafter probably some super-commissions however,
will hardly initiate structural changes.
(end of article)