geändert / updated: 17/04/08


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

(No choice; 01-03; p.2)

However, this - among other factors - contributes to some mis-developments in German parliaments.

A voter e.g. may wonder why he meets Parliamentarians within the Bundestag's halls which were candidates in his election district, but were not elected. Such MPs were set on a party's list in their respective "Land", the units, the federal republic consists of. Since enough voters of this Land have given their second vote to this MP's respective party, their employment for the next four years in parliament is guaranteed.
Max Weber, the path-breaking sociologist at the beginning of the twentieth century considered the ability to vote out representatives to be an essential for parliamentary democracies of the western kind. - In cases like the one described, it is obviously not given.

Moreover, proportional voting system means that seats in German parliaments are distributed by the second votes (for parties): shares of the parties decide on the shares of seats, not the first votes for a candidate. The latter so called direct mandates are evened out by "equalising" mandates ("Ausgleichsmandate" in German) in the parliaments of the "Länder", if they run up to more than the respective party's share of seats. The only exception are federal elections: "equalising" mandates are not given, therefore they are more "personalised".
Put differently: in almost all Länder and federal elections voters have no influence on one half of the representatives, and they in turn do not represent anyone but their party. (An exception to this is the Land Lower Saxony in which two thirds instead of the usual half of the regular seats are given to candidates directly elected; however, this rule is again counterbalanced by possible "equalising" mandates.)

The proportional system of voting is a factor for the dominance of parties in the public sphere - not the only one, of course, as there are others like political culture. To correct this, one could limit the election system to voting relative majorities, i.e. the candidate who gathers the most votes in a district becomes elected. (read on here)

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Struktur / sitemap 2003 (i)

Struktur / sitemap 2003 (ii)

Ausgaben / issues



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