(No choice; 01-03; p.3)
To preclude some oversimplifying reasoning, more
remarks are needed: firstly, the number of seats shall remain
the same, so the number of districts doubled; secondly, MPs shall
only be obliged to follow their conscience as is today; thirdly,
the five-percent-hurdle, banning parties below this level from
parliament, shall remain as well.
The so achieved smaller election districts might
ease relations between the elected and electorate - it is a difference
e.g. whether a Parliamentarian of the Bundestag has to see to
the interests of an average of 200 000 or 100 000 people of his
district. Furthermore, there would be a firm and specified accountability
to a district for every MP.
Besides, differences in size of the districts were levelled even
more: an allowed abbreviation of 25% from average would in case
of the Bundestag so mean not 50 000 more or less people to represent,
but only 25 000.
Finally, the five-percent-clause would provide for a sustained
role of parties: sometimes it is an advantage to know that "one's"
MP does stand for a certain political wing as may become obvious
in decisions about, say genetic engineering; fighting for the
interests of "one's" clientele is indeed not the exclusive
guide-line in many decisions.
In the longer run, the influence of parties
may perhaps be reduced to the degree which is seen as appropriate
in Germany's constitution, the Basic Law: participation in the
process of political decision-finding. Abolition of the second
vote would surely be more effective in overcoming the stagnation
in law-making and other areas much complained about.
- Think, e.g. of decisions in the Bundesrat, Germany's Länder
chamber, or latest vacancy fillings made in public broadcast companies
where professional skills seem rather off the point but loyalty
to a party the overall counting criterion. (read