Notes from Germany: Government Structure

Federation (plus EU)
Laender = States (16 incl. 3 City States: Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen)
16320 Municipalities

Constitution = Basic Law (Grundgesetz)
Laenders and Federation make laws, municipalities do not
Post WW2, Allies demanded Federalism (also suited strong tradition of different stations/regions)

Parliament = Bundestag
Federal Cabinet = Chancellor + 15 Ministers
Senate = Bundesrat (Laender)
State Cabinets = Minister-President (Mayor in 3 City States) + varying state cabinet ministers

Federal Public Representatives
598 members / 4 year term:
– 299 Constituencies
– 299 PR
+ overhang seats as a result of application of Largest Remainder Method.

Office Bearers
Head of State = President (Largely ceremonial but signs bills into laws)
2nd in precedence = President of Bundestag
Head of Government = Federal Chancellor

Political Parties
The internal organisation of political parties in Germany is informed by Basic Law requirements.  Ie. The way parties are run internally is governed by broad guidelines in the ‘constitution’.
– Social Democratic Party (Conservative)
– Christian Democratic Union (Conservative)
– Free Democratic Party (Liberal)
– Die Linke (Democratic Socialism)
– Alliance ’90/The Greens (Green)
– Christian Social Union (Conservative)

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