Notes from Germany: Government Structure

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

Law
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)

Houses
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. ┬áIe. 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)