14 September, 2017

Germany election – 2017 explained

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Germany’s Parliamentary election on September 24 attracts European countries as well as other parts of the world. The country is the biggest economies in EU; hence, the election concerns EU members. Who governs the next four years and which party win the election are the questions of utmost importance these days.

There are three basic voting systems in the whole world: Single Winner System, Proportional system, and Mixed-member system. In the Single Winner System, a voter can vote for only one candidate and the candidate who gains more votes than counterparts wins the election. On the other hand, in the Proportional system, people can vote only for parties and the more votes a party gets the more place it takes. There is also, Mixed-member system, in which voters can vote for both single candidates and for parties. The last one is commonly used in the Parliamentary election.

Germany uses Mixed-member system in its Bundestag election. Electorates have two votes on a single ballot paper: one is for a local representative while another is for a party. About 299 members of Bundestag are directly elected by the first vote. Remained seats are allocated to parties regarding their share of the national vote, which is determined by the second decision of electorates. For instance, if a party scores 30 per cent of the national election, it has to get 30 per cent of the seats. Therefore, amount of the seats varies depending on each election. After a governing coalition has been formed, the parliament members elect the chancellor in a secret voting.

Recent polls show that Angela Merkel is the candidate to be the chancellor. In 2013, The Christian Social Union (CSU) won the election and formed a coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Since then, only a few issues could affect the CSU’s reputation. However, the party is supported by most part of Germany. Polls show that almost 55 per cent of electorates believes in Angela Merkel.

The main opposition of CSU, the Social Democratic party’s leader Martin Schulz hopes to take Mrs. Merkel’s crown. Nevertheless, the BBC and the Guardian reports that Schulz is unlikely to win the election. Quite recently, the leaders of the both parties held a TV debate. According to the BBC, the debate should be “at least taste victory on national TV”. However, viewers’ poll reveals the SPD leader’s ambition is unlikely to happen.

In the debate, both discussed the migration crisis, foreign policy and other issues in Europe. To be fair, Merkel’s arguments seem more reliable. Schulz claimed about unemployment and poverty in the country. Mrs. Merkel counter-argued that the unemployment rate has been fallen nearly half from her first term. He promised to tax cut. Interestingly, the current chancellor had similar breaks. The BBC states that Mrs. Merkel is well-known for “a habit of stealing the best bits of a rival campaign”. While Mr. Schuls assured to end off Turkey’s request to join EU, she said to tackle the course of action. The Guardian reports, 55 % of viewers of the debate said they support Mrs. Merkel; compared with 35% for Mr. Schulz.

In terms of polls’ results, the future of the next chancellor seems already decided. It shows that Mrs. Merkel remains as the chancellor. However, it is unclear what kind of a political coalition will govern the Bundestag. The CSU could not exceed 50 % of the national election. Therefore, the party should form a coalition as it did in 2013 with the SPD.

Angela Merkel has been administered the Parliament since 2005. If “Mummy” re-elected again, she will run the Bundestag for a fourth consecutive term and repeats Helmut Kohl’s record of 16 years.

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