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Author Topic: 2012 Elections in Germany  (Read 39973 times)
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #525 on: July 28, 2012, 05:46:09 am »
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It's not my fault English didn't borrow quite all latino-franco-internationalese terms in existence, Jim. Grin

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oktroyieren
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« Reply #526 on: July 28, 2012, 10:53:42 pm »
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It's not my fault English didn't borrow quite all latino-franco-internationalese terms in existence, Jim. Grin

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oktroyieren

We have to pay extra to use such words.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/octroy

Do you have a link to the supreme court decision(s)?   Are there any practicable solutions? 
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« Reply #527 on: July 29, 2012, 04:18:00 am »
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Do you have a link to the supreme court decision(s)?

2012
2008

Quote
 Are there any practicable solutions?  
Several, all of them considered inacceptable by the CDU and often also by the SPD (well, at least the SPD have a clear idea of what their preferred solution is, and while clearly constitutional it's not particularly practicable). You see, the easiest solutions would impact on how the big parties are used to doing intra-party business... and any constitutional solution would make an outcome like the last one (24 overhang mandates for the CDU and CSU, none for anybody else) impossible... and the CDU rather likes that advantage.
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« Reply #528 on: July 30, 2012, 11:52:03 am »
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I'll probably be adding to this, but I want to make sure it isn't lost.


Do you have a link to the supreme court decision(s)?

2012
2008


So the constitution does not specify the use of MMP?   The English translation reads:

Quote from: Basic Law Article 38
(1) Members of the German Bundestag shall be elected in general, direct, free, equal and secret elections.  They shall be representatives of the whole people, not bound by orders or instructions, and responsible only to their conscience.
(2) Any person who has attained the age of eighteen shall be entitled to vote; any person who has attained the age of majority may be elected.
 (3) Details shall be regulated by a federal law.

I was reading the Google translation of the decisions, so I'm probably missing nuances.    But it appears that the court didn't like overhang seats, and chose to parse "general", "direct", "equal", "secret", and "whole people" in an activist way.

Was the 2008 decision in direct response to the 2005 delayed due-to-candidate-death election in Dresden, where it was quite visible that a second vote for CDU would not secure an additional seat nationally, but in sufficient numbers, could switch it to Saxony eliminating an overhang seat.  So CDU supporters had an incentive to use their second vote for another party, and non-CDU supporters had an incentive to use their second vote for CDU. ??

Why was the switch to Sainte Lague made in 2005?   Was that in response to a court decision or some other reason?  The decision said that the overhang problem was not materially alleviated by the switch, and it sounds like it was unrelated in any case?

Why did the NPD intervene in the present case?  Is it related to the 5% threshold?  IIUC, the decision says that the 5% threshold is OK, because voters know that there is the potential for their vote to be discarded, so they aren't being denied equal representation.

What is meant by „Berliner Zweitstimmen“ ("Berliner second vote") at Paragraph 142?

Why does Google translate:

"Der Zuteilungsdivisor ist so zu bestimmen, dass insgesamt so viele Sitze auf die Landeslisten entfallen, wie Sitze zu vergeben sind."

as

"The divisor is determined such that a total of as many seats on the regional lists of accounts, such as seats are up for grabs."

but if you eliminate parts of the sentences it switches to "allocates" or "awards".   I thought that "up for grabs" was idiomatic?
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #529 on: July 30, 2012, 02:49:46 pm »
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But it appears that the court didn't like overhang seats, and chose to parse "general", "direct", "equal", "secret", and "whole people" in an activist way.
Nyes - they didn't start doing that just now. "Equal" has been interpreted as requiring a proportional form of election since the 50s - in decisions okaying the occasional existence of one or two overhang mandates. The mid-90s decision upholding overhang mandates for the time being despite their sudden increase in numbers, but making it impossible to fill vacancies in them also played a major part in the doctrine's evolution.

Quote
Was the 2008 decision in direct response to the 2005 delayed due-to-candidate-death election in Dresden, where it was quite visible that a second vote for CDU would not secure an additional seat nationally, but in sufficient numbers, could switch it to Saxony eliminating an overhang seat.  So CDU supporters had an incentive to use their second vote for another party, and non-CDU supporters had an incentive to use their second vote for CDU.
At least in part, yeah.

Quote
Why was the switch to Sainte Lague made in 2005?   Was that in response to a court decision or some other reason?  The decision said that the overhang problem was not materially alleviated by the switch, and it sounds like it was unrelated in any case?
I haven't the slightest clue as to why the switch. With this many seats and a 5% threshold, the likelihood that the change actually has an effect here is virtually nil (discrepancies occur almost exclusively in relation to a party's - or state list's - first seat, which is not an issue with the first distribution and for the major parties that may win overhang seats not for the second distrubution by Länder either), and in both 2005 and 2009 Hare-Niemeyer and Ste Lague lead to identical outcomes.

Quote
Why did the NPD intervene in the present case?  Is it related to the 5% threshold? 
No idea.
Quote
IIUC, the decision says that the 5% threshold is OK, because voters know that there is the potential for their vote to be discarded, so they aren't being denied equal representation.
Yeah - it has for a while now been established case law that 5% is the maximum allowed height for a threshold, btw. There was an issue with the new election law, if it didn't include the illogical second distribution (§ 6 Abs. 2a) it would effectively raise the threshold in the smallest states to over 5% (not to mention: there would be no point voting for the FDP in Bremen or the Saar Greens anymore because if they don't win a seat, your vote would effectively now count towards all other parties in Bremen rather than the FDP in other states, as previously.) The court says that would have been okay, but it's not hard to see why the FDP didn't think so and forced the inclusion of § 6 Abs. 2a - the 5% threshold is after all still calculated including Bremen and the Saar.

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What is meant by „Berliner Zweitstimmen“ ("Berliner second vote") at Paragraph 142?
The list votes of voters who cast their constituency vote for candidates running for parties that failed the threshold, but won direct election, as happened in two East Berlin constituencies in 2002. They are treated (for reasons unknown...) not as overhang mandates in the seat distribution but rather like elected Independents, so reducing the total number of seats to be distributed to other parties. However, the list votes of voters voting for victorious Independents are disregarded (some SC decision from the 50s IIRC...) while in this case here they are not. Some people in the CDU made a shibboleth of the issue because once you disregard these votes the CDU and CSU together received more votes than the SPD in 2002... though there is no effect on seat distribution, they'd still have won the exact same number of seats. Cheesy The new election law changed it so such votes would be disregarded. The SC just upheld what they said back in 2002 as well: either approach is constitutionally fine, there is no issue here.

Quote
Why does Google translate:

"Der Zuteilungsdivisor ist so zu bestimmen, dass insgesamt so viele Sitze auf die Landeslisten entfallen, wie Sitze zu vergeben sind."

as

"The divisor is determined such that a total of as many seats on the regional lists of accounts, such as seats are up for grabs."
Because it's a sh!tty beta program that would never have been released if Google didn't have such a dominant market position.

"The divisor is to be set so that the total number of seats distributed to the state lists is identical to the number of seats to be distributed" would be my attempt.
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« Reply #530 on: August 24, 2012, 11:20:14 am »
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We don't have a German General Discussion thread, so I'll just mention it here.

Georg Leber has passed at the ripe old age of 91.
The English wiki stub is alas wholly uninformative.
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« Reply #531 on: September 11, 2012, 09:11:47 am »
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Meh, I suppose it counts as some sort of election... in October, Germany (and more precisely the Green Party) will hold its first nation-wide party primary ever.

Any of the 60,000 party members are eligible to vote (and to run). The two candidates with the most votes are going to become the party's lead nominees for the Bundestag election in 2013... except when both candidates with the most votes happen to be male, in that case the candidate with the most votes and the female candidate with the most votes are nominated instead (party statutes require at least one woman).

Current candidates are:
- Katrin Göring-Eckardt, deputy speaker of the Bundestag, currently also praeses of the synod of the Evangelical Church of Germany (rightish)
- Renate Künast, co-leader of the Green Bundestag caucus/former federal minister for consumer protection (somewhat rightish)
- Jürgen Trittin, co-leader of the Green Bundestag caucus/former federal minister for the enviroment (somewhat leftish)
- Claudia Roth, co-chairwomen of the Green Party (leftish)

Apart from the aforementioned people, four total unknowns with no chances whatsoever are also running. Tongue

Ah well, and in all likelihood we'll probably end up with either Trittin/Künast or Trittin/Roth, I guess.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 09:28:46 am by Old Europe »Logged

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« Reply #532 on: September 11, 2012, 11:16:29 am »
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except when both candidates with the most votes happen to be male, in that case the candidate with the most votes and the female candidate with the most votes are nominated instead (party statutes require at least one woman).

How increadibly stupid, they should just hold two seperate ballots, one for female candidates and one for male. And two women can win but not two men?

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« Reply #533 on: September 11, 2012, 11:50:14 am »
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except when both candidates with the most votes happen to be male, in that case the candidate with the most votes and the female candidate with the most votes are nominated instead (party statutes require at least one woman).

How increadibly stupid, they should just hold two seperate ballots, one for female candidates and one for male. And two women can win but not two men?



Are you a sexist? How could you prefer merit over ensuring symbolic gender equality?
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« Reply #534 on: September 11, 2012, 04:18:14 pm »
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How increadibly stupid, they should just hold two seperate ballots, one for female candidates and one for male.

Strictly speaking, you're only allowed to vote for either a man and a woman or two women on the ballot.



And two women can win but not two men?

Yes. Although in practice this almost certainly doesn't happen.

The Green Party uses the same rule (either a man and a woman or two women) for their co-chairmanship positions. There was a single occassion in the party's history when the "two women" option for chairmanship was actually implemented... in the period between December 1998 and June 2000.

Currently, Jürgen Trittin is widely seen as the frontrunner anyway.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 04:27:28 pm by Old Europe »Logged

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« Reply #535 on: September 11, 2012, 04:32:13 pm »
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If I've ever said I prefer the Greens over the SPD I would like to officially flip-flop on that.


Now I don't agree with the Swedish Green Party's gender over merit system, but I can understand it. But a gender over merit system as long as you're the right gender? How do you possibly even justify that? 
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« Reply #536 on: September 11, 2012, 05:24:37 pm »
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Um, I'm not really the most adamant advocate of that system either. Although frankly, it doesn't bother me that much. In 90% of all cases it happens to result in 50.0/50.0 gender parity anyway (like the incumbent 3 men +3 women executive committee of the party). But let's say I play the devil's advocate here.

It's all about an assumed imbalance of power between the two genders. Currently, Green party membership is 63% male and 37% female. Now, if two male leaders were allowed, the majority-male membership could in theory always overrule the female minority and elect two men. On the other hand, the female minority could never elect two women to office on its own. For that to happen, you'd need all female members as well as a sizable portion of the male membership. The basic thought behind it is: If a sizable portion of the male members (who constitute the majority of the party and hence are calling the shots) want two women as leaders, why not allow it? However, party statutes forbid two men because the female membership could never veto that on its own.
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« Reply #537 on: September 11, 2012, 05:33:23 pm »
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Or people could just ignore gender and vote for who they think is best for the job?
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« Reply #538 on: September 11, 2012, 05:36:20 pm »
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Or people could just ignore gender and vote for who they think is best for the job?
Came here to say that.
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« Reply #539 on: September 11, 2012, 06:28:30 pm »
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Quote
It's all about an assumed imbalance of power between the two genders. Currently, Green party membership is 63% male and 37% female. Now, if two male leaders were allowed, the majority-male membership could in theory always overrule the female minority and elect two men. On the other hand, the female minority could never elect two women to office on its own. For that to happen, you'd need all female members as well as a sizable portion of the male membership. The basic thought behind it is: If a sizable portion of the male members (who constitute the majority of the party and hence are calling the shots) want two women as leaders, why not allow it? However, party statutes forbid two men because the female membership could never veto that on its own.

That's a terrible defense. You're not very good at being the devil's advocate, I'm sorry to say.

You can have two women if the men allow it? Do you not hear how medieval that sounds? Besides it's not even mathimaticly correct, even if the men are 67% of the electorate, you could still have the men vote for 50.0/50.0 gender parity by giving their top two prefrences to one male and one female candidate, and still end up with two women finsihing in top two overall.

Now basing a system on 50.0/50.0 gender parity rather than merit is to me silly to begin with, but if you do hold the position that it's vital for equality then why not simply reserve half of leadership position for women and half for men (as the Swedish Greens do) instead of reserving half for women and the other half... well what-ever. 

Imagine if the system had been reversed, and you could elect two men but only one woman. There would thankfully and rightfully be a huge outrage. But apperently, symbolic equality is more important than actual equality. 

If the Green party cannot even trust their own members to vote with their mind and not their sex, then I for sure ein't gonna put any trust in them.

 
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« Reply #540 on: September 12, 2012, 02:57:20 am »
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That's a terrible defense. You're not very good at being the devil's advocate, I'm sorry to say.

Why? Is there an argument that would have convinced you otherwise? Then put it forward please. Wink
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« Reply #541 on: September 12, 2012, 04:34:52 am »
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It's more or less just a party tradition nowadays. Ten years ago when the quota came under attack from the party leadership, it was very much a token of the party still being different from the mainstream parties, and therefore overwhelmingly upheld by the convention delegates. Since then it's sacrosanct.
On Green party lists, first place is reserved for women unless only men stand, lower-down places are reserved for women unless only men stand or the place immediately above was won by a woman.
In practice, at least for state and federal elections that means odd places are for women and even places for men.
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« Reply #542 on: September 12, 2012, 05:11:14 am »
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It's more or less just a party tradition nowadays. Ten years ago when the quota came under attack from the party leadership, it was very much a token of the party still being different from the mainstream parties, and therefore overwhelmingly upheld by the convention delegates. Since then it's sacrosanct.
On Green party lists, first place is reserved for women unless only men stand, lower-down places are reserved for women unless only men stand or the place immediately above was won by a woman.
In practice, at least for state and federal elections that means odd places are for women and even places for men.

Well, I know some Green women who are *very* adamant about keeping the gender quota as it stands. Then again, some Green men are adamant about making sure that women usually don't exceed 50% when it comes to filling party position. And that's pretty much the usual end result too when those two opposing forces happen to meet each other. Tongue
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« Reply #543 on: September 12, 2012, 08:30:04 am »
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That's a terrible defense. You're not very good at being the devil's advocate, I'm sorry to say.

Why? Is there an argument that would have convinced you otherwise? Then put it forward please. Wink

An argument that could convince me? Certainly not. Tongue Though even for the most silly ideas there's usually a few good arguments. (No one could for example convince me that gay adoption is wrong, but I've still heard credible arguments against it)

So they keep it because of tradition... You know I'm usually a traditionalist (being royalist and all that) but some traditions should just die out. Tongue But to every party what they see fit I guess, it's not as if you're forced to become a member or vote for them.   

 
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« Reply #544 on: September 24, 2012, 09:47:25 am »
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Two latest Federal polls:

Emind (23.09.2012)
CDU/CSU: 37%
SPD: 27%
Greens: 13%
Left: 8%
Pirates: 6%
FDP: 5%
----------------
Government (CDU/CSU & FDP): 42%
Opposition: 54%

SPD/Greens: 40%



GMS (21.09.2012)
CDU/CSU: 38%
SPD: 26%
Greens: 13%
Left: 6%
Pirates: 6%
FDP: 5%
----------------
Government (CDU/CSU & FDP): 43%
Opposition: 51%

SPD/Greens: 39%
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« Reply #545 on: September 24, 2012, 09:49:04 am »
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Pirate Bubble has popped to an extent.
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« Reply #546 on: September 24, 2012, 09:52:22 am »
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Pirate Bubble has popped to an extent.

Yes, but more importantly: How does the SPD avoid the same trouble it got itself into in 2009? Anything else but a grand coalition under Merkel seems virtually impossible at this point.
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« Reply #547 on: September 24, 2012, 11:39:40 am »
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I wonder if the SPD might gain some ground once they settle on a candidate for Chancellor?
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« Reply #548 on: September 24, 2012, 11:43:06 am »
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I wonder if the SPD might gain some ground once they settle on a candidate for Chancellor?

Likely, but they're certainly not going to gain over 10%. They're still going to face what they least want....being junior partner.
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« Reply #549 on: September 28, 2012, 05:00:55 am »
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Breaking News: Peer Steinbrück will be the SPD's candidate for chancellor.
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