On the 24th of September the German citizens are going to elect a new leader. Though all the discussions deal with the potential chancellor the German election is not a simple election. About 61.5 million Germans are eligible to vote the 598 Members of the parliament, then the so-called “Bundestag” and the deputies vote the chancellor.
Everybody has two votes. With your first vote, you choose one deputy which represents your electoral ward. In total there are 299 electoral wards and therefore 299 of the 598 seats are going to be occupied by the winners of each electoral ward. This ensures that every region is represented. With your second vote you elect one of the parties directly. This decides how many of the remaining seats every party gets. Several parties, which collectively get the absolute majority of seats, build the government.
After the nomination of Martin Schulz, the current leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the former president of the European Parliament, the SPD grew in popularity. At this moment Schulz seemed to be a serious rival candidate for the current chancellor Angela Merkel. But a few weeks after his nomination the survey results declined again.
Current forecasts predict the CDU (Christian Democratic Union), with Angela Merkel as their candidate for the chancellorship, as the clear winner of the election with about 36 per cent of the votes. Although it is still not clear which party the CDU will form a coalition with. Germany has a multi-party system made up of the two large parties: the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), four smaller parties and a number of minor parties. A potential coalition would be between the two large Parties CDU and SPD, but the Christian Democratic Union could also form a coalition with several smaller parties.
Because of the relatively clear and predictable result, the election seems to be unspectacular. But there are a lot of other issues around the election which are worth your time researching, for example the growing popularity of the right wing populist and Eurosceptic party “Alternative for Germany”.
Jonas Boerner (Year 12)