Peace through victory - the American way.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Which Minority Candidate Will Be Germany's New Chancellor And Who Will Make The Decision?

The past two Presidential elections in the United States have aroused much criticism of the electoral college system and the way that we here in the US run our elections. Whatever one may think of US democracy its virtues are the winner take all voting and the requirement that the President receive a majority of votes in the Electoral College to win.

Look at what is happening in Germany today. (BBC story here.) No party has received enough votes to put together a majority in the Parliament. Nor have the two major parties received enough votes to allow them to put together a governing coalition with ideologically allied parties. And neither of the two major parties is willing to let the leader of the other party have the Chancellorship as part of a so-called grand coalition.

A new government will emerge when the political parties finish their negotiations and come up with a formula for governing. Maybe the minority left wing parties will get over their intramural differences with the Social Democrats and form a coalition. Maybe the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats will convince the Greens to join them in a strange left to right coalition. Maybe the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats will join together. Who knows what will happen at this point?

But here's the bottom line. The new Chancellor will be from a party that failed to win the votes of a majority of Germans. And whoever takes the position of Chancellor will not have been chosen by the voters. The new Chancellor will take his or her office as a result of wheeling and dealing among the politicians who run Germany's political parties. At least in the United States the President takes his or her office by winning a majority of the electoral votes as determined by the results of the 50 state elections. A much more democratic result.




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