What would that kind of government be?

24 x Germany

In Germany, the Federal Chancellor is not elected directly by the people, but by the Bundestag. Together with the federal ministers, he or she forms the federal government.

Federal Chancellor and Federal Government: Election and Central Working Principles License: cc by-nc-nd / 3.0 / de /

In the German parliamentary democracy, the elected representatives have a strong role in shaping politics. Unlike in countries in which the head of state is also the head of government and is directly elected by the people, in Germany the members of the Bundestag elect the Federal Chancellor for four years. As a rule, this is the candidate of the strongest parliamentary group in the Bundestag.

The Chancellor is elected by the Bundestag without debate. The election takes place on the proposal of the Federal President. An absolute majority of the members of the Bundestag must be achieved in the first ballot. Once it has been reached, the Federal President must appoint the elected Chancellor. If the candidate fails to achieve an absolute majority, any number of voting processes can be carried out within 14 days. Only the one who has an absolute majority of votes is elected. Only after this period has expired is a relative majority sufficient for a new ballot. So far, however, all Federal Chancellors since 1949 have already been elected in the first ballot.

The Federal Government is made up of the Federal Chancellor plus the Federal Ministers proposed by him and appointed by the Federal President. The ministers manage their departments independently. This is called the departmental principle. In the event of conflicts between the members of the federal government, the members of the government decide by majority vote what is known as the collegial principle.

However, the Federal Chancellor has a special role to play in this college. Not only does he have command and command power of the military in the event of a defense, he also has the so-called command in day-to-day political business Policy competence to (Art. 65 GG). Only he is democratically legitimized and directly responsible to parliament. This is the reason for its position as primus inter pares (First among equals). The authority to issue guidelines means that the Federal Chancellor defines the basic lines of domestic and foreign policy.

The responsibility of the Federal Chancellor is in the so-called constructive vote of no confidence regulated (Art. 67 GG). The Weimar Constitution provided that the Reich Chancellor, after the Reichstag had withdrawn his confidence, had to resign without any alternative or majorities to form a stable government. This contributed to the instability of the Weimar Republic. For this reason, the Basic Law provides that the Bundestag can only express mistrust in the Chancellor by electing a successor with a majority of its members. In this way, government continuity is guaranteed.

Conversely, the Federal Chancellor in the Bundestag can die Vote of confidence (Art. 68 GG). If the Federal Chancellor's request to have his confidence expressed is not approved by the majority of the members of the Bundestag, the Chancellor can propose to the Federal President that the Bundestag be dissolved. The vote of confidence can also be linked to a factual decision, i.e. a specific draft law or another proposal.

A large number of employees are available to the federal ministers through the ministries. The Federal Chancellery works with the Federal Chancellor. Its structure of the "mirror presentations" reflects the division of departments of the federal government and serves the smooth flow of information. The Federal Chancellor is kept informed about the work of the ministries via the Federal Chancellery. In this way, the Federal Chancellor is prepared for the discussion at the meetings of the weekly Federal Cabinet.

external links

  • Website of the Federal Chancellor: www.bundeskanzlerin.de
  • Federal government website: www.bundesregierung.de