A Guide About the Political System of Germany

The politics of Germany are shrouded in mystery. Many do not know exactly about the political system of Germany and what the German government structure does. Even less understand what goes on in parliament or the national Diet, which is the lower house of parliament. A closer look at the German political system reveals some fundamental facts about the way it works.




  • Federal Republic of Germany:

The basic unit of the German political system is the Federal Republic of Germany (Friedrich Republic). Germany is a federal state composed of eighteen federal states, the three Baltic states and the powerful German Democratic republics. The reunification of Germany was completed in 1989 when the Berlin wall was collapsed by the German people.

The collapse of the Berlin wall marked the beginning of the first reunification period in which each nation rebuilt its political body and allowed the German political parties to compete for power in the new German state. Since the unification, there have been three major coalitions in German politics. These coalitions are the center-left, center-right and Reform parties which alternately control the ministries of the government.


  • German Constitutional Monarchy:

A German constitutional monarchy is the most significant feature of the German political system. The president, supported by the center-left Christian democratic party, holds the office of chancellor. Visit RU-GELD.DE for more info.

The prime minister, also a Christian Democrat, is the most elected leader of the country. As in most developed countries, the prime minister is elected for a four-year term with the chance of early retirement after two years.


  • Multiparty System:

The second feature is a multiparty system in which there are four major parties that compete for the most seats in the German parliament (Bundestag). The largest of these German political parties are the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), followed by the center-right Free Democratic (FDP) and the center-left SPD.

The next biggest parties are the Christian Democrats (CDU), the social-liberal Free German Party (BVP), the center-right Free German Alternative (SDK), the Left Party (MEP), the environmentalist Greens and the Anti-European Alternative for Democracy (DIED).


  • Proportional Representation System:

The third feature is the proportional representation system in which seats are won according to the performance of a party in the previous German elections. In the past, seats were awarded to the largest number of votes won. The current system, adopted after the 2021 German elections, gives more weight to the share of the national vote.

Although the first vote still takes precedence, an MPS system is gradually being replaced by proportional representation. Each party chooses several partners in the parliament from a list of candidates, based on the share of the national vote. This has made the parliamentarian process far more proportional one.


  • Unicameral State:

The fourth feature of Germany’s political system is the unicameral state. This means that each of the four major parties have a legislature (the Bundestag), with separate assemblies for the lower house (HAN) and the upper chamber (FVG).

The combined upper and lower chambers together make the German parliament (Bundesrat) which meets once a year to take decisions about the implementation of the country’s laws and constitution.


  • Constitutional System of Germany:

This form of government is the exact opposite of the aforementioned hybrid models described above. In Germany, the citizens are required to vote for a particular party only in order to be allowed to elect representatives to various assemblies.

There are no popularly elected representatives like in other countries. The supreme authority is decided through a complex set of votes dividing procedures known as “German constitutional law”.


Concluding Words:

Some commentators compare Germany’s political system and German government structure with the US ones because of their comparative political stability and relative prosperity. According to these analysts, Germany has managed to avoid majoritarianism and has remained largely democratic despite the fact that it has experienced periods of profound social change and transition throughout its history.

IPS, No PR, Wire