[Marxism] Re: Result of the election in Dresden

Einde O'Callaghan einde at gmx.de
Mon Oct 3 10:02:40 MDT 2005

Brian Shannon wrote:

> "Linke" means the Left Party.
> It would be helpful if you would explain both the technical difference 
> between the Direct Candidate Vote and the Party List Vote.
> To a stranger it seems unusual that there would be two results for the 
> same position. Is there any technical possibility that the List Vote 
> could affect the final vote? In other words, suppose the result swung 
> entirely the other way, would that affect the result? Or is this just 
> for informational purposes?

Sorry, I thought we had a discussion on this list about the German 
election system a short time ago.

Basically the system works like this:

Every voter has two votes, a vote for a direct candidate (the first 
vote) and a vote for a party list (the second vote). Half of the seats 
in the German Bundestag are elected directly from the constituencies 
(the direct candidates). The other half are filled by people elected 
through the party lists. The final number of seats that a party gets 
reflects the proportion of second votes it gets.

There are a number of complicating factors that modify this but not 
significantly, so I won't go into them.

In Dresden the CDU won the direct seat - mainly because of tactical 
voting by FDP supporters - whereas the SPD got the most votes for its 
list. The vote for Katja Kipping, the candidate of the Linkspartei.PDS, 
was probably lower than it would have been 2 weeks ago because she had 
already been elected through the party list and some of the voters may 
have voted for the SPD to stop the CDU being elected.

Einde O'Callaghan

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