[Marxism] Re: Result of the election in Dresden

Michael Hoover hooverm at scc-fl.edu
Mon Oct 3 10:37:59 MDT 2005

>>> einde at gmx.de 10/03/05 12:02 PM >>>
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.
Einde O'Callaghan

believe that above system was post-ww2 west german political elite
response to perception that weimar's proportional representation
contributed - in no small part - to its undoing...

combining of pr and single-member districts has meant that candidates
count more in german elections than in conventional 'party list' pr 
systems - politico can't just be a 'good' party worker but has to
go campaign in order to 'win' voter confidence on personal/personality
basis, german politicians like it when they are elected from single-member
districts with higher vote percentage than their party won on second

important consequence of german electoral system has been to cut down
number of parties to 2-plus, small parties seldom have chance in single-
member districts, their best hope is for at least 5% showing on second 
ballot (if memory serves, 5% nationwide 'threshold' for party to get seats
in bundestag was west german electoral  'innovation')...   michael hoover

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