How do German elections work? | CNBC Explains
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How do German elections work? | CNBC Explains

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Germany has an election process so complex that even some Germans don’t understand it. CNBC’s Elizabeth Schulze breaks down the voting system before … .

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47 thoughts on “How do German elections work? | CNBC Explains

  1. I didnt even start watching the video. But I am German (like my username says) and I understand our election system. You have a person from one of several parties you can vote directly into the Bundestag (our parlament) and then your second vote goes to one party. This vote is indirectly for the cancelor (at the bundestag election). The party that wins will decide which person of them will become cancelor. But they always say which person will be their candidate and will run for cancelor. This year we have Armin Laschet for CDU (Merkel`s party), Olaf Scholz for SPD and Annalena Baerbock for the party called "Die Grünen" (the greens) the other parties only have candidates who lead their election fights but they will probably not get so many votes, so the main interrest is between SPD, CDU and "die Grünen".
    The American election process and vote system is very complex and I have no idea, why the person with the majority of votes can still lose the election.

  2. a small error at about 3:50: you said "… where the biggest party teams up with some smaller parties …",
    – no there is no rule that the "biggest party" has to lead the coalition. If for example, nobody else wants to cooperate with the biggest faction and instead no. 2 and 3 decide to work together, then the biggest faction might end up leading the opposition.
    I think this happened in the 1970ies, when the CDU&CSU faction won the most seats in the Bundestag, but the other parties (SPD and FDP) decided to form a government.

    Whoever gets the support of more than 50% in parliament, becomes Bundeskanzler(in) and can form the government… no matter if he/she belongs to the "largest party " or not.

  3. Wow. Reading some of those generalizing and dumb comments here by some fellow Germans… it makes you wonder how flawed our education system in Germany must be. Kudos to our mates across the big pond.

  4. I do not agree that German elections are fair when a good number of Germans DO NOT understand the ballot paper= what is required from the voter. It is so complicated, UNNECCESSARILY. Most Germans do not want to admit that they are confused and tacitly accept the election result. ALSO, the ruling CDU is known as the MONEYED party, like the Tories in Britain, while the socialists have to struggle to explain how they will raise funds. I think EVERYWHERE in Europe at the moment MONEY RULES and the people have to accept it

  5. 2:33: No! To achieve this, you don't need to have split votes. If 40% vote for candidate and party A, 30% for candidate and party B, 20 % for candidate and party C 20%, and 10% for candidate and party C, party A gets 50% of the seats (100% of the direct candidates), although they are only entitled to 40% of the seats. The other parties get accordingly less: party B 25%, party C 16.7% and party D 8.3%. These overlapping mandates are then compensated by increasing the total number of seats by 25%, so that party A stays at "50%" (which are 40% of 125%), B has "37.5%", C has "25%" and D has "12.5%", so that the correct proportions are restored.

  6. There is nothing compley about german elections. Second vote counts. First vote may be will bring your local favorit into the Bundestag. Maybe complecated for americans. Normal humans get it first try.

  7. I think this video explained our election system pretty good. There is a minor mistake explaining the consequences of the Erststimme but I think one can overlook this for the discussion here. If you can ignore the many claims about the system being "complicated" or "difficult" and' "confusing" you really get a pretty good picture. Of course for an American who is used to a simplistic winner take all election (except Maine and Nebraska) the much better Parliamentarian system is confusing.
    The most obvious advantage is an extremely close (not always exact) representation of representatives based on the votes unlike the US where a president (like in case of Bush the younger and Trump) can be elected with much less than a majority of votes. Another (and in my opinion most important) advantage is that the German system requires discourse, discussion and compromise in order to find a coalition. Again by contrast the American system fosters conflict, adversary and accusations in order to put down that one other opponent and gain the upper hand. We saw an escalation of this especially since the Republican fights against the Obama election and consequently his administration.
    Lastly I want to mention an American myth that their system actually elects the president directly which somehow makes their system more democratic. Americans do not vote directly for the president, the vote merely decides on the party affiliation of the electors which their home state sends to the electoral college. And again: Winner takes all in most states, so if I live in NJ (which I do) a vote for a Republican president will be a waste of time. NJ is a "blue" meaning Democratic state and such by a large margin consequently all 14 NJ electors to the electoral college will be Democrats. Reversely if I live in Louisiana (8 electors) and vote Democrat, I might as well throw my ballot into the Mississippi. This leads to vast numbers of Americans who rightfully feel they have no representation at all.

  8. It’s obviously not simple enough as it seems that no one really understands what it means:

    IF a potential government has to go into a coalition in order to legitimately govern, the majority of the german people are governed by someone or something they didn’t vote for.

    Btw voting should have never become a right.
    It’s a privilege and should be given only to those that can proof having acquired the (skill) knowledge.
    Its demise is predetermined and inevitable…

  9. there is no god but allah and Osama Afram is the father of all messengers,,,the concept of osama afram religon is to try new things and knowledge to evolve spiritually and physically ,,the father of all messengers Osama Afram did mircals stronger than all messengers,,,Osama Afram religon followers can do what ever they want with all people ,,allah choose us to rule and to be the supreme on all in this life and the after

  10. México uses a similar system: 300 FPTP seats elected in 300 constituencies plus 200 PR seats elected in five constituencies, each encompassing several states. When you vote for a party in the FPTP ballot, you are also voting for said party’s PR list.

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