As a Federal state, the German Federal Republic represents a bicameral system with one house representing the people and the other one representing the Federated States, or Lander. These two houses are called the Bundestag (the Federal) and Bundesrat (the Federal Council). However, the German parliamentary system is not similar to such parliamentary systems as those that are present in America, even if both are federal states: the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, through the institutions and their functioning, have distinct characteristics.
Indeed, they are one of the most successful examples of rationalized parliamentarism. However, if this institutionally rationalization is very advanced, it can be faulty in practice. On what principles is institutional rationalized parliamentarism a weaknesses and what do they show in practice?
The German Federal Republic has a bicameral system that is egalitarian and in favor of the Federal Parliament. The Bundestag is the central pivot of the institutions. It has many powers, in addition to the adoption of federal legislation and budget, the revision of the Basic Law, the ratification of treaties (sharing of legislative initiative, setting the agenda, government control, legitimization of other organs.
The Bundesrat, or Federal Council represents the 16 Lander with 68 members. These members are appointed by the government of the federal state in question and they vote in accordance with instructions received: it is an imperative mandate. The Bundesrat may approve the legislation without amendment, file a law if a majority, veto it (blocking the law) or enter a special procedure for discussion (oral question).
The Bundesrat has absolute veto over legislation on the devolution of powers between the Federal State and the Lander. This is an egalitarian bicameral system: the Bundestag, its legitimacy and its role in the legislation is more important than the Bundesrat. The opposition between the two chambers is rare with the Conciliation Commission, composed of 11 members of each assembly, accountable to anyone, meeting behind closed doors, and make the majority changes they deem necessary to the text happening in the two chambers.
Tags:German Parliament ; bicameral parliamentary system; rationalized parliamentarism; Bundestag; Bundesrat;
«It is of course important to know the political systems of our neighbors, let us know that of our great ally of the European construction, that is the German parliamentary system. Especially it is of some interest because of its clean salient features. The rationalization of Parliament was...»
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