German Politics

29 Nov

When I’m in the States and I have to take a politics class or even just have a discussion about politics, I shudder. The fact of the matter is, I really don’t have an interest. In America, politics really just comes down to the battle between the Republicans and the Democrats, and that really doesn’t change much apart from people in one party or another doing something extreme (or extremely stupid.).

Here in Germany, however, I’m taking three politics-related classes–and they’re all rather interesting. Why? Because the democratic system here is so much more sensible and interesting, and it really isn’t a great deal different. What makes things interesting for me is that every party has a chance to gain power, not just two major parties walking all over the smaller parties who don’t really get representation. See, in Germany, if a party gets 5% of the vote or more, that party gets a place in the government, whether it’s the city council or their version of congress. Instead of these two major parties, they have to make ‘coalitions’ with others, these two parties having the main power/say in all things governmental. It’s especially interesting to see things like the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) in a coalition with the FDP (Freie Partei Deutschlands), because the CDU is generally conservative while the FDP is liberal.

To me, I just feel like the US could take a page from Germany’s book here and give some of the other parties a voice. The Green Party in Germany is becoming more and more popular; in the region I’m in, Freiburg im Breisgau, which is known for its ecological advancements and green-minded citizens, the Green Party has a huge following. What’s nice is that the Green party not only has governmental power here in this city, but also in the national government. I mean, if nothing else, at least there would be more parties/people to talk about when we talk politics back in the States, right?

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