German government is considering reducing the number of members of Bundestag and the conservatives object


The ruling German coalition submitted to Bundestag, demanding reducing the number of deputies.

Last Sunday, German news agency DPA said that it had learned, from circles in the German government, last Sunday that the blocs of the ruling coalition parties had agreed to demand a reduction in the number of members of the German parliament (Bundestag) after the upcoming parliamentary elections, from the current 736 members to 630 members, permanently.

The coalition submitted its first draft of electoral reform to the German parliament, the Bundestag, at the end of January.

The draft stipulates that the number of parliament seats be 598.

The number of members of the German Bundestag was raised in order to reduce what is known as orphan constituencies, from which an elected deputy doesn’t enter directly into parliament, which led to an inflated size of the parliament.

Every German voter has two votes in the parliamentary elections, with the first vote, a candidate is elected from the regional electorate.

In total there are 299 provinces, and whoever gets a majority vote in a region enters the Bundestag.

The amendment request is expected to be ratified in Bundestag, on Thursday or Friday, bearing in mind that the number of members of the German Bundestag, after the 2021 elections, reached 736 members, which is higher than any number of Bundestag members at any previous time.

This is due to what is known as pending or accumulated seats, which are granted to a party when it obtains, through the first votes allocated to individuals, a number of seats that exceeds what it achieves from the second vote allocated to the party, and then the party is entitled to retain these seats.

In this case, the other parties obtain seats called compensatory seats, in order to maintain the proportions of representation between the parties.

Under the draft, these two mechanisms will be abolished, and the number of constituencies will remain at 299, but 331 seats will be awarded through state lists instead of the 299 seats originally stipulated, in order to preserve the number of deputies who win in a constituency through the first votes, and not they can, however, enter Bundestag.

The new bill will end an important part of the process of inflating the number of Bundestag members.

All candidates elected in the first vote will not enter Bundestag if their party is entitled to fewer seats through the second vote.

The German Green Party, Till Stephen, told reporters in Berlin, on Monday, that if we don’t change anything, the Bundestag will continue to grow… We want to protect parliament’s ability to move and act”.

The CSU, the Bavarian sister party to the conservative CDU, often benefits from the current system.

Therefore, they aren’t satisfied with the change… We’re actually seeing it as an attack on democracy, said Markus Soeder, leader of the CSU party, who is also chief minister of the large southern state.

“If this bill passes, we will have to have the law reviewed by the Federal Constitutional Court,” said Alexander Hofmann, a CSU deputy in the Bundestag.

Both the conservative CDU/CSU coalition and the German left-wing party will vote against the law in the upcoming ratification session.

The draft is likely to pass, because the ruling parties (the center-left Social Democrats, the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens) only need a simple majority to win.

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