Liberal democracy with equal rights for all

The Reichstag building in Berlin: it is here that the members of the Bundestag, the German parliament, meet
The Reichstag building in Berlin: it is here that the members of the Bundestag, the German parliament, meet TommL/Getty Images
The Germans elect a new parliament every four years. The delegates make decisions together about the laws to be applied in Germany.

Every four years the political parties stand in the general elections to the German Bundestag. All citizens over 18 are eligible to vote. They choose their delegates in general, direct, free, and equal elections by secret ballot. In the Bundestag elections all voters can cast two votes. The first vote is to select candidates in one of the 299 constituencies, and the second vote is cast for a party list. This decides how strongly a party is represented in parliament. The Bundestag elects the German Chancellor. One of the most important tasks of the members of parliament is legislation. The Bundesrat, which represents the federal states, is involved in legislation. Its 69 members are representatives of the 16 state governments. The Federal President is the Head of State. This role is primarily a representative one and is filled in an election every five years by the Federal Assembly (combining the Bundestag and other outstanding members of civil so­ciety appointed by the state parlia­ments).

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