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2013 election to German Bundestag from the viewpoint of direct democracy

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  • Tangian, Andranik S.

Abstract

The outcomes of the 2013 German Bundestag (federal parliament) are analyzed from the viewpoint of direct democracy. For this purpose, the party positions on 36 topical issues are compared with the results of public opinion polls, and the party and coalition indices of popularity (the average percentage of the population represented) and universality (frequency in representing a majority) are constructed. It is shown that the 2013 election winner, the union of two conservative parties CDU/CSU with their 41.6% of the votes, is the least representative among the four parties eligible for parliament seats (with > 5% of the votes). The most representative among the eligible ones is the left party DIE LINKE that received only 8.6% of the votes. It is concluded that voters are not very consistent with their own political profiles, disregard party manifestos, and are likely driven by political traditions, even if outdated, or by personal images of politicians. Moreover, the actual practice of coalition formation further aggravates the low representativeness of the parliament. Thereby it is shown that representative democracy, as it is, guarantees no adequate representation of public opinion even in Germany with its multiparty system and strong socialdemocratic traditions. To bridge approaches of representative and direct democracy, an alternative election procedure is proposed. For illustration, it is hypothetically applied to redistribute the Bundestag seats with a considerable gain in its representativeness.

Suggested Citation

  • Tangian, Andranik S., 2013. "2013 election to German Bundestag from the viewpoint of direct democracy," WSI Working Papers 186, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wsidps:186
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/87740/1/770944590.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andranik Tangian, 2013. "German parliamentary elections 2009 from the viewpoint of direct democracy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(3), pages 833-869, March.
    2. Steven J. Brams & William S. Zwicker & D. Marc Kilgour, 1998. "The paradox of multiple elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(2), pages 211-236.
    3. Berghammer, Rudolf & Rusinowska, Agnieszka & de Swart, Harrie, 2007. "Applying relational algebra and RelView to coalition formation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 178(2), pages 530-542, April.
    4. Agnieszka Rusinowska & Harrie de Swart & Jan-Willem van der Rijt, 2005. "A new model of coalition formation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(1), pages 129-154, September.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:77:y:1983:i:03:p:734-747_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lott, Yvonne, 2015. "Costs and benefits of flexibility and autonomy in working time: The same for women and men?," WSI Working Papers 196, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    2. Tangian, Andranik S., 2015. "Is the left-right alignment of parties outdated?," WSI Working Papers 198, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    3. Lott, Yvonne, 2014. "Working time autonomy and time adequacy: What if performance is all that counts?," WSI Working Papers 188, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    4. Keller, Berndt & Seifert, Hartmut, 2015. "Atypical forms of employment in the public sector: Are there any?," WSI Working Papers 199, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    representative democracy; direct democracy; elections; coalitions; theory of voting; mathematical theory of democracy; indices of popularity and universality;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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