Politics of Germany
Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic, where federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The multilateral system has, since 1949, been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany; the judiciary of Germany is independent of the executive and the legislature, while it is common for leading members of the executive to be member of the legislature, as well. The political system is laid out in the 1949 constitution, the Grundgesetz, which remained in effect with minor amendments after German reunification in 1990; the constitution emphasizes the protection of individual liberty in an extensive catalogue of human and civil rights and divides powers both between the federal and state levels and between the legislative and judicial branches. West Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1958, which became the EU in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area, has been a member of the eurozone since 1999.
It is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20 and the OECD. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Germany as a "full democracy" in 2017. After 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany had Christian Democratic chancellors for 20 years until a coalition between the Social Democrats and the Liberals took over. From 1982, Christian Democratic leader Helmut Kohl was chancellor in a coalition with the Liberals for 16 years. In this period fell the reunification of Germany, in 1990: the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic. In the former GDR's territory, five Länder were reestablished; the two parts of Berlin united as one "Land". The political system of the Federal Republic remained less unchanged. Specific provisions for the former GDR territory were enabled via the unification treaty between the Federal Republic and the GDR prior to the unification day of 3 October 1990. However, Germany saw in the following two distinct party systems: the Green party and the Liberals remained West German parties, while in the East the former socialist state party, now called PDS, flourished along with the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats.
After 16 years of the Christian–Liberal coalition, led by Helmut Kohl, the Social Democratic Party of Germany together with the Greens won the Bundestag elections of 1998. SPD vice chairman Gerhard Schröder positioned himself as a centrist candidate, in contradiction to the leftist SPD chairman Oskar Lafontaine; the Kohl government was hurt at the polls by slower economic growth in the East in the previous two years, high unemployment. The final margin of victory was sufficiently high to permit a "red-green" coalition of the SPD with Alliance 90/The Greens, bringing the Greens into a national government for the first time. Initial problems of the new government, marked by policy disputes between the moderate and traditional left wings of the SPD, resulted in some voter disaffection. Lafontaine left the government in early 1999; the CDU won in some important state elections but was hit in 2000 by a party donation scandal from the Kohl years. As a result of this Christian Democratic Union crisis, Angela Merkel became chair.
The next election for the Bundestag was on 22 September 2002. Gerhard Schröder led the coalition of SPD and Greens to an eleven-seat victory over the Christian Democrat challengers headed by Edmund Stoiber. Three factors are cited that enabled Schröder to win the elections despite poor approval ratings a few months before and a weaker economy: good handling of the 100-year flood, firm opposition to the US 2003 invasion of Iraq, Stoiber's unpopularity in the east, which cost the CDU crucial seats there. In its second term, the red–green coalition lost several important state elections, for example in Lower Saxony where Schröder was the prime minister from 1990 to 1998. On 20 April 2003, chancellor Schröder announced massive labor market reforms, called Agenda 2010, that cut unemployment benefits. Although these reforms sparked massive protests, they are now credited with being in part responsible for the strong economic performance of Germany during the euro-crisis and the decrease in unemployment in Germany in the years 2006-2007.
On 22 May 2005 the SPD received a devastating defeat in its former heartland, North Rhine-Westphalia. Half an hour after the election results, the SPD chairman Franz Müntefering announced that the chancellor would clear the way for new federal elections; this took the republic by surprise because the SPD was below 25% in polls at the time. The CDU announced Angela Merkel as Christian Democrat candidate for chancellor, aspiring to be the first female chancellor in German history. New for the 2005 election was the alliance between the newly formed Electoral Alternative for Labor and Social Justice and the PDS, planning to fuse into a common party. With the former SPD chairman, Oskar Lafontaine for the WASG and Gregor Gysi for the PDS as prominent figures, this alliance soon found interest in the media and in the population. Polls in July saw them as high as 12%. Whereas in May and June 2005 victory of the Christian Democrats seemed likely, with some polls giving them an absolute majority, this picture changed shortly before the election on 18 September 2005.
The election results of 18 September were surprising because they differed from the polls of the previous weeks. The Christian Democrats lost votes compared to 2002, narrowly reaching the first place with only 35.2%, failed to get a majority for a "black–yellow" government of CDU/CSU and li
An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, for regional and local government; this process is used in many other private and business organizations, from clubs to voluntary associations and corporations. The universal use of elections as a tool for selecting representatives in modern representative democracies is in contrast with the practice in the democratic archetype, ancient Athens, where the Elections were not used were considered an oligarchic institution and most political offices were filled using sortition known as allotment, by which officeholders were chosen by lot. Electoral reform describes the process of introducing fair electoral systems where they are not in place, or improving the fairness or effectiveness of existing systems.
Psephology is the study of other statistics relating to elections. To elect means "to choose or make a decision", so sometimes other forms of ballot such as referendums are referred to as elections in the United States. Elections were used as early in history as ancient Greece and ancient Rome, throughout the Medieval period to select rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor and the pope. In Vedic period of India, the Raja of a gana was elected by the gana; the Raja belonged to the noble Kshatriya varna, was a son of the previous Raja. However, the gana members had the final say in his elections. During the Sangam Period people elected their representatives by casting their votes and the ballot boxes were tied by rope and sealed. After the election the votes were counted; the Pala King Gopala in early medieval Bengal was elected by a group of feudal chieftains. Such elections were quite common in contemporary societies of the region. In the Chola Empire, around 920 CE, in Uthiramerur, palm leaves were used for selecting the village committee members.
The leaves, with candidate names written on them, were put inside a mud pot. To select the committee members, a young boy was asked to take out as many leaves as the number of positions available; this was known as the Kudavolai system. The modern "election", which consists of public elections of government officials, didn't emerge until the beginning of the 17th century when the idea of representative government took hold in North America and Europe. Questions of suffrage suffrage for minority groups, have dominated the history of elections. Males, the dominant cultural group in North America and Europe dominated the electorate and continue to do so in many countries. Early elections in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States were dominated by landed or ruling class males. However, by 1920 all Western European and North American democracies had universal adult male suffrage and many countries began to consider women's suffrage. Despite mandated universal suffrage for adult males, political barriers were sometimes erected to prevent fair access to elections.
The question of who may vote is a central issue in elections. The electorate does not include the entire population. In Australia, Aboriginal people were not given the right to vote until 1962 and in 2010 the federal government removed the rights of prisoners serving for 3 years or more to vote. Suffrage is only for citizens of the country, though further limits may be imposed. However, in the European Union, one can vote in municipal elections if one lives in the municipality and is an EU citizen. In some countries, voting is required by law. In Western Australia, the penalty for a first time offender failing to vote is a $20.00 fine, which increases to $50.00 if the offender refused to vote prior. A representative democracy requires a procedure to govern nomination for political office. In many cases, nomination for office is mediated through preselection processes in organized political parties. Non-partisan systems tend to differ from partisan systems as concerns nominations. In a direct democracy, one type of non-partisan democracy, any eligible person can be nominated.
Although elections were used in ancient Athens, in Rome, in the selection of popes and Holy Roman emperors, the origins of elections in the contemporary world lie in the gradual emergence of representative government in Europe and North America beginning in the 17th century. In some systems no nominations take place at all, with voters free to choose any person at the time of voting—with some possible exceptions such as through a minimum age requirement—in the jurisdiction. In such cases, it is not required that the members of the electorate be familiar with all of the eligible persons, though such systems may involve indirect elections at larger geographic levels to ensure that some first-hand familiarity among potential electees can exist at these levels; as far as partisan systems, in some countries, only members of a particular party can be no
Preselection is the process by which a candidate is selected by a political party, to contest an election for political office. It is referred to as candidate selection, it is a fundamental function of political parties. The preselection process may involve the party's executive or leader selecting a candidate or by some contested process. In countries that adopt Westminster-style responsible government, preselection is the first step on the path to a position in the executive; the selected candidate is referred to as the party's endorsed candidate. Deselection or disendorsement is the opposite procedure, when the political party withdraws its support from one of its elected office-holders; the party may select a replacement candidate at the subsequent election, or it may decide to forgo contesting that seat. The deselected representative is free to still contest the election as an Independent or as a representative of another party. Reselection is the procedure of requiring candidates to repeat the preselection process to retain the party's support.
An example of a preselection procedure that gains extensive media coverage is the selection of candidates for President of the United States, referred to by one observer as'the wildest democratic political bazaar in the world'. These are known as presidential primaries, but are a combination of primary elections, in which voters in a jurisdiction select candidates, caucuses, in which candidates are selected by a narrower group of party members. In other countries, a wide variety of preselection systems exist, though the majority involve members of a political party or party executive playing a role in selecting candidates to compete in elections. In politics, preselection is the process by which a candidate is selected by a political party, to contest an election for political office, it is referred to as candidate selection. It is a fundamental function of political parties, affecting'representation, party cohesion, legislative behaviour and democratic stability.' In countries that adopt Westminster-style responsible government, preselection is the first step on the path to a position in the executive.
In Australia, the term has been in common usage since the 1920s to describe the selection of candidates by political parties for public office. One usage of the term is in describing elected public officeholders in Westminster type party systems as being selected by the voters after being preselected by their parties, it derives from Australian Labor Party preselection practices that were used by that party before 1955. These involved a two step process of a preselection ballot or plebiscite of party members and affiliated trade unionists in the electorate being contested, endorsement, a formality, by the state executive; the ALP, as well as in some states the Liberal Party, now uses a system in which votes in the plebiscite are combined with votes from delegates selected by the party organisation. Preselection can occur in a wide variety of ways, but four main variables characterise the range of systems: Eligibility to stand Membership of the preselecting body System used by the body to make the choice Additional rules determining composition of candidates as a group.
In each case, it is possible to assess the variables on a scale from "open" to "closed" or from "inclusive" to "exclusive". Eligibility to be a candidate in preselection is bound by rules set by a political party. Preselection may be affected by a jurisdiction's electoral system. In Indonesia, for example, there is a system of public and administrative scrutiny of draft candidate lists; this may include examination of issues such as personal character or internal party issues, lead to candidates being eliminated. The bodies that most preselect candidates for political office are party members or party organisations such as a party executive or candidate selection committee. However, the selectors may be a broader group such as registered voters. Alternatively, there may be a more restricted group of selectors or selection may, in rare cases, be undertaken by an individual, such as a party leader. Preselection may take place by a system of voting by the selectors, or there may be a system of appointment, such as through decision by a selection committee.
Some preselections are governed by additional rules that may serve to ensure a particular composition amongst candidates as a whole, or to facilitate other party objectives such as decentralisation of decision-making. In several countries including Australia and Canada, candidate selection is conducted by internal party processes at the constituency or electorate level; however it can be possible for a regional or national party body or leader to intervene to ensure a particular candidate is preselected, there may be party rules governing the composition of the body of candidates as a whole that may require modification of preselection processes or outcomes, such as to implement policies directed toward gender balance. Gender balance objectives have been set by the Australian Labor Party and the German Social Democratic Party. In Belgium, the Belgian Christian Social party set rules aimed at ensuring balanced preselection of Flemish and Francophone candidates. In the ACT Liberal party i
White is the lightest color and is achromatic. It is the color of fresh snow and milk, is the opposite of black. White objects reflect and scatter all the visible wavelengths of light. White on television and computer screens is created by a mixture of red and green light. In ancient Egypt and ancient Rome, priestesses wore white as a symbol of purity, Romans wore a white toga as a symbol of citizenship. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance a white unicorn symbolized chastity, a white lamb sacrifice and purity, it was the royal color of the Kings of France, of the monarchist movement that opposed the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War. Greek and Roman temples were faced with white marble, beginning in the 18th century, with the advent of neoclassical architecture, white became the most common color of new churches and other government buildings in the United States, it was widely used in 20th century modern architecture as a symbol of modernity and simplicity. According to surveys in Europe and the United States, white is the color most associated with perfection, the good, cleanliness, the beginning, the new and exactitude.
White is an important color for all world religions. The Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, has worn white since 1566, as a symbol of purity and sacrifice. In Islam, in the Shinto religion of Japan, it is worn by pilgrims. In Western cultures and in Japan, white is the most common color for wedding dresses, symbolizing purity and virginity. In many Asian cultures, white is the color of mourning; the word white continues Old English hwīt from a Common Germanic *χwītaz reflected in OHG wîz, ON hvítr, Goth. ƕeits. The root is from Proto-Indo-European language *kwid-, surviving in Sanskrit śveta "to be white or bright" and Slavonic světŭ "light"; the Icelandic word for white, hvítur, is directly derived from the Old Norse form of the word hvítr. Common Germanic had the word *blankaz, borrowed into Late Latin as *blancus, which provided the source for Romance words for "white"; the antonym of white is black. Some non-European languages have a wide variety of terms for white; the Inuit language has seven different words for seven different nuances of white.
Sanskrit has specific words for bright white, the white of teeth, the white of sandalwood, the white of the autumn moon, the white of silver, the white of cow's milk, the white of pearls, the white of a ray of sunlight, the white of stars. Japanese has six different words, depending upon brilliance or dullness, or if the color is inert or dynamic. White was one of the first colors used in art; the Lascaux Cave in France contains drawings of bulls and other animals drawn by paleolithic artists between 18,000 and 17,000 years ago. Paleolithic artists used calcite or chalk, sometimes as a background, sometimes as a highlight, along with charcoal and red and yellow ochre in their vivid cave paintings. In ancient Egypt, white was connected with the goddess Isis; the priests and priestesses of Isis dressed only in white linen, it was used to wrap mummies. In Greece and other ancient civilizations, white was associated with mother's milk. In Greek mythology, the chief god Zeus was nourished at the breast of the nymph Amalthea.
In the Talmud, milk was one of four sacred substances, along with wine and the rose. The ancient Greeks saw the world in terms of darkness and light, so white was a fundamental color. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History and the other famous painters of ancient Greece used only four colors in their paintings. A plain white toga, known as a toga virilis, was worn for ceremonial occasions by all Roman citizens over the age of 14–18. Magistrates and certain priests wore a toga praetexta, with a broad purple stripe. In the time of the Emperor Augustus, no Roman man was allowed to appear in the Roman forum without a toga; the ancient Romans had two words for white. A man who wanted public office in Rome wore a white toga brightened with chalk, called a toga candida, the origin of the word candidate; the Latin word candere meant to be bright. It was the origin of the words candid. In ancient Rome, the priestesses of the goddess Vesta dressed in white linen robes, a white palla or shawl, a white veil.
They protected the penates of Rome. White symbolized their purity and chastity; the early Christian church adopted the Roman symbolism of white as the color of purity and virtue. It became the color worn by priests during Mass, the color worn by monks of the Cistercian Order, under Pope Pius V, a former monk of the Dominican Order, it became the official color worn by the pope himself. Monks of the Order of Saint Benedict dressed in the white or gray of natural undyed wool, but changed to black, the color of humility and penitence. Postclassical history art, the white lamb became the symbol of the sacrifice of Christ on behalf of mankind. John the Baptist described Christ as the lamb of God; the white lamb was the center of one of the most famous paintings of the Medieval period, the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck. White was the symbolic color of the transfiguration; the Gospel of Saint Mark describes Jesus' clothing in this event as "shining, exceeding white as snow." Artists such as Fra Angelico used their skill
Debate is a process that involves formal discussion on a particular topic. In a debate, opposing arguments are put forward to argue for opposing viewpoints. Debate occurs in public meetings, academic institutions, legislative assemblies, it is a formal type of discussion with a moderator and an audience, in addition to the debate participants. Logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are elements in debating, where one side prevails over the other party by presenting a superior "context" or framework of the issue. In a formal debating contest, there are rules for participants to discuss and decide on differences, within a framework defining how they will do it. Debating is carried out in debating chambers and assemblies of various types to discuss matters and to make resolutions about action to be taken by voting. Deliberative bodies such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, meetings of all sorts engage in debates. In particular, in parliamentary democracies a legislature decides on new laws.
Formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as the leaders debates, are sometimes held in democracies. Debating is carried out for educational and recreational purposes associated with educational establishments and debating societies. Informal and forum debate is common, shown by TV shows such as the Australian talk show, Q&A; the outcome of a contest may be decided by audience vote, by judges, or by some combination of the two. Although debating in various forms has a long history and can be traced back to the philosophical and political debates of Ancient Greece, such as Athenian democracy, Shastrartha in Ancient India, modern forms of debating and the establishment of debating societies occurred during the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. Debating societies emerged in London in the early eighteenth century, soon became a prominent fixture of national life; the origins of these societies are not certain in many cases, although by the mid-18th century, London fostered an active debating society culture.
Debating topics covered a broad spectrum of topics while the debating societies allowed participants from both genders and all social backgrounds, making them an excellent example of the enlarged public sphere of the Age of Enlightenment. Debating societies were a phenomenon associated with the simultaneous rise of the public sphere, a sphere of discussion separate from traditional authorities and accessible to all people that acted as a platform for criticism and the development of new ideas and philosophy. John Henley, a clergyman, founded an Oratory in 1726 with the principal purpose of "reforming the manner in which such public presentations should be performed." He made extensive use of the print industry to advertise the events of his Oratory, making it an omnipresent part of the London public sphere. Henley was instrumental in constructing the space of the debating club: he added two platforms to his room in the Newport district of London to allow for the staging of debates, structured the entrances to allow for the collection of admission.
These changes were further implemented. The public was now willing to pay to be entertained, Henley exploited this increasing commercialization of British society. By the 1770s, debating societies were established in London society; the year 1785 was pivotal: The Morning Chronicle announced on March 27: The Rage for publick debate now shews itself in all quarters of the metropolis. Exclusive of the oratorical assemblies at Carlisle House, Free-mason's Hall, the Forum, Spring Gardens, the Cassino, the Mitre Tavern and other polite places of debating rendezvous, we hear that new Schools of Eloquence are preparing to be opened in St. Giles, Clare-Market, Hockley in the Hole, Rag-Fair, Duke's Place and the Back of the Borough. In 1780, 35 differently named societies advertised and hosted debates for anywhere between 650 and 1200 people; the question for debate was introduced by a president or moderator who proceeded to regulate the discussion. Speakers were given set amounts of time to argue their point of view, and, at the end of the debate, a vote was taken to determine a decision or adjourn the question for further debate.
Speakers were not permitted to slander or insult other speakers, or diverge from the topic at hand, again illustrating the value placed on politeness by late 18th century debaters. Princeton University in the future United States was home to a number of short-lived student debating societies throughout the mid-1700s, its influential American Whig Society was co-founded in 1769 by future revolutionary James Madison; the first of the post-revolutionary debating societies, the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, were formed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1795 and are still active. The first student debating society in Great Britain was the St Andrews Debating Society, formed in 1794 as the Literary Society; the Cambridge Union Society was founded in 1815, claims to be the oldest continually operating debating society in the World. This claim is arguably valid because Princeton's societies had been shut down during the American Revolutionary War, while the UNC societies' operations were suspended during the American Civil War.
Over the next few decades, similar societies emerged at several other prominent universities. Examples include the Yale Political Union and the Conférence Olivaint. Submitted by IIIT NUZVID In parliaments and other legislatures, members debate proposals regarding legislation, before voting on resolutions which become laws. Debates are conducted by proposing a law, or changes to a l
Public speaking is the process or act of performing a speech to a live audience. Public speaking is understood as formal, face-to-face speaking of a single person to a group of listeners. Traditionally, public speaking is considered to be apart of the art of persuasion; the act can accomplish particular purposes including to inform, to persuade, to entertain. Additionally, differing methods and rules can be utilized according to the speaking situation. Public speaking developed in Rome and Latin America. Prominent thinkers in these countries influenced the development and evolutionary history of public speaking; this art form has been impacted by the contributions of women. Technology continues to transform the art of public speaking through new available technology such as videoconferencing, multimedia presentations, other nontraditional forms. Public speaking can serve the purpose of transmitting information, telling a story, motivating people to act or some combination of those; this type of speech is deliberately structured with three general purposes: to inform, to persuade and to entertain.
Knowing when public speaking is most effective and how it is done properly is a key part in understanding the importance of it. Public speaking for business and commercial events is done by professionals; these speakers can be contracted independently, through representation by a speakers bureau, or by other means. Public speaking plays a large role in the professional world. Although there is evidence of public speech training in ancient Egypt, the first known piece on oratory, written over 2,000 years ago, came from ancient Greece; this work elaborated on principles drawn from the practices and experiences of ancient Greek orators. Aristotle was one of the first recorded teachers of oratory to use definitive models, his emphasis on oratory led to oration becoming an essential part of a liberal arts education during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The classical antiquity works written by the ancient Greeks capture the ways they taught and developed the art of public speaking thousands of years ago.
In classical Greece and Rome, rhetoric was the main component of composition and speech delivery, both of which were critical skills for citizens to use in public and private life. In ancient Greece, citizens spoke on their own behalf rather than having professionals, like modern lawyers, speak for them. Any citizen who wished to succeed in court, in politics or in social life had to learn techniques of public speaking. Rhetorical tools were first taught by a group of rhetoric teachers called Sophists who are notable for teaching paying students how to speak using the methods they developed. Separately from the Sophists, Socrates and Aristotle all developed their own theories of public speaking and taught these principles to students who wanted to learn skills in rhetoric. Plato and Aristotle taught these principles in schools that they founded, The Academy and The Lyceum, respectively. Although Greece lost political sovereignty, the Greek culture of training in public speaking was adopted identically by the Romans.
In the political rise of the Roman Republic, Roman orators copied and modified the ancient Greek techniques of public speaking. Instruction in rhetoric developed into a full curriculum, including instruction in grammar, preliminary exercises, preparation of public speeches in both forensic and deliberative genres; the Latin style of rhetoric was influenced by Cicero and involved a strong emphasis on a broad education in all areas of humanistic study in the liberal arts, including philosophy. Other areas of study included the use of wit and humor, the appeal to the listener's emotions, the use of digressions. Oratory in the Roman empire, though less central to political life than in the days of the Republic, remained significant in law and became a big form of entertainment. Famous orators became like celebrities in ancient Rome—very wealthy and prominent members of society; the Latin style was the primary form of oration until the beginning of the 20th century. After World War II, the Latin style of oration began to grow out of style as the trend of ornate speaking became seen as impractical.
This cultural change had to do with the rise of the scientific method and the emphasis on a "plain" style of speaking and writing. Formal oratory is much less ornate today than it was in the Classical Era. Despite the shift in style, the best-known examples of strong public speaking are still studied years after their delivery. Among these examples are: Pericles' Funeral Oration in 427 BCE addressing those who died during the Peloponnesian War Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in 1863 Sojourner Truth's identification of racial issues in "Ain't I a Woman? Mahatma Gandhi's message of nonviolent resistance in India, which in turn inspired Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the Washington Monument in 1963. Throughout the 18th and 19th century, women were banned to speak publicly in the courtroom, the senate floor, the pulpit, it was improper for women to be heard in a public setting. An exception to this custom was the Quaker religion that allowed women to public speak in meetings of the church.
Frances Wright was known as one of the first female public speakers of the united states. She advocated for equal education for women and men through the press. African American Maria Stewart said to be the second female speaker of the United States, lectured in Boston in front of both men and women just 4 years after Wri