on the organization of the debate ”Federal parliamentary election in Germany: possible effects for Germans, Europeans and Moldovans”. Public debates series held by the news agency IPN in its conference room with the support of the German Foundation “Hanns Seidel”
Held on 06 September 2021, Debate No.203 brought together: political scientist Oleg Serebrian, Moldova’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, political scientist Anneli Ute Gabanyi, senior researcher of the Research Institute of Radio Free Europe in Munich and of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin and Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Justus Liebig University in Giessen.
Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, said the federal parliamentary election in Germany was set for September 26. But many Germans already vote by post. Moreover, due to the pandemic, studies show that about 40-50% of the Germans are ready to vote by post so as to limit the spread of COVID-19. “The September 26 vote is extremely important as Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer runs as a candidate on behalf of the Christina-Democrats. Respectively, there will be a new face that will represent Germany in national and European, respectively, global politics. From this viewpoint, the people keep a close eye on this election,” stated Dionis Cenușa, the senior contributor of IPN News Agency.
According to him, over 60 million people are expected to vote in the German federal election. A mixt voting system is used, when half of the MPs are elected in single-member constituencies (about 250,000 votes per representative), while the other half on party lists. The legislature can consists of minimum 598 MPs and the number can be increased to over 700 MPs so as to offset the imbalance created by the vote for the party and the separate vote for the candidate. Parliament is elected and then Parliament elects the Chancellor.
German political scientist Anneli Ute Gabanyi, senior researcher of the Research Institute of Radio Free Europe in Munich and of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, said that the German electoral system and, in general, the federal system, has also negative sides. Elections are permanently held in the states and it is very curious to see how particular parties evolve, primary through the election results in states, which can improve significantly. “Our system is interesting because we can see this rise in the number of MPs. We now have 709 MPs, but the figure after the elections of September 26 is expected to increase to over 800. Our Constitutional Court urged the MPs to amend the laws,” explained Anneli Ute Gabanyi, who is an author of recent history studies and security studies concerning Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
According to her, requests to change the legislation were made, but the interests of parties intervene. “If you change the constituencies and reduce their number, a party gets angry. If you say that not all the direct mandates will be considered, another party gets angry and the reform is this way not adopted in the Bundestag,” stated Anneli Ute Gabanyi.
Moldova’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, writer Oleg Serebrian, said the German political culture is actually very different from Moldova’s culture due to multiple causes. Germany has a very old tradition of parliamentarianism. History taught harsh lessons to the German nation and other European nations. The German people became very attentive to what they elect and acquired this skill of electing out of a torrent of parties, verbal masses that are thrown during elections, primarily promises.
“They are attentive voters. I think they are probably the voters that are most attentive to extremist messages primarily due to those unfavorable experiences of Germany during the interwar period. History taught us different lessons. Each nation comes with own history lessons and political culture is this way formed or deformed. I want to say that not even in Germany, where I have stayed for six years already, completing my duties, we see the same type of political culture in all the 16 federal states,” said Oleg Serebrian, who is an author of geopolitical and political geography studies. He noted that the political landscape established in Germany after 1949 remained practically unchanged, more exactly the political players remained the same.
The public debate “Federal parliamentary election in Germany: possible effects for Germans, Europeans and Moldovans” was staged by IPN News Agency as part of the project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
The Agency published 4 news stories on the debate (see the English version of www.ipn.md): on 06.09.21, „ Federal parliamentary election in Germany: possible effects for Germans, Europeans and Moldovans, IPN debate”- https://www.ipn.md/en/general-federal-parliamentary-election-possible-effects-for-germans-europeans-and-8004_1084187.html; „ Dionis Cenușa: Electoral subjects in Germany are determined by state’s role in Europe and word” - https://www.ipn.md/en/dionis-cenusa-electoral-subjects-in-germany-are-determined-by-state-8004_1084190.html; „Oleg Serebrian: German democracy is not in danger” - https://www.ipn.md/en/oleg-serebrian-german-democracy-is-not-in-danger-8004_1084197.html; “Gabanyi: “Political class changes, while Germany remains engine of Europe”- https://www.ipn.md/en/gabanyi-political-class-changes-while-germany-remains-engine-of-europe-8004_1084198.html.
Valeriu Vasilica, director of IPN