Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Political Parties

I don't know about you, but in my polling district we had several political parties on the ballot. There are the obvious ones, and some lesser known small ones. Here's what appeared on our ballot for presidental choices:

Green Party
Socialism and Liberation
Socialist Party USA
Vote Here
Libertarian Party
Socialist Workers Party
Constitution Party

While we have a plethora of political parties, our Congress is essentially a two-party system: Democrats and Republicans (with two Independents in the Senate, but I don't think they are affiliated with the Independent Party).

Germany has a number of political parties, and their Bundestag (Federal Parliament, which is similar to our Congress) has at least four parties that get elected to seats. This is why German political parties often form coalitions after elections because no single party seems to garner a majority of seats, so the party with the most seats often forms a coalition with a smaller party to form the majority. These coalitions are temporary and are constantly changing. Right now there are 612 members seated in the Bundestag.

Here are Germany's parties with seats in the Bundestag. Like us, their parties are identified by colors:

Alliance 90/The Greens - Green
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) - Black
Christian-Social Union (CSU) - Black
Free Democratic Party (Liberal Party)(FDP) - Blue and Yellow
Left Party - Dark Red
Social Democratic Party (SPD) - Red

Here's a Wikipedia link that identifies the current breakdown in the Bundestag:


Here's the Bundestag's homepage: http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/

And the U.S. Congress:



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