An agreement on an electoral reform to reduce the size of the Bundestag should come at the urging of Thomas Oppermann later this year. "The agreement must be made before Christmas if it is to be implemented within a reasonable time before the next election day," said the Bundestag vice-president. The negotiations should be resumed. He also called for more compromise among all parties.
For this Oppermann proposed a gradual reform. "There are enough suggestions on how to reduce the size of the Bundestag." For this purpose, the number of currently 299 constituencies must be reduced. "This can be done in two stages, the key is that the regulation is now found."
The negotiations on electoral reform are currently deadlocked. President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), had not found a majority in the spring for his proposal - as did his predecessor Norbert Lammert (CDU) in the previous parliamentary term. As a result, the Bundestag grew in the 2017 election as a result of overhanging and balancing mandates on the record size of 709 deputies. Only 598 are regular.
Union is banning the elimination of constituencies
So far, a consensus has failed because of the CDU and CSU's strict refusal to reduce the number of constituencies in Germany. They are represented in the Bundestag with particularly many directly elected deputies and would thus be particularly negatively affected by such a reduction. Schäuble had proposed in the spring to reduce the number of constituencies moderately from 299 to 270 and compensate for up to 15 overhang mandates by means of balancing mandates.
Oppermann now suggested that in a first step, 20 electoral districts should be deleted and one electoral period later 20. "There is a majority in the Bundestag for a reduction of the direct constituencies." This is actually a good basis for a compromise and an opportunity to counteract the contradictions bridge would be that electoral reform comes into force in several stages. "
The SPD politician warned: "The Bundestag can not stand the electoral reform, which would be a huge loss of credibility connected In many laws, the parliament sets the citizens limits." A Bundestag, which does not have the power to set itself limits Damage."
Size interferes according to lawyers function of the Bundestag
There are fears that the next Bundestag could even grow up to 800 MPs. This also speaks from Oppermann's point of view, now to change the suffrage, even if this should then be applied to the next but one election to the Bundestag. "Whether a Bundestag with 800 delegates would still have the power to bring about a reduction is very questionable, because we have a great responsibility in my view."
More recently, more than a hundred constitutional lawyers from Germany had appealed in an open letter to the Bundestag to reform the federal electoral law and thereby reduce the number of deputies. The huge size of the Bundestag affected its function and cause unnecessary additional costs, it said in the letter. At the same time, suffrage, as the most important form of democratic expression, paradoxically has an almost democratizing effect, said the experts. It had become so complicated that hardly any voters understand what his two votes ultimately caused.