The Election in Germany – also Important for Norway! Part I

By | October 22, 2021

Why and how does it matter to us who wins the German election?

  • What is Norway’s relationship with Germany?
  • Which parties are important?
  • What issues characterize the election in Germany?
  • Why does the election in Germany play a role for Norway?

On 26 September, Germany elects a new Bundestag – equivalent to our own Storting – for the next four years. The election will provide strong guidelines for how Germany will develop in the years to come.

Germany is Norway’s most important partner in Europe and Norway’s second largest trading partner. The outcome of the German election will therefore have major consequences for us in Norway. The consequences will depend on which parties win and which political issues are given priority.

2: How is the relationship between Norway and Germany?

Over the last 70 years, Germany has developed into one of the world community’s most important supporters of human rights and a protector of international law and democracy.

Especially the gruesome lessons from the National Socialist regime that ruled Germany in the abyss of World War II have marked Germany: Never will such a thing happen again!

The Germans have therefore taken an active role in peace and reconciliation work internationally through the EU, the UN and NATO.

According to TOPMBADIRECTORY, Norway and Germany share the same values, and have built up a very good and trusting relationship over time. Germany’s stability and predictability have played an important role in that process. With a large economy and strong international influence, Germany is also one of Norway’s most important allies. Norway and Germany are also bound together through close defense cooperation and joint investment in defense equipment. Both countries are members of NATO.

3: How is the German political system composed?

Germany is a parliamentary democratic federal state. The government is headed by a chancellor, who is the German version of our prime minister, and the government must have the support of a majority in parliament to remain in power.

It is not just the United States that consists of several states with a large degree of internal autonomy – Germany is also a so-called federal state.

The country consists of 16 different states called ” Bundesländer “. These govern themselves in a number of areas and write their own laws, but must also follow what is decided in the national parliament. The national parliament is called the Bundestag.

4: Which parties are important?

In Germany, there are fewer political parties in parliament than in Norway. In Norway, nine parties are represented in the Storting, while the German parliament has only six.

Historically, the popular parties Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) have formed the core of the German party landscape. Their Norwegian sister parties are the Conservatives and the Labor Party, respectively.

The conservative and market liberal party CDU is running for election together with the union partner Christian Social Union ( CSU) from the state of Bavaria. Together they are often referred to simply as the “Union”.

The SPD is the world’s oldest workers’ party. After World War II, a German government has never been formed without at least one of these parties being a leading force in the government. As a rule, government coalitions have been formed in Germany, ie the governments have consisted of two or more parties. In the last two election periods, from 2013-2021, the German government has been a grand coalition government consisting of the CDU / CSU and the SPD.

In Norway, this would correspond to a government between the Labor Party and the Conservatives, which is seen as completely unlikely.

This shows how concerned Germany is about having a stable and active government.

Apart from the Union and the SPD, four other political parties are represented in the Bundestag:

  • The Greens(Social Liberal Green Party )
  • The Free Democrats(FDP, liberal business-oriented party)
  • Die Linke(Left Radical Party)
  • The alternative for Germany(AfD, right-wing radical party).

The vast majority of voters in Germany vote for the parties in the center. Only the wing parties, ie the outer parties, Die Linke and AfD, have not been in government. This is another sign that German voters are relatively moderate and so-called consensus-oriented, that they largely agree.

Two center-left parties seem to be able to play a decisive role in which government Germany gets after the election: the Greens and the Free Democrats.

They will to a large extent be involved in deciding which government constellations, ie which parties can work together to enter government, will receive a majority. The Greens are an environmental party that has moved more towards the center of German politics in recent years, having been more radical when they were founded in the 80s. They are still the party that mobilizes the most young voters in Germany. In the election campaign, they have been concerned with balancing liberal market forces and environmental considerations through strong economic instruments. The Free Democrats want less regulation of the free market, as well as lower taxes.

The Election in Germany 1