The electoral system and electoral politics
in German politics today (third edition)
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This chapter discusses the principles of the German electoral system, summarises the most important defining features of the German electoral system, and describes how this electoral system came into existence. The electoral system affects the type of government of the Federal Republic of Germany. The chapter discusses the effects of the electoral system on the party system and on government. The functions of the electoral system usually have been more concerned with adjusting the balances among the strengths of the parties than with changes of government. The chapter describes the two periods (1956 and 1966) when significant reform of the electoral system seemed likely to occur. It also examines the processes of electoral politics, including candidate selection and election campaigning, as well as German voting behaviour. The electoral system seems to have contributed to the stability and flexibility of democratic politics in Germany.

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