Geoffrey K. Roberts
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Parliamentary politics
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The creation of Land legislatures was of great relevance for the design of parliamentary structures for the new Federal Republic in 1949. This chapter describes the structures of the two chambers of the legislature of the Federal Republic: the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The Bundestag, the lower chamber of the legislature of the Federal Republic of Germany, operates under relevant provisions of the Basic Law and under legislation such as the Electoral Law and the Party Law. The Bundesrat (Federal Council) is the most powerful second chamber in western Europe. It imports the 'federal' element to the legislative process, alongside the Bundestag's representation of the national 'popular' element. The chapter analyses the ways in which the functions of the legislature are carried out and examines the social composition of the Bundestag in relation to its representative function.

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