Hat Irland die Lösung zum Sperrklausel-Problem?

This article concerns the potential to introduce a preferential voting system, as in Ireland (both jurisdictions) and Australia, to solve the problem that so many votes effectively do not count in Germany if they are cast for parties failing to reach 5%.

Die Wahlbeteiligung bei der heurigen Bundeswahl ist knapp gestiegen, aber nie zuvor hatten so viele Teilnehmer keinen Einfluss auf das Wahlergebnis. Mehr als 15% der Zweitstimmen waren im Endeffekt vergeben, weil die Parteien gegeben wurden, die an der Sperrklausel scheitern. Deswegen ist die sogenannte Fünfprozenthürde besonders umstritten.

Kann es sein, dass eine Lösung in Irland und Nordirland erscheint?

Auf der ganzen Insel Irland herrscht das Präferenzwahlsystem. Das heisst, dass Wähler nicht nur ein Kreuz schreiben, sondern Nummern. Dem liebsten Kanditaten geben sie die Nummer Eins, dem zweitliebsten die Nummer Zwei, und so weiter. Sie dürfen so vielen Kandidaten eine Stimme geben, wie sie wollen. Falls der Nummer-Ein-Kandidat ausfällt, ist es noch möglich, dass die übertragbare Stimme einem weiteren Kanditaten durch eine spätere Präferenz hilft. (Dieses System gilt auch in Australien, obwohl die Wähler da verpflichtet sind, allen Kanditaten eine Präferenz zu geben.)

Bei der letzten Bundestagswahl war das einfach so, dass FDP-, AfD- und Piraten-Wähler ihre Präferenz nicht bekannt geben konnten. Es ist hauptmöglich dass die grosse Mehrheit der FDP-Wähler und wahrscheinlich auch AfD-Wähler eine zweite Präferenz der CDU gegeben hätten, damit die Bundeskanzlerin allerdings eine absolute Mehrheit hätte bekommen können. Die grössere Wahl für Rechtskandidaten hätte schon zu mehr Mandaten für sie geführt. Wir wären nicht in der Lage, dass Links mehr Abgeordneten hat, trotz Wahlverlust. Einfach gesagt, wäre das viel proportioneller.

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8 thoughts on “Hat Irland die Lösung zum Sperrklausel-Problem?

  1. A good test of my ability in German (with some recourse to google translate!!).

    My understanding was that the 5% mark in Germany was a fixed equivalent to the Droop quota – is this not the case?

    • The article is more to do with the fact that a supposedly “proportional” system did not deliver a “proportional” outcome. I think we can safely assume that the vast majority of the votes for parties below 5% (FDP, AfD, even Pirates) would have leaned “right” rather than left, given the “right” a comfortable majority of the vote (and a higher share than last time); yet the outcome is the “left” has more seats than the “right” (unlike last time).

      I have no difficulty with the quota, a cultural necessity as much as anything else. My argument is that if voters marked parties *in order of preference* (as in Ireland), their vote could transfer in the event that their first preference did not reach 5%.

      • Ok, I see what you’re saying, so Germany just has a flat quota but without any preferential system.

        I wonder though, would people vote in the way you imply? In NI nominal unionists tend to lend their second preference to other unionist parties, even though they may really disagree with them, , but in a less unusual voting environment would that habit remain? For example, on GB I vote Tory, but if given a second preference I am quite unlikely to vote UKIP they are nominally right of centre.

        If I understand what you say correctly, you seem to be hinting at Left/Right designations. But maybe I misunderstand!

      • Well, one of the reasons I wrote the article in German is that it just doesn’t transfer culturally!

        To explain to anyone else out there reading: Germans have two votes. The first goes for a “constituency MP”, as it were; and the second goes to a party. The total number of seats is allocated absolutely proportionately to that *second* vote, except that to qualify for any seats at all you must exceed 5% (or win three constituency seats). The theoretical point is that anyone who allocates their second vote to a party not reaching 5% effectively has it discounted.

        This has never really been seen as a problem before (at least not in Germany) because no party had ever narrowly missed the target and very few people therefore had cast their second vote to have it effectively discounted. But in this particular election the FDP scored 4.8% and the AfD 4.7% – those two alone accounted for nearly 10% of voters (in fact the total effectively discounted was 15.6%, really quite significant).

        That a proportional system can effectively discount nearly a sixth of the votes cast is bad enough. I would add, however, that we can be reasonably sure almost all of those FDP voters wanted Merkel as Chancellor (the party was in coalition with her and had stated as much), we can be pretty sure most AfD voters preferred her too (as Merkel has talked about taking back powers from the EU whereas Steinbrueck ruled it out), and actually most “Pirates” voters (another 2.2%) are pretty liberal and thus probably somewhere near the FDP position too.

        Thus the outcome of an election where a comfortable majority of voters had voted pro-Merkel, in a supposedly proportional system, could in fact have resulted in her removal from office. An obvious farce – and an avoidable one, if you allowed preference voting, which would make clear what people really wanted.

    • chris roche says:

      Mulroney says:
      It’s nice to see that Mr IJ Parsley is not letting his GERMAN FOR DUMMIES go to waste. Maybe he should consider a financial outlay on THE SIX COUNTIES FOR DUMMIES. Aber naturlich. Sagen Sie Bescheid, wenn Sie eine Frage haben!!!

  2. Thanks for the explanation Ian, but come on:
    “To explain to anyone else out there reading…”
    You know it’s just me! 😉

  3. chris roche says:

    Mulroney says:
    Don’t underestimate Der Fuhrer Herr Wilhelm Frazer.

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