Can you compare the British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor?
- The invention of television or a succession of discoveries
- The discoveries that introduced the invention of television
- The birth of the term "television"
- From the mechanical television (1925-1931) to the electric television (1932-1945)
- Television in the footsteps of players like the radio
- The FCC and Congress: state control
- The networks: diffusion
- U.S. companies: financing
- Television and the American public
- Television proved to the Americans
- The placing of television sets on the market
Today, many states operate under parliamentary system, it is dualistic i.e. the Government is politically accountable both to Parliament and to the Head of State. If the executive is head, there is one head of state (a president or a monarch) and the same person is also the head of the government (a Prime Minister/ Chancellor). This is the system that Britain and Germany follow.
However, can we truly compare the British and German governments? Are they really alike?
In Britain, power is shared in a customary constitution between the monarch, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the Prime Minister and Cabinet. However, today, only the last three bodies hold the real power.
The office of the Prime Minister in Britain was born in the early eighteenth century. At this time, the British crown passed on to a prince of a German dynasty. This prince was completely uninterested in the affairs of Britain. They eventually evolved towards a monistic parliamentary system because "the king reigns but does not govern."
The institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany are governed by the Basic Law that was established on 23 May 1949. We can also note that these institutions, despite the fact that they were implemented within a federal framework, are close to those of the British system since the statute establishes a similar parliamentary system.
Germany has two legislative bodies: the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The executive is also two-headed as it is composed of the President of the Republic and the government is led by Chancellor.
However, in practice, the President of the Republic has limited powers and the idea behind this being, to avoid any return of a regime type rule like that of the Weimar Republic. Both the British and the German systems operate on bipartisanship i.e. the alternation in power of two major political parties. It is rigid in the UK which means that one party almost always gets the majority. In West Germany this is not as rigid as one of the two dominant parties ally with the other party for a "hinge" majority.
The British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor are comparable in terms of their primacy in their respective institutions.
The Election of the German Chancellor and the British Prime Minister:
In Britain, after the first general election, a Conservative leader is elected by the parliamentary group and a Labor leader is elected by an electoral college. Then, the results are announced and the winner is sworn in by the Queen. The mode of his appointment ensures its legitimacy as both parties propose a candidate but the final choice is still left to the voters (except in case of a resignation, when the ruling party nominates a new leader who will then become the new Prime Minister).
The mode of election of the German Chancellor shows the importance of his position in government.
One of the ways the German Chancellor is elected is:
The candidate wins the elections of the Bundestag. Then be nominated by the Bundestag, this step gives it a greater degree of legitimacy than the method with the British Prime Minister.