1998 年 13 巻 p. 226-235,276
The German electoral system is known as a system which combines the principle of proportionality with the relative-majority system of single-member constituencies. In the discussions on electoral reform in Japan, the German electoral system was regarded as an ideal model for the Japanese one. But does the German system really deserve to be admired as an ideal model?
In some constituencies in elections to the German ‘Bundestag’, where political parties are more familiar to voters than individual candidates, voters do not in fact choose a candidate from candidates of two major parties, but one of several candidates belonging to same party. For example, at a constituency in Land Baden-Württemberg, the ‘first vote’ means that a candidate from the CDU in this constituency is selected and that one of the candidates on the CDU party list is selected.
On the other hand there is a tendency in the proportional system for voters to select a party based not only on the party ideology and/or party program, but also on the candidate for Federal Chancellor. For that position the party leader of major parties is often selected. The election in 1990 was noted as a victory by the government parties (CDU/CSU/FDP), because both Chancellor Kohl and Foreign Minister Genscher greatly contributed to the German Unification.
But was it true? The Greens failed in the election due to the ‘5 percent clause’. One of the reasons for that was, that Lafontaine, the Chancellor candidate from the opposition party SPD, was popular among Greens supporters. He asserted that the environmental policy and peace movement, which were proposed by the Greens, are vital. The failure of the Greens increased the numher of ineffectual votes, consequently the shere of votes obtained the greatest parties, the CDU/CSU, rose.