Tag Archives: german election

Government formation German edition

merkelThey’re still at it 4 months after the election in September of last year. As posted before this should be the process of Government formation. Substitute the appropriate German office or body, Bundestag / House of Commons, President / Speaker, Chancellor / Prime Minster, Federal President / Governor-General.

  • The fourth Monday after the election Parliament reconvenes.
  • In the morning the members are sworn in and the election of the Speaker is done.
  • In the afternoon the Speaker asks the House their recommend for appointment as Prime Minister “Who should the Governor-General call upon to form a government” ? The longest serving member of the largest party stands up and nominates the leader of their party. Then the most senior member of the second largest party does the same, then the third, and so forth. Lastly all the independent members are asked in order of their seniority in the House.
  • All the nominated members are asked if they would accept appointment. If more then 4 say yes then the House votes.
  • The Speaker puts the question “Who does this House have confidence in to serve as Prime Minister” ? It’s an open vote and the one with the least votes is eliminated plus any others who wish to withdraw. If there is still more then 4 nominees a second vote is held and the process done again. The voting stops when there is 4 or less nominees for Prime Minister.
  • On Tuesday the Prime Minister-designates are invited to Government House and asked by the Governor-General to form a government consisting of say 16 to 20 members.
  • On Thursday the House is back in session with the Speaker putting to the House the question “Which of these government-designates has the confidence of this House” ? Assuming 4 councils the council-designate with the least votes is eliminated and a second vote is held. The third placed council-designate is eliminated and the top two go to a third and last ballot. The winner becomes the Council of Ministers and the runner up the Council of Opposition.
  • On Friday in the House the Speaker swears in the third and fourth placed councils as Shadow councils in the House. This is done only if they can get 17 votes on the last ballot their on (5% of 338 members).
  • On Sunday at Rideau Hall the Governor-General first swears in the second placed council as the Council of Opposition and then the winner as the Council of Ministers.

In the event there is a Party with a majority and the second largest Party can’t be out voted by the remaining members then the process becomes a formality since the result of all votes is known. After the last Federal election the House would have nominated Justin Trudeau, Rona Ambrose, and Thomas Mulcair as Prime Minister-Designates. They each would have submitted council-designates to a confidence vote in the House of Commons.

On the first ballot the Liberals would have a majority and the Conservatives in second place with the NDP in third. Friday the swearing in by the Speaker in the House of the NDP shadow council. On Sunday the swearing in by the Governor-General the Conservatives as the Council of Opposition and then the Liberals as the Council of Ministers.