Economics Minister Peter Altmaier has called for a drastic policy reform as a consequence of the loss of votes of the established parties in the Thuringia election. The aim is to restore citizens' trust in the parties. In a guest contribution for the Rheinische Postthe CDU politician spoke in favor of giving citizens more decision-making.
“We can not innocently wash our hands when the proportion of voters who no longer elect a state-sponsored party doubles, the number of parties halves, and the number of MPs continues to rise,” wrote Altmaier. The big parties need to be ready for change.
As a concrete measure, he proposed to downsize the Bundestag. “I think that this year we need a parliamentary reform that will lead to a significant reduction in several stages, with the number of members to be reduced by 40 seats every 4 years until a reasonable number is achieved.”
The number of ministers should be set to 15 and the number of secretaries of state and government officials should be reduced by one third from the next formation of a government. Bundestag and parliamentary elections would have to be more concentrated and summarized. The term of office in the federal government must be extended to five years.
Greater citizen participation
In addition, the culture of debate must be reconsidered. “We need formats that allow debates outside of elections.” Before laws are passed, online hearings should allow people to speak out. “Your concerns and suggestions should be able to bring them closer to the policy in the future, in such a way that they can actually be taken into account,” wrote Altmaier in the Rheinische Post,
Informal bodies, such as the coalition committees, would have increased to such an extent that the formally competent bodies would be devalued. This, too, contributed to the disgruntlement among the citizens, because the vast majority of decisions would be taken behind closed doors. “The Federal Council too often is paralyzed by the fact that everyone
Coalition partner of a state government reserves a veto right. In the future, should
the voice of a country can only be given by the prime minister, “wrote Altmaier.