Government system refers to the mode in which the communities are controlled. Understanding the systems of governance is of great importance since it helps in determining whether a government is autocratic or dictatorial. Importantly, the system of government influences how governments make policies. Hence, government system indirectly influences the impact that the formulated policies will have to the community at large. For instance, systems of governance like the monarch might end up formulating policies that would deprive citizens of their franchise. This is because leaders under such systems have the power to make independent policies. Nevertheless, the federal system of governance denies the head of state the authority to make policies without consulting the relevant authorities or persons. This article will, therefore, compare and contrast the systems of government in Germany and Spain together with the impact they have in policymaking.
The Government System of Germany
Germany uses the federal system of government. This refers to a system of government which divides the government power between the national and the local government. The constitution of Germany constitution devised the federal system. This system of governance is also referred to as federalism. Notably, under the federal system of governance, each government exhibits sovereignty in particular areas while in others the power is shared. For instance, both the federal government and the state government have the authority to tax. However, the federal government has the authority to declare war but the state government cannot.
Branches in the Germany government
The Germany’s federal government has three branches namely the legislative, executive and the judicial (German Political system, 2016) .
The legislative Branch: The legislative arm comprises of the federal Council or rather the Bundesrat . The main role of the Bundesrat is to formulate laws and legislation. The Bundesrat also serves to ensure that the powers of the judicial and executive arms of the government are checked through legislation. Notably, the representatives to the house and Senators comprise the Bundesrat. (German Political system, 2016) Notably, the House of representatives contains members depending on the population of the states. The Senate, on the other hand, comprises of members who are appointed irrespective of the population. In order for a legislation to be deemed a law, the house and senate need to ratify it.
The Executive Branch: This arm consists of the federal councilor, the president, and other members who have either been elected or appointed. The executive arm is headed by the federal councilor who us the head of state. The role of this arm is to administrate the laws that have been approved by the Bundesrat . Notably, the country also has a Federal President who is elected by the German people (German Political system, 2016) . After being voted in, the president appoints members of the cabinet who will be recommended by the chancellor . The cabinet in this regards are the advisors of the president. Importantly, the federal chancellor is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Finally, as the head of state, the president enforces the laws or rather policies that have been approved by the Bundesrat .
The Judicial Branch: This Branch is composed of the Courting system. The Federal Constitutional Court is the highest court under this system of government. The role of this branch is to use the constitution and laws to deliver verdicts to offenders. Being the highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court’ s verdict is often the final one and no other judicial body can dispute the verdict reached. The half of the judges of the Federal Constitutional Court is selected by the Bundestag while the remaining half is elected by the Bundesrat (German Political system, 2016) . The judicial system plays an important role in creating German laws. This is because they have the authority to render a law unconstitutional.
How federal government system influences Policymaking
In the federal government, policymaking has to follow specific procedures since the head of state does not exhibit total control over issues. As such, six steps ought to be followed when making policies. The first step is agenda building. Prior to creating a policy, there must be a problem which called the government attention. The second step is policy formulation. This implies establishing a means in which the problem can be solved. At this stage, the Bundesrat and the executive arms can be involved. The Bundesrat or an agency that serves the regulatory role then drafts the proposals made. Once the Bundesrat approves the policy, the decision is final, the Federal Constitutional Court then finalizes by providing its verdict on the case (German Political system, 2016) . The final processes are implementation, evaluation, and termination. Notably, after the policy has been approved, the process that follows is the implementation of the policy. The evaluation process is key in establishing the workability of the policy. If by chance the evaluation process finds out that the policy was not sound, the final step that follows is termination of the policy that was implemented.
During the policymaking process, each of the three branches has an equal role to play. They check the power of each via the checks and balances system. Therefore, with this system of governance, none of this branch should get extra power and influence. As aforementioned, each of these arms has a peculiar duty during the policy making process. Importantly, a system of checks and balance exists to ensure that no branch takes advantage of the law making the process to deny the citizens their legal rights (German Political system, 2016) . For instance, the legislative arm of the government can formulate bills; however, the executive arm may disapprove them. On the other hand, despite the fact that the executive arm has disapproved the bills, the legislative arm may override the disapproval. This is a clear indication that the three arms of government deploy the quest for agreement in order to work together to perform government duties.
Party System and Dominant Parties in Germany
Germany uses a multi party system. The dominating parties are Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU).Free Democratic Party (FDP), Left Party or Die, Social Democratic Party (SPD) . Notably, the nation also has other minor parties which have been able to elect a person to a local office. Examples of such parties include the pirate Party of Germany which entered into politics in 2011 and it managed to win several seats.
Spain’s Government System
The system of governance in Spain is that of the parliamentary monarchy (Ünaldi, 2012) . This contrasts with that of Germany. However, just like the federal government system, the monarch government system has three arms of government. These are the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches of government
The executive arm of Spain’s government System
Notably, unlike in the federal system of governance, the monarch is the commander-in-chief or the armed forces in Spain. On the other hand, the monarch is not elected or selected rather, that position is confined within particular families. In other words, the position is acquired through inheritance. Under this government system, the government has a president who is nominated by the monarch. This is different to the federal system where the president seeks the approval from the public in order to be voted for that position. In the monarchy system of government, there is the prime minister who acts as the government’s president (Ünaldi, 2012) .
Judicial arm of Spain’s government System:
Just like in the federal government system, the judicial arm of the Spain’s government is responsible for issuing a verdict of wrongdoers. The judicial system processes complaints that have been laid against prominent persons in the government such as ministers, senators, senior judges, the president and judges from the highest courts in the Kingdom.
The legislative arm of Spain’s government System
As opposed to the federal government system, the legislative arm of the monarch government system comprises of the deputies of the congress and senate (Ünaldi, 2012) . They help in enacting laws and amending the Constitution. Notably, the leader of the opposition is also involved in the process as the Shadow Government. The opposition leader represents the largest party that does not form part of the Congress Deputies.
How the system Influences Policymaking
Unlike in the federal system in Germany, policymaking under the parliamentary hereditary monarch system that is typical in the Spain’s government system provides the monarch with the authority to ratify laws (Ünaldi, 2012) . Notably, the system has a prime minister who is appointed by the monarch to act as the president of the government. Notably, the prime minister’s role is to conduct local and international (foreign) policies, military and civil administration, as well as country’s defense under the instruction of the monarch or rather the king.
Party System and Dominant Parties in Spain’s Government
Spain uses a multi-party system. Notably, since Spain embraced democracy, two political parties have been dominating its elections. These are the Popular and Socialist parties. Other parties include the United Left Union, Progress and Democracy, Basque Nationalist Party, Republican Left of Catalonia and Convergence and Union.
The most preferred system is the federal type of governance which is characteristic of the German government system. Under this system, it is difficult for the head of state to become a dictator. With this type of governance, authority and control are not granted to one person. Monarch, particularly with absolute power that is typical in the Spain's government system, is unfair and oppressive in some way. With this in mind, countries need to write or rather have a constitution that separates power or a branch of government that works independently. Notably, the three branches need to have unique responsibilities as seen under the government system of Germany. Notably, the uniqueness in responsibilities and independence that these branches exhibit is key in ensuring that the government is run smoothly and the franchise of citizens are not assumed. Importantly, a proper system for checking and balancing the need to be initiated in order to ensure that one arm of the government is not very strong than the other. On the other hand, the fact that the head of state does not have absolute power to initiate and impose policies implies that a clear protocol has to be developed to ensure that the policies being advocated for taking into consideration the views of all the parties involved.
In conclusion, government system is important since it determines how best the citizens or rather the country is served. A good government system should not shoulder the head of state with the mandate of formulating and imposing policies the way he/she feels. Such freedom is likely to turn them into dictators. Dictatorial governments are known to ignore the rights of citizens and that might cause instability in a nation. Importantly, governments need to ensure that the three branches of government namely the executive, legislative and judicial need to work independently for the sake of bettering the nation. As such, the writer of this essay suggests that the federal system of governance that is practiced in Germany is the best system of government compared to the parliamentary monarchy which is characteristic of Spain’s government system.
German Political System (2016). A short guide to the German political system. Retrieved from http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/Germanpoliticalsystem.html.
Ünaldi, S. (2012). Modern Monarchs and Democracy: Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej and Juan Carlos of Spain. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs , 31 (2), 5-34.