The People Index (TPI)
A distinct democracy
with participatory limits
Criterions of evaluation:
A) Human Rights
1. Are all inhabitants respected as equal and free citizens?
According to the German constitution (articles 1 to 20), all citizens
are to be respected as free and equal. Also in practice, by and large,
the government respects all citizens. Equalization of women
meanwhile has been realized to a high degree. Indeed there are
There is still a distinct degree of wage differences between men
and women, disfavoring women. Indeed, German government,
particularly sofar based on Social Democrats, has announced to take
influence towards an equation of wages, such as by more
transparency; but Germany still belongs to the countries with the
biggest discrepancy of wages between men and women in
Indeed, there are minory political forces pro a strict blockade of
immigration; meanwhile Germany, however, stands for being
exceedingly open for controlled immigration and foreigners. That
constitutes a relevant international factor for a discussion about
global human rights.
Respect for all Inhabitants: 90%
2. Are there fair and free procedures?
A well formulated constitution with a systematic catalogue of fair
juridical procedures for everyone (
), a 65 years long
practice of fair and equal elections, usually fair procedures of
examination in schools and universitäties, an independent public
administration, and an exceeding significance of sports with fair and
free accessible procedures shape the dominating self-concept of
current Germany. Under these aspects Germany belongs to the most
developed democracies in the world. The practical institutional
strength, indeed, is relativized through a bundle of restrictions:
Even in lawsuits of criminal justic, deals between judge,
prosecutor, and culprit often take place - an unfairness towards third
(powerless) parties and an offense against fair law.
A long tradition of massive tax dodge has meanwhile
significantly reduced through the increasing practice of buying up so-
called tax-cd’s with delicate bank data.and a tough public discussion.
Indeed, in many cases big business is still undergoing norms of tax
paying to a great extent.
Strong lobbyism practically falses formally fair procedures to a
distinct degree in many policy-areas, particularly financial and bank
policy, war fare exports, car production, health policy and medicinical
products, energy policy, food and agricultural policy.
Corruption is also part of the social, economic, administrative,
and political reality in Germany. According to the Corruption
Perception Index, 2013 Germany reaches rank 12 out of 177
countries by a score of 78 between Highly corrupt (0) and Very clean
(100), 1 point worse than 2012. Recently massive forms of
administrative corruption have come to the
Often combined with corruption and beyond, other criminal
activities happen to a distinct and partly increasing degree, such as
activities of organized crime with drug commerce, international
money laundering, and forms of criminal violence. Policy activities,
indeed, have been intensifiedt to reduce those kind of criminality.
Basic rights of informational autonomy are no longer respected
by secret services of the USA and GB, practically accepted and even
fostered by German secret services. Those criminal activities focus
not only on citizens, but also on critical journalists, partly in favor of
certain firms - a mixture of corruption and iformational offense.
Even in the realm of completely legal governance unfair
procedures are no exception - see state universities and research with
In sum: Although there is a committed public discussion on the issue
in Germany, distinct limitations of fairness are to be ascertained.
Fairness of Procedures: 55%
3. Are all national borders respected?
In contrast to Nazi-Germany, West Germany (BDR) and GDR (East)
formally acknowledged and practically respected all given
international borders around them. That behavior has been
perceived and practised as core element of the European peace order
by reunited Germany.
Indeed individuals and organizations established in Germany belong
to the most innovative and active drivers of globalization - see
amongst others worldwide strategies of multinational firms based in
Germany (engineering firms, automobile firms, or chemical firms).
Particularly in developing countries at least latent conflicts between
those firms and domestic states respectively domestic population
punctually have been registered (such as in Brasil). Usually however
formal borders are respected.
Recently has come to the daylight that German secret services are
actively involved in criminal spying activities of the US secret services
not only against other European governments, but also against
Score: Respect for International Borders: 80%
Summarized score: Human Rights
(90+55+80)/3 = 75 %
1. May the people elect and recall their government?
The electorate is entitled to choose parties and candidates to the
national parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), to subnational
parliaments (Länder), and to communal entities (Kommunen).
Because the elected deputies on their part may choose and recall a
chancler - recalling is only possible by the constructive vote of no
confidence, that is, by choosing a new chancler - there is indirect
sovereignty of the people.
Restrictions of that democratic capacity concern the choice of certain
persons: In Germany the electorate is only entitled to chose the half
of the mandates by personal election (in single one-member districts
per relative majority). The other half of deputies is elected by the
parliamentary parties. Through this reglementation deputies that
have been not elected by the people nevertheless can reach
parliamentary seats just by being sent from a party.
A second restriction results from a 5% hurdle for parties to be
elected: Parties that gain less than 5% of all regular votes do not
reach the parliament - a quite usual reglementation in majority
election systems. Indeed, 5% are a higher hurdle than in some other
countries, such as Sweden or Netherlands.
Score Elections/Recalling: 78%
2. May the people participate in current decision-making?
In Germany, at national level, the people have no opportunity at all to
directly participate in decision-making. That complete exclusion of
direct democracy is unique in the European Union. At subnational
levels, in contrast, direct democratic decisions and initiatives not
seldom take place, although distinctly less often than in top countries
of direct democracy, such as Switzerland.
Free political communication, indeed, is guaranteed by constitution
(freedom of opinion, freedom of association, freedom of press a.s.f.).
Also in practice, current influence of political groups out of a broad
spectrum of opinions us usual in Germany. Indeed, there is astrong
political culture of journalists that interprete their own role not only
as reporting about public opinions, but also as forming up to
educating public opinion.
Finally, there have been going on two contradictional processes, a) a
process of increaing professional marketing of public policy making -
leading to a far-reaching exclusion of the aveage people from current
political process, b) the fast rising of the internet as influential basis
of politically relevant information and communication - opening up
new opportunities of expressing and publishing one’s ones’ opinions
for the people.
Altogether there are very limited opportunities of participating in
national politics for the people, while at sub-national levels there is a
Score: Participation in current decision-making: 50%
3. How representative is the people’s representation?
The German government acceptedly represents the collective will of
the Germans. By its statistical structure the current German
parliament, elected in autumn 2013, however represents the people
only to a certain degree: By a population structure of about 1:1
between females and males, only 204 women have won mandats in
German Bundestag (national parliament) towards 416 men. Indeed
this portion has bee the highest one in the history of the German
Figure: Professional groups in German parliament
Another distinct disproportion concerns professional groups: In
German parliament traditionally members of the public service
(Öffentlicher Dienst/Beamte) are overrepresented. So this sector, that
makes about 11% of the population, covered 24% of the mandates in
1961, 50% in 1980, and 77% in 1994 - a grotesque disproportion.
Meanwhile (last election 2013) the overrepresentation of the public
sector in parliament has been reduced - although still 36% of the
deputies come from this sector (towards 11% in population).
Score Representativity: 75%
Summarized score: Participation of the people
(78+50+75)/3 = 67,7%
1. Is there guaranteed peace?
Germany is firmly integrated in the European Union; it has
been a driving force of Europen integration aiming not only at
economic progress, but above all at establishing stable peace
amongst the European member-states. Germany, so far, benefits
from stable peace in Europe and constitutes a firm anchor of
Within its territory, Germany claims to dispose at an
effective monopoly on the use of force. That claim, indeed, is
not identical with completely protected peace in Germany:
In certain parallel cultures, such as Hooligans, rocker
gangs, and islamistic groups, the state monopoly on the
legitimated use of force is sometimes challenged. So a public
discussion on decreasing safety for Jews is currently going on.
Forms of criminal violence, such as robbery, murders,
hooligan violence, and other activities of brutal gangs, are
registered on a medium scale in international comparison.
There is a significant range of everyday violence below
criminality, particularly violence on school yards and around
schools, a statistically higher risk of violence against foreigners in
certain suburban and rural areas. Additionally also in Germany,
some political demonstrations imply violent activities.
Legal forms of force, particularly everyday force against
persons arrested or imprisoned in buildings of psychiatry, are
meanwhile heavily debated in public. So far data have come to
the daylight, Germany, particularly the German
Bavaria, show a middle-range record of illegitimate force in that
On the other side, violent force by teachers against pupils and
by parents against their children has been distinctly decreasing
during the past decades. A fundamental change from traditional
forceful to nonviolent ways of education has been taken place in
Germany. In sum, compared with peaceful everyday routine
processes, forms of illegitimate violence of the outlined sorts
constitute a relevant, but no prevailing phenomenon.
Score Peace Protection: 85%
2. Is the public infrastructure sufficiently fostered?
Germany’s high economic performance is based on a well
developed infrastructure not only in the capital and urban
agglomeration areas, but across the country. Maintaining and
fostering this infrastructure, indeed, is an ongoing challenge that
has not been met to a completely satisfying degree. Particularly
the invested amount of capital for renewing roads, bridges, and
railway infrastructures has been distinctly lower than the
necessary amount during the last decade. Therefore there are
structurally rising risks of incidents and everyday damages.
Those deficits are contrasted with occurences of overpaying up
to completely senseless public projects - mostly induced by
distinct forms of corruption. In some cases, eventually, obvious
deficits of efforts combine with forms of overpaying and
corruption, such as in the case of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport
and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall (Elbphilharmonie) in Hamburg.
Score Infrastructure: 80%
3. Is the economy well coordinated?
Germany is the biggest national economy of Europe and the
fourth economy of the world (2014). The German economy has
proven remarkably resilient in the face of recent crises.
Unemployment has reached post-unification lows, reflecting
ambitious reforms in the past decade. And the state houshold
for 2015 is planned to be completely balanced. So far it seems to
be obvious that the economy is well coordinated.
On the other side, there are some problematic features and
open challenges of the German economic policy: The German
economy has profited from its strong position in the European
Union, receiving massive cash flows from economically weaker
member-states. And Germany’s strictly cost lowering policy has
weakened the competitiveness of other European countries to a
certain degree (although the main criterion of competitiveness
is a global one). Finally a bunch of particularly strong economic
lobby groups comprises prominent German firms and
organizations, such as Deutsche Bank, multinational chemical
industry, and firms of the automobil
Score Economy: 90%
4. How evenly are the incomes distributed?
Income inequality (Gini-coefficient 28,3 in 2012) has not
increased since 2004 and has remained lower than in most
OECD countries. Compared to the beginning 1980s, indeed, the
percentage of the highest percentile of all incomes has
massively risen, as in almost all OECD countries (OECD 2014).
The reasons were the distinct lowering of the top tax rate and
some other decreasing taxes.
According to a current study on German asset distribution,
exclusively published by Spiegel online
German multimillionärs represent only 0.02 percent of total
population. They own 22.6 percent of the total assets, that is
about 2.58 trillions dollar - a particularly uneven distribution. So
in China multimillionairs only represent 7.3 Prozent, in the USA
12.5 percent of the total assets.
Poverty risk has increasingly affected employees with relatively
low employment protection or limited access to unemployment
insurance, as well as many part-time and self-employed
workers. The share of women working part-time is high. Youth
who have not graduated from upper secondary education face
poor lifetime income generating prospects. Education outcomes
continue to depend strongly on socio-economic background.
Score: Income Distribution: 60%
5. Is health effectively protected?
Life expectancy in Germany has massively risen during the
last decades. One background is a well-developed health
system. But there are very high expenditures with relatively low
results: See - at least - 40.000 fatalities through virus deseases
and bacteria in hospitals...
Score Health/Life expectancy: 86%
6. Are qualification and education, research &
development managed well?
Looking forward is a usual topic in public German politics, and
also many practical efforts are made to give the country a good
chance in the decades to come. But practical coordination in
these regards shows distinct deficits: Qualification processes
often are not flexibel enough to fastly respond to new demands
(example computer-based engineering, particularly information
technology). There is a fundamental deficit of wide-spread
political education - see the current susceptibility of young
persons for propaganda by ISIS.
Also research & development could be organized in a much
more dynamic way.
Score: Education/Research&Development: 80%
7. Ecological and financial sustainability?
Although environmental protection and sustainability are well-
established industries in Germany, practical energy policy and
automobile policy massively obstruct an effective climate
mitigation. Indeed, after having cumulated state household
deficits since the end of the 1960s until 2012, meanwhile a
completely balanced record of all public household has been
reached and is to be reproduced in the household years to
Score: Ecological and Financial Sustainability: 80%
Summarized score: Coordination for the people
(90+80+85+60+86+80+80)/7 = 80.1%
Comprehensive Scores Germany
Human Rights: 75%
Germany is a distinct democracy
with participatory limits
Institute for Political Analysis
Prof. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz