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And no blatant politicization of federal agencies in Germany.

I´ve read somewhere - don´t know if it´s true - that a new US President can fill up to 3000 positions in the administration with political appointees?
In federal departments and agencies, federal prosecutors whatever...

That number is much lower in Germany.
Most positions here in the federal and state governments are civil servant positions. You just can´t throw them out and replace them with someone else. And in the rare cases the federal or state government asks such a civil servant to step down or retire early it will get scrutinized pretty closely. Not only from the opposition parties but by the media too.

And just to mention it. They can´t remove a federal prosecutor on their say so. It´s only possible if said prosecutor has violated a law.

Perhaps I should also mention that our law system is a bit different. In Germany if I tell a state attorney that a law was violated he/she is required by law to investigate my claim. It is unlawful for a prosecutor to just dismiss my claim. They can´t decide which cases to investigate and which cases to dismiss. They are rquired by law to investigate all of them.
(Only exception is that the federal government can tell a prosecutor not to take a case to court in the interest of foreign relations.)

No smear campaigns.

You know, after reading US media and blogs, I don´t think I have ever seen something similar in Germany.
It just isn´t done.
Personally attacking your political opponent just isn´t done. And if you do it, it might well backfire on you.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Wed Jul 23rd, 2008 at 04:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US system always had a huge number of Presidential political appointees to the various government agencies; what's different now is that the level of abuse by the bushco is unprecedented.  I can't find an analogue in German politics of Karl Rove.

The system was founded on checks and balances of the various institutions, as well as separation of powers. These bedrock principles no longer exist; thus the liklihood that the system is broken beyond repair.

Strangely, blogging is perhaps the main check on the system now, fulfilling the former role of the press, the Fourth Estate.  Prime example:  the detailed blogosphere scrutiny of the Plame case.  But even then the system miscarried justice, despite Libby's conviction. Despite the evidence, Cheney wasn't nailed.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jul 23rd, 2008 at 07:31:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, after reading US media and blogs, I don´t think I have ever seen something similar in Germany.
It just isn´t done.

When done, it is done much more sublimely. For example, when during and after the 2002 chancellor candidates' TV debate, Schröder and the SPD painted Stoiber a Besserwisser.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jul 24th, 2008 at 03:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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