Freiburg's city council has 48 members meaning that I had an equal number of votes to cast. This has historical reasons. Up to 1248 the city council only had 24 members all of noble families who were city councilors by birth and for lifetime. In view of their mismanagement of public property a small revolution took place in May 1248. All citizens assembled in the Münster church square and demanded that an additional 24 and mostly younger members of the nobility, merchants, and craftsmen were added to the city council helping the established 24 with the administration. These new members were elected on a yearly basis. This timid "democratization" continued up to 1386.
|The document of May 1248 enlarging Freiburg's city council|
Nowadays our 48 city councilors are elected for a 5 year mandate. There are 13 parties who would like to sit in Freiburg's town hall. The lists of candidates of the various parties are contained in a somewhat longish booklet where the voter has the agony of choice. Is this the reason that less than half of Freiburg's citizens cast their votes?
|Title of the booklet containing 13 ballot sheets. Only half the length is shown. |
On the bottom it reads:You therefore have 48 votes
Red Baron likes to have it complicated. First, I never like my party's order of its 48 candidates on the ballot sheet. Here I have the possibility to häufeln (cumulate) up to three votes on particular candidates thus moving them up the list. A party getting 14% of the votes will have 7 seats in the city council. So the first 7 persons from their list are elected. In cumulating your votes you can (slightly) influence the order on the ballot sheet.
Second, I know a number of candidates from other parties personally and want to give them some of my votes. In this case I panaschiere (mix) my choice in adding the names of the persons of other parties on my party list by hand. Then I attribute to them up to three votes. In these games there is only one condition to fulfill: Your ballot sheet must not count more than 48 votes in total.
P.S.: The results of the voting for Freiburg's city council were known only today (May 27) as the poll workers first had to count the votes for the European parliament. Whereas in Europe the Eurosceptics increased their number of deputies by 50% the results for Freiburg's city council show no surprises. Here are the seats for the various parties in the new assembly (in brackets the distribution of seats in the previous council elected in 2009):
Green Party (Grüne) 11 (11)
Christian Democrats (CDU) 9 (10)
Social Democrats (SPD) 8 (9)
Leftist List (LiSSt) 4 (4)
Free Voters (FW) 3 (3)
Livable Freiburg (FL) 3 (0)
Free Democrats (FDP) 2 (4)
Culture List (KULT) 2 (2)
Young Freiburg (JF) 2 (1)
Alternative Greens (GAF) 1 (2)
Independent Women (UFF) 1 (0)
The Party (DIEPARTEI) 1 (0)
Christians for Freiburg (CFF) 1 (0)
Mayor Dieter Salomon commented: Freiburg bleibt regierbar, aber der Gemeinderat wird bunter (Freiburg remains "governable" but the city council is more colored). It will nevertheless be difficult to attribute different and distinct colors to all thirteen parties presented in Freiburg's new city council some although only with one seat.