Topic 2: Political Institutions in Germany
Step #3: Application
Strategy: Applying Information to a Different Setting
Follow-up the previous discussion of citizen involvement in the political process
by analyzing the data at this website to determine the percentage of Germans
voting in the most recent election to the German Bundestag. The English language
portion of the Bundestag’s official web site is located at www.bundestag.
Note: The data shows a 77% voter turnout for the 2005 elections to the German
Use Handout #15 (Interest in Politics and Where it Comes From) to help students
decide if “medium/communication activity” is a factor in generating more
interest in the political process.
Use Worksheet #3 (Comparing Voting in the United States and the Federal
Republic of Germany) to research differences in voting patterns in the United
States and Germany. Focus the discussion on:
- Which activity appears to be the most effective in generating
interest? The least effective?
- Are you surprised by any of the results?
- Would you say that these results would hold true for the
Have the students use what they have learned about citizen involvement in
German politics to make some recommendations for how to motivate United
States citizens to become more involved in the political process. For example:
- Role of political parties in motivating citizens to become involved
- The proportion of eligible voters actually participating in national
- How might politicians from both political parties better get their
message to the voters?
- What issues seem to be the most important to the voters? How can
we get our politicians to more fully address these issues?
- Is there a place in U. S. politics for additional parties to bring these
issues to the forefront?