French And German Comparative Politics

1927 Words Nov 10th, 2014 8 Pages
University of Toronto

French and German Comparative Politics

Daniel Mendes
November 10, 2014
POL 207Y
Professor Mathias Albert
TA: Michael Pelz
Session: Wednesday 9-10
Student ID: 1000433122
MLA citation style

During the allied invasion of France in WWII, American general George Patton said “I would rather have a German division in front of me, than a French division behind me”. Throughout history comparisons have been made between Germany and France, and rightly so, these two countries are the powerhouses of Europe, very little can be accomplished on the continent without their support. France and Germany share not only a border but common aspects of their political systems. They are both bicameral, constitutional republics with centralized national governments. But in recent years the French political system has become stuck in gridlock while Germany continues to move ahead and pass legislation. The critical difference between these two countries lies in the way they organize their parliaments and electoral systems, as well as the use of coalition governments.
The current French political system was developed in 1958, with the creation of the fifth republic, which was introduced by Charles de Gaulle. The purpose of the new constitution of the fifth republic was to increase the power of the president while decreasing the power of parliament. Since the establishment of the fifth republic France has held mostly a two party system leading to many majority…
Open Document