The German constitution sets rules for the legislative process within a constitutional framework, and binds the state to fairness, the law, the protecting of people's dignity and assuring the fundamental rights of all citizens as well as the equality of all citizens before the law, the freedom of speech and press and the formation of civil associations. The constitution stipulates clearly that Germany is a socialist country which has to ensure to all its citizens a decent standard of living in cases of unemployment, handicap, and sickness or in retirement. The constitution emphasizes the protection of individual liberty in an extensive catalogue of human and civil rights and divides powers both between the federal and state levels and between the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
The Parliament & Government
Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic, and federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) and the Bundesrat the representative body of Germany's 16 regional states. Each state has its own state parliament and government which is elected by the state's citizens. The Federal government on the hand is formed based on free direct election of the German Bundestag which takes place every four years. The winning Party of most of the votes forms a government either individually or as a coalition with another party (or parties). The members of the Bundestag then choose the Federal Chancellor as head of the government who is also responsible for forming the Cabinet [Bundeskabinett or Bundesregierung] which is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Federal President
The Federal President, by his or her actions and public appearances, represents the state itself, its existence, its legitimacy, and unity. The position is largely a ceremonial one and is not elected by the people but by a committee from the German Parliament members and members of state parliaments. The presidential term in Germany is 5 years.
The Political Parties
There are five major parties represented in the current parliamentary session in the Federal Republic of Germany:
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
Christian Social Union party in Bavaria (CSU)
Social Democratic Party (SPD)
The Left Party (Linke)
The Greens Party (Die Grüne)
Some parties are represented in some German state's parliaments but not in the federal parliament:
Free Democratic Party (FDP)
Alternative Party for Germany (AfD