|President of the
|Carola Veit, SPD
Since March 23, 2011
The Hamburg Parliament (German: Hamburgische Bürgerschaft) is the unicameral legislature of the German state of Hamburg according to the constitution of Hamburg. As of 2011 there were 121 members in the parliament, representing a relatively equal amount of constituencies. The parliament is situated in the city hall Hamburg Rathaus and part of the Government of Hamburg.
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bürgerschaft as a term in use since the Middle Ages to refer to the male inhabitants of Hamburg with citizenship. A committee of the landowning class within the city, called Erbgesessene Bürgerschaft, was formed out of this group in the 15. century to govern the state. The first relevant document of this committee, which was traditionally dominated by the local merchants, dates back to 1410 and named Der Erste Rezess (roughly: The first comparison). The system of hereditary seats was prone to corruption and it came to several major struggles in the following decades.
The Lange Rezess (roughly: The long comparison) of 1529 reformed the administrative system of the city and made the ruling council accountable to several committees of the Erbgesenne Bürgerschaft. These bodies emerged from the ecclesiastical structures of the now Lutheran city but could not settle all aspects of the sensitive balance of power. Thus, a commission, sent by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, had to secure the peace by force in 1708 and the city was once more negotiating and reforming her own administrative structures in the following years.
The Vormärz led to even more criticism of the established structures and Hamburg participated in the elections of the Frankfurt Parliament in 1848. This resulted in even more debates and the Erbgesenne Bürgerschaft passed a new electoral law to meet the criticism in September 1848 but the restoration, supported and enforced by Prussian troops during the First Schleswig War, turned the table.
Elections of 1859
A new attempt to reform the constitution was launched after long discussions in 1859 and the Erbgesenne Bürgerschaft met for the last time in November of this year to establish a new order as well as to disband itself in favour of the Bürgerschaft. Since 1859 Bürgerschaft refers to this elected parliamentary body.
Hamburg parliament in the Federal Republic
The elections of 1949 led to the second elected parliament of Hamburg after the Second World War and the Social Democratic Party of Germany maintained her traditional dominant role, already re-established under the British-controlled elections of 1946. The party continued to govern the city, except 1953-57, until the first von Beust-Senate, formed in 2001.
Since March 23, 2011 the Hamburg Parliament has been in its 20th legislative period in the Federal Republic of Germany. A SPD-Government succeeded a coalition of CDU and the Greens.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2008)|
|This section requires expansion. (September 2009)|
President and board
The president of the parliament presides over the parliament and its sessions. The president is supported by a 'First Vice-president' and 3 vice presidents, all are elected by the representatives. President, vice presidents, and 3 recording clerks are the board (German: Präsidium).
As of 2011 President of the Hamburg Parliament was Carola Veit.
|1859–1861||Dr. Johannes Versmann|
|1861–1863||Dr. Isaac Wolffson|
|1863–1865||Dr. Hermann Baumeister|
|1865–1868||Dr. Georg Kunhardt|
|1868–1868||Dr. Hermann Baumeister|
|1869–1869||Johann A. T. Hoffmann|
|1869–1877||Dr. Hermann Baumeister|
|1877–1885||Dr. Gerhard Hachmann|
|1885–1892||Dr. Otto Mönckeberg|
|1913–1919||Dr. Alexander Schön|
|1928–1931||Max Hugo Leuteritz|
|1931–1933||Dr. Herbert Ruscheweyh|
|1946||Dr. Herbert Ruscheweyh|
|1982–1983||Dr. Martin Willich|
|1986–1987||Dr. Martin Willich|
|2000–2004||Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt|
Council of Elders
The Council of Elders (German: Ältestenrat) consists of the president, the vice presidents and several members, appointed by the parliamentary groups. The council support the president and the board regarding decisions of the agenda, personnel matters, and financial affairs.
Parliamentary groups (German: Fraktionen) are pooled by minimum 6 members of the parliament. Most these groups are by one party.
The daily work of the parliament is done in committees.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2008)|
The qualification is regulated by law. As of 2008, electable for the parliament in is every German after his/her 18th birthday. He/she is restricted, if he/she is not allowed to vote by a verdict, is patient of a psychiatric ward under law, or has a representative under law.
State elections, with a new electoral law, were held in Hamburg on 20 February 2011. The election campaign debates were dominated by economic and educational questions as well as the evaluation of the failed CDU-Green Senate under Christoph Ahlhaus, the successor of Ole von Beust.
The five parties having more than 5 percent (minimum to qualify) were the social-democratic SPD, the Christian-democratic CDU, the ecologist Green Alternative List (GAL; which is the Hamburg section of Alliance '90/The Greens), the liberal Free Democratic Party and the left-wing Die Linke, which entered the parliament for the first time in 2008. The SPD, under Olaf Scholz, won an absolute majority of the 121 seats in the Hamburgische Bürgerschaft and formed a government in Hamburg without coalition partners.
- What is Hamburg Parliament?, Hamburgische Bürgerschaft, retrieved 2008-08-14
- Who works in Parliament?, Hamburgische Bürgerschaft, retrieved 2008-08-14
- Hamburgische Bürgerschaft - Präsidenten der Bürgerschaft seit 1859, retrieved 2008-09-20 (German)
- "Gesetz über die Wahl zur hamburgischen Bürgerschaft (BüWG) in der Fassung vom 22. Juli 1986" (in German). Retrieved 2009-09-12.
- DW staff (ncy) (2008-02-23), Hamburg Elections Likely to Strengthen Germany's Far Left, Deutsche Welle, retrieved 2008-09-21
- http://www.hamburgische-buergerschaft.de/cms_en.php?templ=home_sta.tpl&sub1=187&cont=332 Official website of the Parliament of Hamburg
- http://www.hamburg.de/buergerschaft/ Parliament of Hamburg on www.hamburg.de (German)