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ALLIANCE FO§ DEMOCRACY
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Parliamentary absentees

At the latest since the blunder, when during a vote on the childcare allowance the Left conjured up a division in the Bundestag, in order to prevent the “stay-at-home” bonus, and the boycott succeeded, because too few members returned to the chamber, it has been clear: For votes on whatever subject, there should be enough members present in the Bundestag in order to form a quorum. This faux pas meant that the CDU/CSU and FDP, who were all greatly in favour of the “stay-at-home” bonus, had to vote a second time (9.11.12), and this time there were obviously enough members present and ready to raise their fingers, cards or hands. Now one might be forgiven for thinking that MP’s would have become a little more disciplined after this with regard to their presence, but that would be far from the mark. “Focus” reported that the Bundestag remained empty even when crucial legislation was being debated, and this already when a vote had been announced. Focus lists the most zealous absentees; the Alliance for Democracy asks the question: How can it be that neglect of responsibility to this level still goes unpunished? These MP’s are supposed to be representatives of the people. They are paid out of tax funds and enjoy many other benefits. Instead of doing their work and being concerned for the good of the people, MP’s sit in talk-shows, make speeches and are often very well paid for these activities.
Nor was it only Peer Steinbrück who prompted discussions about the disclosure of the additional earnings of politicians (for Peer however, the debate meant that it was impossible fir him to become a candidate for Chancellor for the SPD because of the level of his additional earnings); there were also cases before his time which begged the question of what interests these politicians and MP’s really represent.
We should at this point remember Friedrich Merz, who went too far with these secondary activities. In addition to his seat in the Bundestag (2005), he was also on the boards of the AXA group (where he was also a member of the Supervisory Board), the Commerzbank AG, the Deutsche Börse AG and the auditors Ernest & Young. He was also a member of the Supervisory Board of Interseroh AG and the Administrative Board of BASF AG (Antwerp) – these were just the positions which became known. There were other members who were general representatives of insurance companies or worked for large clinics, or were associated with their corporations.
The rules on the work regime of MP’s are laid down in Art. 38 and 48 of the Constitution, and also in the Members of Parliament Act, which describes the exercise of the mandate and the rules of conduct applicable to members. The rights and obligations of parliamentarians are founded in the orders of business of the Bundestag, together with the framework for the formation of parliamentary groups or the work on various committees.
No matter which of these legal bases can be referred to, all require the presence of the member, and Paragraph 44 of the Members of Parliament Act requires in particular:

“(1) The exercise of the mandate of a member of the Bundestag shall be central to his or her activity. Without prejudice to this obligation, activities of a professional or other nature alongside the exercise of the mandate are permissible in principle.
(2) For the exercise of his or her mandate, a Member of the Bundestag may not accept any allowances or other pecuniary benefits besides those for which the law provides. In particular, it is inadmissible to accept money or allowances with monetary value which are only granted in the expectation that the interests of the payer will be represented and asserted in the Bundestag. It is also admissible for a Member of the Bundestag to accept money or allowances with monetary value if he or she does not render an appropriate service in return. The foregoing provisions shall be without prejudice to the receipt of donations.
(3) Allowances or pecuniary benefits which are inadmissible under Paragraph 2 above or their monetary equivalent shall be payable to the federal budget. The President shall assert this entitlement by means of an administrative act, provided that a period of three years has not elapsed since the receipt of the allowance or pecuniary benefit. Loss of membership of the Bundestag shall not affect this entitlement. Details shall be regulated in the Code of Conduct pursuant to section 44b of this Act.
(4) Activities predating the acceptance of the mandate and activities and activities concurrent with the exercise of the mandate which may indicate combinations of interests with implications for the exercise of the said mandate shall be disclosed and published in accordance with the Code of Conduct (section 44b). If disclosable activities or income are not reported, the Presidium may impose an administrative penalty of up to half of the annual Member’s remuneration. The President shall affirm the penalty by means of an administrative act. The foregoing provisions shall be without prejudice to section 31 of the present Act. Details shall be regulated in the Code of Conduct pursuant to section 44b of this Act.
(5) In the case of a non-minor breach of order or failure to respect the dignity of the Bundestag during its sittings, the President may impose a fine of € 1,000 on a Member of the Bundestag. Any repetition shall result in an increase in the fine to € 2,000. In the case of a serious breach of order or failure to respect the dignity of the Bundestag, a Member may be ordered to leave the Chamber for the remainder of the sitting and suspended from taking part in sittings of the Bundestag and meetings of its bodies for up to 30 sitting days. Details shall be regulated in the Rules of Procedure of the Bundestag.”

To this extent it is surprising that many Members still take their seats and accept money for an activity which they obviously do not practice enough, as found recently by Focus, or that no regulation has yet been passed on the disclosure of secondary earnings. Instead Friedrich Merz lodged an objection against this regulation before the Federal Constitutional Court, although this was rejected. Since then, regulations are supposed to have been made which regulates secondary earnings and the obligations of disclosure. That anyone should stick to these regulations can hardly be expected, and perhaps this will only be shown by a report of the Alliance for Democracy. For the time being, our proposal should be followed, as described in the article in relation to Steinbrück’s earnings.
On the 2017 Federal Elections
No Restraint
The IMF
Trump’s Election is a Warning for Germany’s Political Parties
Year-End Selection of Texts
CDU Party Congress 2016
IMF Crisis Management a Failure
Deployment of the Bundeswehr in Germany
Crucial Test with International Implications
Ever Closer?
On the 2016 German State Elections
Revealed: Colossal Public Fraud in Germany and Europe
Nettlesome Politics
The Press
As We Begin 2016
Legal Action
Clever Shifting Tactics
New Charges in an Ongoing Saga
Evil under the Sun – The G20
Political Paradox
Game over for Merkel
The Greeks are making history
Clash of the Titans
Elmau
FIFA Roulette
The Beast Roars
The Silver Lining
Pulling in Opposite Directions
The Deafening Silence
Texts on the liquidation of the euro
Wasting Time
New Rules, Same Impetus
Call in the Army
Politicians Run from Themselves
Tax Policy Loopholes
Europa without the Euro
Alternative to the Euro
Hellas
Easter 2015
Deflation
Tidying Up
Insolvency Statute
Heiner Geißler
Germany Corrupt No More
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PEGIDA
Rescue Fever
Unbridled Power
Heaven on Earth
Getting down to the Nitty Gritty
1-0 in Favour of the Opposition
The Junk Currency
Oil War 2014
Golden Goodbye
The Ukraine Aid Debacle
World Tax Authority
Demonstrations in front of the ECB
Promises and Trust
Democratic Deficits
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Fit for a Museum
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Clueless Advisors
Pension Debacle
The Balanced Budget Lie
The Wimpy Currency
Acid Test
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Who is Ruling the World?
More Clandestine Employees
The Recession Principle
Is This Really Better?
Kohl and Merkel
Debt Brake Debate
Reforms
Merkel and the democracy
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Totalitarian Collectivism
Regrettable Incident
Wulff’s Attorney Brings New Legal Action
The ECB in the Crossfire
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A Lovely Gathering of VIPs?
German Banks Need Money
Stumbling Match
Deutsche Bank under Pressure
The Crow …
Papier‘s Morality
Shot in the Arm for the Economy
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The election in Saxony
Special European Summit
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Immigrants criticised
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Bundesbank closes Money Museum
Lawsuit against bank union
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Sustainability
ECB stability report
Cowardly warriors
The financial industry has learnt nothing
Bribery of MP’s
They are also blind on 2.
The Stability Pact
Avoid Obama
Thoughts on Merkel's birthday
Megalomania’s children
Niebel’s Low Points
On László Andor’s speech
Snowden should say nothing
Reduction of interest rates
OECD report
A great blunder
Germany as a driver of growth?
Farewell, housing allowance
Sick health service
The EU Commission knows about popular deception
Draghi gives a warning
Self-praise stinks
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Hollywood
The aftermath of an election
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Minimum Wage II
Minimum wage III
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The Union wears the trousers
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Per capita assets
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ESM - ECB - the flood of debt
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Schavan and zu Guttenberg
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New fellow citizens
So many ministers
Democracy the Turkish way
But will every European pay?
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Tax havens
Free Trade Agreement
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Expropriation of the citizen
Soon without cash
NSA Investigation Committee
Dutch rating agencies
Officials in the German Bundestag
Snub for banks
Repeated deception of the people
De-dictatorisation
GroKo = Große Kosten (great costs)
The sluts of the SPD
What the grand coalition will present to us
Federal Public Prosecutor versus the NSA
The new “tithe”
The people’s sense of justice
Trauma of coalition negotiations
When will it finally come, the Constitution for the united Germany?
Investors and savers
Finally, Mr. Ströbele
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Is the Constitution democratically legitimised?
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Wiki-Leaks +
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High finance and party-politics
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With full intent
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Private retirement provision
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Euro rescue by means of inflation
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Discussion over democracy
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ESM
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State Trojan horses
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