The Senate of Bavaria
was the corporative upper chamber
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....
of Bavaria's parliamentary system from 1946 to 1999, when it was abolished by a popular vote (referendum) changing the constitution of this State of the German federation.
The 60 members of the Senate had to be 40 years of age and could not be a member of the Landtag
A Landtag is a representative assembly or parliament in German-speaking countries with some legislative authority.- Name :...
. Every other year, a third of the Senate's members would be elected by corporations representing social, economic, municipal or cultural groups or appointed by religious denominations for a term of six years. The number of seats representing each group was fixed by the constitution of Bavaria:
- 11 representatives of agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...
Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...
- 5 representatives of industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...
- 5 representatives of trade
- 11 representatives of unions
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...
- 4 representatives of profession
A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain....
- 5 representatives of cooperatives
- 5 representatives of religious denomination
A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.The term describes various Christian denominations...
- 5 representatives of social welfare organisations
- 3 representatives of universities
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...
- 6 representatives of municipal
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...
ities and municipal associations
Internationally, the Senate's composition is similar to the Irish Seanad Éireann
Seanad Éireann is the upper house of the Oireachtas , which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dáil Éireann . It is commonly called the Seanad or Senate and its members Senators or Seanadóirí . Unlike Dáil Éireann, it is not directly elected but consists of a mixture of members chosen by...
. It also bears remnants of council-democratic
Council communism is a current of libertarian Marxism that emerged out of the November Revolution in the 1920s, characterized by its opposition to state capitalism/state socialism as well as its advocacy of workers' councils as the basis for workers' democracy.Originally affiliated with the...
The Senate's main role was consulting other state institutions and delivering legal opinion. It also had the power to delay state legislation passed by the Landtag within a month (one week for urgent acts). However, the Landtag could overturn the veto by a simple majority, the same majority required to pass a law in the first place.
Criticism and Dissolution
In the 1990s, public opinion in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
turned towards leaner government
Lean Government refers to the application of Lean production principles and methods to identify and implement the most efficient and value added way to provide government services. Government agencies have found that Lean methods enable them to better understand how their processes work, to...
. The Senate, due to being essentially powerless, was regarded by many as an unnecessary expenditure.
In June 1997, a popular initiative petition sponsored by the Ecological Democratic Party
The Ecological Democratic Party is an environmentalist political party in Germany. It was founded in 1982 by former members of the German Green Party. The ÖDP combines issues which are not often found together: a focus on state financial support for families and childrearing, and a belief in the...
gained 927,047 signatures (10.5 % of those entitled to vote). In the following referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...
on 8 February 1998, which yielded a turnout of 39.9%, a majority of 69.2 % voted for the law amending the State Constitution to abolish the Senate. A counter-proposal by the ruling Christian Social Union
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...
, which would have changed the composition of the Senate, only received 23.6 %.
On 1 January 2000, the law abolishing the Senate came into effect.
Presidents of the Senate of Bavaria
|Hippolyt Poschinger von Frauenau
|Walter Schmitt Glaeser