Parliamentarians can only act on their mandates independently on behalf of the people and in the interest of the institution granting the mandate if their independence is beyond question.
Restructuring the state
Mandates for German Members of Parliament are reduced to 2 legislative periods for both the German state and federal parliaments as part of the parliamentary lifetimes. This rule is to be applied retrospectively for the 2 preceding legislative periods.
Elected representatives should not stick to their mandate, but rather make way for the intellectual capacity of others to bring new ideas into parliament. The fight to preserve the seat of deputy, and therefore susceptibility to corruption only to retain the position, no longer applies.
Positions on lists no longer apply because the fight for a seat in parliament is not commensurate with the independence of the mandate. Instead, only a direct mandate counts and, in the absence of a direct mandate, the highest proportion of votes of the next Member of Parliament for his or her constituency. Therefore, voters always use the first vote to decide who becomes a Member of Parliament and parliamentarians should show much greater interest in their mandate and establish strong ties there. Being rooted at grassroots level strengthens democracy.
No additional income as an elected representative. Elected representatives have no income other than the remuneration as an elected official. Any secondary activity is to be reported to the Bundestag administration before taking up the position, and the resulting remuneration is to be reported. Approval is granted by the Bundestag administration and is to be published on the internet. Other income during the time in which mandates are granted to implement government policies is prohibited.
The independence of Members of Parliament is based on their remuneration. In the Bundestag they receive a net amount of EUR 20,000.00 each month and in the Landtag (German state parliament) a net amount of EUR 15,000 each month. Members of Parliament who can furnish proof of higher average salary during the last 5 years before becoming a Member of Parliament receive the average salary of the previous 5 years instead of the basic salary to encourage all those who are now acting in the background to become directly involved in parliamentary politics.
Ministers and State Secretaries are prohibited from taking up any activity (other than public office or honorary positions) following the end of their tenure. In that respect upon leaving office a State Secretary and Minister will be paid the salary of a Minister or State Secretary for life with inflationary compensation. These officials then undertake to remain neutral.
A Federal Chancellor, as the person who determines the policy direction for the Federal Republic of Germany, receives the average salary calculated on the basis of the average of the salaries of the management boards of the five largest DAX companies at the time of the appointment. The Federal Chancellor is prohibited from engaging in any activity (other than public honorary positions) following the end of their activity. In that respect, upon leaving office, the Federal Chancellor receives 50 percent of the remuneration as Federal Chancellor for life. Upon leaving office, the Federal Chancellor undertakes to remain neutral.
All non-legislative or non-executive employees, companies and lobby groups and other interest groups are required to vacate their positions in ministries and offices of members of parliament. Any attempt to exert influence outside the specified options must be reported to the Bundestag administration or the Federal Chancellor, and to an investigative body designated for that purpose. Reports can also be filed anonymously.
Draft laws are published within the midst of the Members of Parliament and there is an option of public influence being brought to bear on the draft law by all those who have an interest in amending the text of the law. Proposed amendments are to be published on an internet platform to be set up for this purpose, and should include the name of the person(s) exercising influence and the reasons for doing so. One week is estimated for the display of each draft law. Parliament later debates in public session whether or not suggestions received from outside are to be included in the draft bill and publicly justifies the inclusion of amendments.
An independent Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for White-Collar Crime will be set up at the Federal Parliament. It will be responsible for investigations whenever the state holds a stake in companies or former members of the management or supervisory board are involved. The Public Prosecutor’s Office to be commissioned in each case should not be involved in the matter at all. This also guarantees the independence of the investigations if the state is involved.