A two-thirds majority is a qualified majority with a quorum of two-thirds for votes . Depending on the basic amount of the calculation, one speaks of a simple two-thirds majority if the votes cast are taken as a basis, or of an absolute two-thirds majority if the total number of votes (including abstentions ) or those entitled to vote is considered.
In many, especially the democratic states, this quorum plays a special role when it comes to adopting a constitutional amendment . This is intended to guarantee the protection of minorities , since a constitutional amendment can be prevented with more than a third of the votes. In contrast, simple laws are usually passed with majorities that can be achieved with a lower approval rate.
Simple two-thirds majority
- Bundestag wishes to determinethe state of defense , para. 1 GG, if the
- joint committee wants to determine the case of defense, para. 2 GG, if the
- Bundesrat . Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law, if the Joint Committee wants to determine the Bundestag is prevented in a case of defense - whereupon the former takes the place of the latter and the
Absolute two-thirds majority
The Basic Law requires a two-thirds majority of the members in the following articles:
- federal law amending the Basic Law, Basic Law, if the Bundestag and Bundesratwant topass a
- Federal settle wants. para. 2 GG, if at preventing the Bundestag in the defense, the Joint Committee of the
In the state elections in Bavaria in 2003 , the CSU won less than two thirds of the votes cast with 60.7%. However, the opposition parties represented in the state parliament together achieved less than half of the CSU vote with 27.1%, namely the SPD 19.6% and Alliance 90 / The Greens : 7.5%. Such a two-thirds majority of the mandates can of course be won everywhere, at least in every election with a threshold clause, even without a two-thirds majority of the votes.
In the Hamburg mayor elections in 1946 , the SPD achieved 83 of the 110 mandates and thus even a three-quarters majority in the Hamburg citizenry with 43.1% of the votes under the then applicable electoral law .
- concern the federal states ( Para. 4 B-VG, Para. 10 B-VG, Para. 8 B-VG),
- concern the European Union ( para. 1 B-VG, para. 1 B-VG, para. 4 B-VG), the same applies in part to the Federal Council ,
- concern the National Council itself with regard to its rules of procedure ( para. 2 BV), the same applies to the Federal Council ( para. 2 B-VG),
- concern the constitution or its content ( Paragraphs 1 and 2 B-VG). As far as they concern the federal states, the corresponding approval of the Bundesrat is required ( para. 2).
Furthermore, a two-thirds majority and the quorum of attendance are required if the National Council wishes to convene the Federal Assembly (Para. 6 B-VG, Para. 3 B-VG).
In addition, the Federal Constitutional Act stipulates that the state constitutional laws may only be changed by the state parliaments with a two-thirds majority (Paragraph 2 B-VG). If the Federal Chancellor wishes to dissolve a Landtag, the Federal President may only do so with the corresponding consent of the Bundesrat, whereby the members from the Land concerned are not entitled to vote ( Para. 1 B-VG).
In addition, the main committee of the National Council decides ordinances on control measures to ensure undisturbed production or the supply of the population and other users with important economic and consumer goods according to the above-mentioned criterion (Par. 5 B-VG).
In Switzerland, two-thirds majorities play a subordinate role: the Federal Constitution nowhere provides for a two-thirds majority, since all major resolutions are sanctioned by mandatory or optional referendums . In the case of votes on constitutional questions, the majority of the cantons is required in addition to the popular majority . Two-thirds majorities are sometimes prescribed in federal legislation within parliamentary investigative commissions and the collegiate courts, but also in the private law area, for example for changes to the statutes of corporations (particularly in stock corporations ) and the like. Two-thirds majorities occasionally occur at the cantonal level . According to a recently passed regulation in the canton of Aargau , laws are no longer subject to a referendum if they were passed by a two-thirds majority in parliament - this in order to avoid idling with undisputed proposals, as traditionally all laws had to be submitted to a referendum.
According to the US Federal Constitution , two-thirds majorities apply in the following cases:
- art. I, sect. 3, par. 6: Senate : Impeachment conviction - (impeachment) proceedings: two-thirds of all senators (Rare; last significant application: evaluation of former President Bill Clinton . However, the required majority was not achieved. The Senate acts as a jury in such cases.)
- art. I, sect. 7, parr. 2 + 3: House of Representatives and Senate: Overriding a presidential veto : two-thirds of all members in each of the two houses (most important application of the two-thirds majority in the USA).
- art. V: House of Representatives, Senate, possibly parliaments of states : two-thirds majority of suggesting Constitution additives rare (amend ments) (relatively: since 1787 treated more than 3,000 amendments, it accepted only a few dozen, ratified and entered into force today only 27th )
- amendment 14, sect. 3 : House of Representatives, Senate: two-thirds majority in both houses to revoke ineligibility due to an uprising against the USA (Of historical interest: Introduced in order to be able to reintegrate former officials from the Confederate States of America ; since there has been no uprising against the USA since came, this regulation is meaningless today.)
- amendment 25, sect. 4 : House of Representatives, Senate: two-thirds majority in both houses to declare the President's incapacity for office (never used before)
The two-thirds majority also plays a role in the Roman Catholic Church : the Pope is always elected by the conclave with a two-thirds majority. A change by Pope John Paul II was made by his successor Benedict XVI. undone.
In Malaysia , the United Malays National Organization ( UMNO for short , in Malay Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu) ruled the party alliance Barisan Nasional ("National Front") with a two-thirds majority since 1957 .
In Japan , the House of Commons can enforce laws rejected by the House of Lords with a two-thirds majority. Conversely, this is not possible for the House of Lords. In Japan's post-war history, this rule was applied only once before 2008, namely in 1951 to pass a law on betting on motorboat races. With the different majorities in both houses ( Nejire Kokkai ) , several laws were passed in 2008 with a two-thirds majority.
- Christian Pestalozza , in: Constitutions of the German Federal States, 7th edition, Verlag CH Beck , Munich 2001, introduction, marginal no. 42.
- Art. 75 para. 2 Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria in the version published on December 15, 1998, accessed on November 14, 2016.
- Pope on Wahlrecht.de
- Constitution of East Timor (English)