Politics of germany
Germany is a constitutional federal republic, whose political system is laid out in the 1949 'constitution' called Grundgesetz (Basic Law). It has a parliamentary system in which the head of government, the Bundeskanzler (Chancellor), is elected by the parliament.
The parliament, called Bundestag (Federal Assembly), is elected every four years by popular vote in a complex system combining direct and proportional representation. The 16 Bundesländer are represented at the federal level in the Bundesrat (Federal Council), which—depending on the subject matter—may have a say in the legislative procedure. Lately, there has been much concern about the Bundestag and the Bundesrat blocking each other, making effective government very difficult.
The function of head of state is performed by the Bundespräsident (Federal President), whose powers are mostly limited to ceremonial and representative duties.
The judiciary branch includes a Constitutional Court called Bundesverfassungsgericht, which may ultimately overturn all acts by the legislature or administration if they are deemed unconstitutional; as well as a Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), responsible for appeals from lower state court. All lower courts are created by the Bundesländer.