“Who’s for it?” A quick look around. “Votes against?” No. “The proposed resolution has therefore been unanimously approved.” That’s what mayors always like to hear, say and see, and some people happily let it be known at the last meeting before Christmas that last year more than 95 percent of the resolutions in the local council had once again been passed unanimously. Anyone who suspects that unanimity in the local council is something like a secret fetish in local politics is certainly not doing a hundred out of a hundred mayors wrong. Hajo Gruber and his 24 local councilors in Kiefersfelden, Upper Bavaria, are certainly more objective. Nevertheless, they recently did a lot for this year’s quota in January and passed 136 unanimous resolutions within three quarters of an hour.
At least in terms of speed, not even the Chinese People’s Congress has managed something like this. But especially there, democracy has to be feigned and any dissenters have to be identified, which is why the gaze will probably wander through the many rows a little longer because of the opposing votes than in the Kiefersfelden local council. And it’s not a parliament like the People’s Congress and the supposedly hardly smaller Bundestag, in whose minutes the words “majority is majority” are recorded countless times – especially when things were really tight.
From a purely legal perspective, as we learned at the Bavarian Municipal Council, the entire municipal council is a municipal administrative body and is therefore less comparable to the Bundestag than to a treasurer or a department head. Except that this department head in Kiefersfelden, for example, has 24 people, which is why it is also considered a “collegiate body”. And no matter how conflicted the 24-person department head may have been with himself beforehand, it doesn’t matter afterwards, the main thing is that he has somehow made a decision.
Unanimity is not required at all, in contrast to the UN Security Council, for example. He is full of veto powers and would probably have hardly ever managed to bring 17 development plans into line with the new Kiefersfelden dormer law by means of eight individual resolutions within 45 minutes. The local council had already decided on this in 2022. Votes against?