To begin with there are naturally so many ills of the constitution, the Grundgesetz, that I just come down with the most important shortfalls.
It is a book
That sounds silly, particularly for people who don’t live in the English speaking world, but there is a problem in itself when a constitution is not concise. The reality of the thought out and crisp US American constitution is that everybody reads it and is constantly talking about it. Only a people that knows what needs to be defended when it matters will defend it.
It is already outdated
First it sounded like a good idea to restrict government power by defining exactly what the government can do and would allow for nothing else. However, that did not only lead to the oversized text, but required the writers to know everything about the future. Debates whether the writers had thought of the internet, gay marriage and so on haunt Germans forever more.
It is treated like a religious book
Like any religious book the Grundgesetz is never read, always believed to say what the individual basing his argument on it wants it to say and must not be contested, not even amended beyond some petty left-wing policy goals. To ‘leave the ground of the Grundgesetz’ is a phrase uttered whenever somebody is accused of apostasy. The name Grundgesetz replaces the words democracy, human rights and so forth, leaving the populace wildly uninformed. Germans regard their constitution as an embodiment of their values, which are actually the zeitgeist of the day. They see it less so as a document to restrict the powers of the government. The saints of that ‘religion’ are called the ‘fathers of the Grundgesetz’ and nobody can say who they are and why they are always right.
It doesn’t do what it says it does
Church and state are separated. Problem is that churches are legally organs of the German state and even school indoctrination is commanded by the Grundgesetz. The contradictions go on and on, hardly mentioned, hardly discussed. Who would? Nobody reads it! And doesn’t government and media put out ‘legal constitution experts’ to safeguard the people against government overreach? Isn’t that good enough? For Germans it is.
It doesn’t enforce Democratic Principles
The government is elected in a way that the majority party leadership, the government and the leading functions of the parliament are in the hands of the same people. These small circles of power don’t even change much over the course of multiple elections. The Supreme Court is hardly explaining on what legal section they base their judgements on. Only G-d knows how they manage to demand law changes to set government payments to the penny.
That is just a quick overview of what is wrong with both the text and the practice.
Disclaimer: Since the government is a tad nervous at the moment, I confirm that the constitution must be respected. Changes are applied by the channels that the constitution itself sets and must not result in the removal of our freedoms.