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Lecture 16 - German Political Parties

Lecture 16 - German Political Parties - Germany Parties and...

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Germany – Parties and Party System - Parties in Germany - The Link between electoral systems and party systems o Duverger’s Law o Why is Germany a multi-party system? Party System - Following WWII, the Western Allies created a democratic competitive party system as part of the new political process in West Germany - Allies licenses a diverse set of parties that were free of Nazi ties and committed to democracy - Elections focus on competition between two largest parties: o Social Democratic Party (SPD) – Center Left o Christian Democratic Union (CDU – Center Right - Political competition is meaningful: control of government shifts between left and right - Small Free Democratic Party (FDP) has historically held the balance between the two - Additional parties: o Green Party: as “new politics” issues entered agenda in 1980s, Greens emerged to represent these concerns; developed from fringe party into federal government party (1998-2005) o Left Party/Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS): successor party of
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