Germany: New left, Old right
Le Monde Diplomatique
The general election on 18 September will change Germany’s political landscape permanently, although the outcome is in doubt. Will the Christian Democrats win enough seats to govern with the support of the Liberals, or form a coalition with the Social Democrats? The SPD, facing competition from the new Left party, is in steep decline.
WHEN Willy Brandt resigned as chairman of the Social Democratic party (SPD) in 1987, he doubted it would still exist as a party with mass popular support in 20 years’ time (1). His doubts have now proved justified. The Green split in the 1980s was followed this year by the emergence of a party of the left that the polls predict will win 10% of the vote in the general election on 18 September.
The SPD can no longer propose a common programme which will unite the three groups that formed its traditional clientele: the socially protected employees and civil servants of the Rhine capitalist system; the liberal, outward-looking, middle-class post-materialist consumers; and the unemployed and other victims of modernisation.
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