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Political parties of Germany
| How the sausage is made|
As usual with most multi-party democracies, the big parties are the dull, sensible ones and the fun/odd/repellent ones are the smallest.
- 1 Main parties
- 2 More minor parties, with some relevance nonetheless
- 3 The laughing stock, the others and just weird ones
- 4 They didn't make it
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
Despite its name (German: Die Union) these are legally two parties and have nothing to do with worker unions - they aren't federalists either… It should be noted that their name derives from the constituent parties both sharing the "U" and that the term "Union" has nothing to do with worker's rights in Germany. The people fighting for them are usually member of a Gewerkschaft.
They are both center-right parties with Catholic roots, but they also have Protestants, atheists, Muslims and Jews in their ranks - although non-Christians aren't usually the ones high up in the ranks. As part of a deal between the two parties, the CSU only has candidates in Bavaria and the CDU keeps its fingers out of Bavaria - also they act as one party on a federal level. And yes, that is as chaotic as it sounds.
Christian Democratic Union of Germany
Christian Social Union in Bavaria
Social Democratic Party of Germany
Alliance '90/The Greens
Free Democratic Party
Alternative for Germany
More minor parties, with some relevance nonetheless
In German federal elections, parties only get seats in Bundestag if they receive more than 5% of the vote[note 4]. This is considered by some a stability issue, who claim, that in the old days of the Weimar Republic too many Parties had seats and democracy banned itself. In public discourse, however, people are also praising it it as an instrument to keep Nazis out of the parliaments. Whether due to this 5% "hurdle" (which in some form exists in most European representative democracies) or due to other factors, the German party system has proved remarkably stable for a long time and only in the last decade or so some movement has occurred, starting with the emergence of a party to the left of the SPD with a chance to enter the Bundestag and culminating (for now) with the FDP - the party with the longest combined time in government to date - getting thrown out of the Bundestag.
- Political leaning: Centrism, Liberalism, Conservatism
- Color: Blue, Orange
- Name in German: Freie Wähler
- History: Party that is made up of localy organized groups of voters. They advocate for more self-administration of the municipalities and more direct democracy. Entered the bavarian parliament with 21 seats and 10.2% for the first time in 2008. They won a respectevly 3.9% at the Thuringian state election of 2009, 2.3% at the Rhineland-Palatinate state election in 2011 and 2,8% at the Saxony-Anhalt state election in 2011 but weren't able to get into one of these parliaments. At the 2013 german federal election they reached 1% and lost 2 seats and 1.2% at the bavarian election in the same year. At the 2017 german federal election they reached 1% again. At the bavarian state election of 2018 they confirmed their good opinion polling results and got the third strongest party with 11.6% and formed a coalition with the struggeling CSU. They are for the first time in gouverment responsibility under the cabinet of Markus Söder (CSU). Their current leader is Hubert Aiwanger.
Pirate Party Germany
- Political leaning: "digital liberalism," social progressivism/libertarianism, social democracy, individualism, e-democracy
- Colors: Black/Orange
- Short: PIRATEN
- Name in German: Piratenpartei Deutschland
- History: Founded in 2006 and modeled after the Swedish Piratpartiet, they reached 'only' 2% in the 2009 Bundestag elections and therefore were the biggest party in Germany that had no seats in the Bundestag before the AfD happened. Won 8.9% in regional elections in Berlin in 2011, which lead to speculations that they might be the next party to get into the Bundestag. However, in more recent times their support in the polls has collapsed and instead of making it into the Bundestag they have to fear for their relevancy even at the local and state level. Their worst fears were realized in 2017, when they lost all of their seats in the state parliaments.
National Democratic Party of Germany
- Political leaning: Far-right, "democracy"Do You Believe That?, ethnic nationalism, Neo-Nazism
Brown(unofficial)[note 5], Black/White/Red (official)
- Short: NPD
- Name in German:
NaziparteiNationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands – Die Volksunion
- History: Founded in 1964, several tries to ban the party failed. Also known as a "Nazi Party" and due to them being extreme wingnuts and Germany's past, it's probably not that far off to stray into Godwin County about them.
The laughing stock, the others and just weird ones
For the matter of disk space we can't list all the parties - also that list would be so long you wouldn't want to read it, so here are the highlights:
- Party of Bible-abiding Christians (PBC, Partei Bibeltreuer Christen): Evangelical Christians, although much more left then you might think. They really don't like abortion, sex and the gays. They also say that all states without God are designed to fail - using Nazis and Communists as an example.
- The PARTY ("Die PARTEI", which is an humourous acronym for "Partei für Arbeit, Rechtsstaat, Tierschutz, Elitenförderung und basisdemokratische Initiative"): Founded out of the satirical magazine "Titanic." Proposes to build up the Wall again – and they said they aren't kidding. Their head is an MEP and vlogs about his parliamentary activities.
- The New Liberals (Neue Liberale): Social liberal party made up of members who split from the Free Democratic Party in order to promote social liberalism in Germany. They disagreed with FDP's economic neoliberalism and seek to create legislative equality.
- Anarchist Pogo Party of Germany (APPD, Anarchistische Pogo-Partei Deutschlands): Calls itself the party of social parasites. Advocates special zones for Nazis, racists, fascists and child molesters, free beer and more freedom. No they aren't joking... Supposedly not.
- The Violetes (Die Violetten, Die Violetten – für spirituelle Politik): Advocates a "more spiritual" political consensus.
- Bavaria Party (BP, Bayernpartei): A separatist party in the Land of Bavaria - if the rest of Germany would care is not known. The Bavarians sure wouldn't, seeing as the last time BP won any seats in the state parliament was in 1962.
- Civil Rights Movement Solidarity (BüSo, Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität): Lyndon LaRouche's German arm of his
sectparty led by his equally deranged wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche. The party does the usual LaRouche-movement antics and its booths can usually be found not far away from Scientology booths in larger cities. Ironically the party seems to have no opinion on domestic German politics because it seems more important to make the current POTUS appear as a bloodthirsty tyrant and trying to make Putin look like the second coming of the Buddha.
- Die Friesen Friesian nationalist party based in the far northwest of Germany.
- Lusatian Alliance Representing the interests of Wends (aka Sorbs or Lusatians), a slavic minority in the eastern edge of Germany.
- South Schleswig Voters' Association (Südschleswigscher Wählerverband, SSW) For those Germans who consider themselves a bit Danish. After the 2012 elections, they became a junior partner in the coalition government of Schleswig-Holstein.
- V-Party³ (V-Partei³): Party for vegetarians and vegans and advocating for animal rights, enviromentalism and feminism. The ³ stands for their substantive diversity.
- The Right (Die Rechte): Far-right and Neo-Nazi-istic Party. Their name is obviously a mocking of the party "The Left" (Die Linke). So creative...
- Party of Reason (Partei der Vernunft): Party for wannabe intellectuals and right-wing conspiracy theorists that don't like to admit that they are right-wing conspiracy theorists. They claim to be libertarians and don't like the EU and scientific facts.
They didn't make it
- National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei): Banned after WWII for obvious reasons.
- Communist Party of Germany (KPD, Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands): Banned in 1956 as dangerous to the Constitution. There have been several small parties and groups that tried to revive it and today communists are organized in dozens of different parties.
- Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED, Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands): Ruling party of East Germany. Dissolved in 1990 and many of its members joined the successor party "PDS", which became today's "The Left" (see above).
- i.e. a socially conservative south-eastern state that used to be its own country and still has separatist tendencies. While both were originally known for farming and herding cattle, they have recently come to a lot of money. Now imagine Texas had its own party and what you get closely resembles the CSU
- Mitglied des Bundestages, the German way of saying federal MP
- Although that is only if you compare him to the rest of the German political landscape. Most libertarians from, say, the US would call still him a pinko commie for wanting to just "curtail" the welfare state instead of just canning it.
- Or win three or more constituencies (German election laws are weird). The latter happened once in 1994 and almost happened again in 2002 when the PDS (now the Left party) got two constituencies while losing a third to the Greens by a razor thin margin
- brown is the political color of Nazism in Germany (after the brown uniforms of the SA)
- Or slightly younger if you only count their taking the exact name they have today; If you want to read all about it auntie Wi has an entire article on it
- See the Wikipedia article on Guido Westerwelle.
- Westerwelle counters US Europe-bashing - The Local
- Guardian: Germany gets first socialist state governor since reunification
- See the Wikipedia article on Die Friesen.
- "We want to have a self-determined, democratically legitimated Sorbian Parliament", Nationalia, 29 April 2015
- See the Wikipedia article on South Schleswig Voters' Association.
- About, SSW website