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NUMERO 24 - 19/12/2018

 The impact of the German Party Regulation on the elections and the creation of the new Federal Government

Regarding both the empirical and the normative side of the role of the political parties, Germany appears to be a quite old-fashioned system. The basic premise of the political system until today is the existence of strong membership-based political parties that determine the formation of the political will of the people. And although in Germany just like in other European countries the total number of party members is constantly declining, this premise is not totally absurd. Until now nearly 1.5 million Germans are member of a political party. This corresponds to nearly 2% of the total German population. However, given that both the German Party Regulation and the Federal Election Law are designed to fit this idea of strong and stable political parties, the legal framework of the German political system is severely challenged when the political system and especially the party system is subject to such sudden changes as it was within the last few years. I will outline this point by first explaining how the German constitution and the German Party Regulation are founded on the ideal of membership-based political parties that are obliged to have a democratic internal structure. Subsequently I will show how the Regulation of the Federal Elections and their practical implementation corresponds with these ideas and which impact this kind of regulation can have on the structure of the party system. I will conclude with some remarks on the effects the German Party Regulation has on the quite difficult process in which the new Federal Government is created… (continues)

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