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German Christian Democratic Union, 121
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
For the concepts and variables below, use these links to Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey:
Governmental Status
Issue Orientation
Goal Orientation
Organizational Complexity
Organizational Power
Organizational Coherence
Membership Involvement
The "ac" code is for "adequacy-confidence"--a data quality measure ranging from 0 (low) to 9 (high)

Institutionalization Variables, 1.01-1.06
1.01 Year of Origin and 1.02 Name Changes
1945, AC9
0, AC9
The CDU had roots in the old centre party, which was founded in 1870 and was active during the Weimar Republic. But it was regarded as a different party after the war, for the old centre party was re-established as a purely Catholic party while the CDU--though founded by former centre leaders--was widened to include Protestants. In Bavaria, traditionally a separatist land, the CDU had a "sister organization," the Christian Social Union. There were no name changes.
1.03 Organizational Discontinuity
4, AC9
The party experienced only one minor merger in 1955 when a split among the party members resulted in a substantial number of the dissidents joining the CDU.
1.04 Leadership Competition
2, AC9
The leadership of the party did not change during the 1950-62 time period. Konrad Adenauer was undisputed party leader during those years. His leadership was occasionally challenged by political rivals such as Kaiser and Arnold, but these challengers met with no appreciable success.
1.05 Legislative Instability
Instability is .13, AC8
The CDU's legislative strength varied between 35 to 56 percent of the seats in our time period.
1.06 Electoral Instability
Instability is .05, AC9
Based on three elections in 1953, 1957, and 1961, the CDU always received from 45 to 50 percent of the vote.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
2.01 Government Discrimination
0, AC9
It is clear that the CDU did not suffer from any form of governmental discrimination, since the party was part of a governing coalition throughout the time period. It could be said that the German system of proportional representation gave the party some advantages, but the quantitative data on the ratio of votes to seats clearly undermines such an argument. The only parties that suffered under such an electoral system were splinter groups and peripheral party organizations.
2.02 Governmental Leadership
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
6 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
The party participated in governing coalitions throughout all the years of both time periods.
2.03 Cabinet Participation
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
6 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
The party participated in governing coalitions and, thus, in cabinets throughout all the years of both time periods.
2.04 National Participation
6 for 1950-1962, AC9
The CDU was primarily a national party which attempted to integrate diverse interest groups into a unified organization. Party success was excellent in all areas, as indicated by the vote percentages that were accumulated during each election. While the party was weaker in some provinces (Bremen, Hesse, Lower Saxony) it still garnered at least 30 percent in all these states in all the elections (except for Bremen in 1953).
2.05 Legislative Strength
Strength is .44 for 1950-56, AC9, and .53 for 1957-62, AC8
The CDU's legislative strength varied between 35 to 56 percent of the seats in our time period.
2.06 Electoral Strength
Strength is .45 for 1950-56, AC9, and .47 for 1957-62, AC9
Based on three elections in 1953, 1957, and 1961, the CDU always received from 45 to 50 percent of the vote.
2.07 Outside Origin
8, AC9
The party was formed by prominent lay leaders of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, along with conservative businessmen and trade union officials. Initiative for the party came from a group of Anti-Nazis who had been incarcerated in the Moabit prison in Berlin.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
 5.01 Ownership of Means of Production
3 for 1950-1962, AC9
The party has always emphasized the primacy of private property. Throughout the time period the CDU put forth the social market economy which is based on private competition with limited government intervention. Erhard, the Minister of Economics, even offered a plan for returning the Volkswagen works to private ownership, but the plan never went into operation. It should be noted that the party recognized the need to enforce some regulation of the economy.
5.02 Government Role in Economic Planning
1, AC6
Initially, the CDU was inclined toward economic planning, but at its congress in Dusseldorf in 1949, a classic economic liberalism emerged which rejected all planning of the economy. This posture was somewhat modified, but the overall philosophy was still in favor of market forces rather than government direction.
5.03 Redistribution of Wealth
1 for 1950-1962, AC9
The party called for tax reform that would remove some of the inequities as well as prevent the economy from becoming too cyclical.
5.04 Social Welfare
3 for 1950-1962, AC9
The party called for reform of accident insurance, workmen's compensation, health insurance, and pensions. Also advocated revision of family allowances and extension of old age security.
5.05 Secularization of Society
1, AC3
The party position on this issue was unclear at best. While the CDU clearly approved of the separation of church and state, it remained basically a Christian party. There were planks in the party platform which encourage religious instruction by any private groups, and the party clearly aimed at combating Atheistic communism. However, there is no evidence that the party attempted to establish governmental ties with the church.
5.06 Support of the Military
3, AC9
The party is pro-military. It always favored the maintenance of a powerful NATO force in Germany, and it did not renounce the use of atomic weapons during the time period. Of course, much of the force defending Germany is non German, but the German army also grew throughout the time period.
5.07 Alignment with East-West Blocs
5, AC9
The German Republic, under the CDU, was perhaps the staunchest American ally during the time period. Strong military ties.
5.08 Anti-Colonialism
0, AC9
This code is based on the absence of any ostensible colonial relationships.
5.09 Supranational Integration
3, AC9
The CDU, as the governing party throughout the time period, advocated a determined cooperation in the unification of Europe. Of course, Germany was a member of the common market.
5.10 National Integration
1, AC9
If one considers only the integration policy of the CDU vis-a-vis West Germany, then the party must be said to be federalist. This is both a function of the party platform and the political structure of the country. Because Germany is a federal republic, the individual laender must be respected, and the CDU cannot and has not called for an obliteration of local distinctions. However, the party claimed that its main goal was the reunification of the two Germanies, East and West. This may be viewed as a pipe dream or as a very real party goal. It does not seem to be a reasonable basis for coding the CDU on this variable during the 1950-1962 time period, however, since the CDU did not initiate any programs which would in any way further the goal of reunification. In fact, the party was quite hostile towards the East German regime. Thus, the party will be coded soley on the basis of its posture within the confines of the federal republic.
5.11 Electoral Participation
5, AC9
CDU advocated retention of universal suffrage.
5.12 protection of Civil Rights
5, AC3
Documentation is not extensive. CDU claimed that its programs were based on the principles of Christianity. If this is the case, then perhaps the Party maintained a policy in opposition to discrimination.
5.13 Interference with Civil Liberties
3, AC9
Party programs called for free press, free radio, free speech. The CDU insisted upon the right of any group to maintain private schools and in them to offer religious instruction.
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet Experts Left-Right Ratings
US says 2, center
Soviets say 1, reflects the interests of monopolistic capital and supported close ties with the church, primarily Catholic.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
 6.00 Open Competition in the Electoral Process
4, AC9
The party has competed in all elections. In power, the CDU has maintained a policy of open and unrestricted electoral competition.
6.10 Restricting Party Competition
0, AC9
Party was not oriented towards restriction of electoral competition.
6.20 Subverting the Political System
0, AC9
As the governing party during our time period, the CDU never advocated or supported any move to subvert the electoral or governmental process.
6.30 Propagandizing Ideas and Program
6.31 2, AC9--through government agencies and through party papers and broadcasts the CDU effectively employed mass communications for propaganda purposes.
6.32 2, AC9--through the ancillary organizations the party was able to establish a quasi-educational system devoted to inculcating the students with the CDU ideology.
6.33 2, AC9--the party often issued platforms and resolutions.
6.34 2, AC9--the party often issued position papers.
6.50 Providing for Welfare of Party Members
6.51, 6.52, 6.54, 6.55 AC1. No information
6.53 2, AC6. The CDU created organizations paralleling the government that appear to have aided West German interest groups while further propounding CDU philosophy. These organizations functioned as a continuing means of CDU contact with large portions of the population.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
 7.01 Sources of Funds
2 (sectors 04, 10), AC9
The bulk of the party revenues came from large contributions by business and commercial institutions. Government functionaries and party bureaucrats were also expected to contribute to the part coffers through the sponsor associations (distributors of large institutional contributions). Funds were also collected by the circulation of a grossly overpriced party newspaper (Wirtschaftsbild).
7.02 Source of Members
5, AC9
The party statutes of 1960 indicate that only direct membership was permitted. There are no provisions for indirect party membership.
7.03 Sources of Leaders
4 (sectors 04, 03), for first half, AC5
4 (sectors 04, 03), for second half, AC6
Based on data in Loewenberg--1967--for Parliamentarians from 1957-1961, about 30 percent of the CDU/CSU deputies reporting occupations were in business and about 25 percent were professionals.
7.04 Relations with Domestic Parties
4, AC9
Throughout the time period the CDU always participated in a governing coalition with either the FDP, DP, or GB/BHE. The CDU was always the stronger member in the alliance, but the party still depended on its weaker partners in order to maintain control of the government.
7.05 Relations with Foreign Organizations
4, AC9
The CDU sent members to the Christian Democratic Conference, but the party did not rely on the international for policy initiatives or financial support.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
8.01 Structural Articulation
11, AC9
There were three main national organs, the Federal Party Convention,the Federal Committee, and the Federal Executive Committee. All three national organs had strict rules on selection, and responsibilities were clearly and precisely delineated in the CDU constitution. There was also an election campaign committee which involved the national organization in the selection of candidates.
8.02 Intensiveness of Organization
6, AC9
The smallest party organization unit was the Stutzpunct ("unit") which is comprised of seven members or less. The most common unit, however, was thelocal association which represented villages as a whole or boroughs of larger towns and cities.
8.03 Extensiveness of Organization
6, AC9
The CDU coverage through local party organizations was quite extensive and complete.
8.04 Frequency of Local Meetings
No information
8.05 Frequency of National Meetings
4 for 1950-56, AC6
3 for 1957-62, AC6
According to party statutes, the Federal Committee met quarterly and may have been convened by the party chairman. Adenauer chose to convene the CDU executive only once between September, 1958 and september, 1959.
8.06 Maintaining Records
10, AC9
The district and local associations were responsible for keeping extremely accurate and complete records of party membership. The party published massive amounts of propaganda over the years, often employing government facilities for these purposes. The CDU did not maintain any archives, rather it used information gathered by commercial organizations or government agencies.
8.07 Pervasiveness of Organization
18, AC9
There were at least five ancillary organizations directly affiliated with the CDU, Youth Union, Women's Association, Social Committee, local government associations, and middle-class associations. In addition, the party encouraged the growth of the Christian Trade Union movement of Germany (CGD) which flourished in the German industrial sector. It appears that the party closely surveyed the activities of these ancillary organizations.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
 9.01 Nationalization of Structure
3, AC7
This code was chosen to recognize the fact that the CSU (Christlich Soziale Union) was largely an autonomous force based in Bavaria, and it cooperated with the CDU at the national level, primarily with the parliament.
Within the CDU itself, the land associations were distinct components of the party with large areas of responsibility themselves.
9.02 Selecting the National Leader
3, AC9
The Federal Party chairman was selected by the Federal Party Convention. The federal party convention was composed of delegates from the land associations and of special representatives.
9.03 Selecting Parliamentary Candidates
4, AC7
The Federal Executive Committee elected an election committee which, in cooperation with the land associations, participated in the nomination of list candidates for the Bundestag. But candidate selection for district seats was by law given to the constituency party. Because the CDU obtained a majority of its seats from constituency elections, this provision produced more decentralization in CDU candidate selection than the other parties experience.
9.04 Allocating Funds
6, AC7
Since the CDU membership was not large, it did not depend on membership dues for the bulk of party funds. Instead, the CDU depended on large institutional contributions which were sometimes allocated to the party through the sponsor associations. Presumably, the Federal Party organization, in turn, allocated the funds to the various local associations.
9.05 Formulating Policy
6, AC9
Policy formulation remained in the hands of a small group of party leaders. Only on rare occasions lower level party organizations were able to effectively influence policy formulators.
9.06 Controlling Communications
7, AC9
Extensive propaganda tools were in the hands of the federal party organization. These include newspapers, magazines, party broadcasts, and speakers. There were similar propaganda tools employed by the regional and local party organizations.
9.07 Administering Discipline
4, AC7
Disciplinary measures could have been taken by the appropriate party Executive Committee. Disciplinary measures include warnings, reprimands, deprivation of party offices, deprivation of eligibility to hold party offices during a specified period of time, and expulsion from the party.
9.08 Leadership Concentration
6, AC9
Although a party elite of some 25 men was considered the policy formulators, Adenauer was clearly the chief policy maker for the party and the country. Seldom were his policy decisions overruled and his leadership remained essentially unchallenged except for the protestations of the laender chairmen regarding the increasing centralization of power under Adenauer.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
 10.01 Legislative Cohesion
89 for first half, AC6
94 for second half, AC6
These cohesion figures are taken from Ozbudun--1970-- who calculated indices of cohesion for 285 votes in the Bundestag for 1949-1957 and for 46 votes in the 1957-1961 Bundestag.
10.02 Ideological Factionalism
2 for 1950-56, AC9
1 for 1957-62, AC9
The CDU experienced a certain degree of left-wing, right-wing conflict over the years. In 1950, Karl Arnold and his supporters within the party resisted Adenauer's policy of coalition formation with the FDP. Arnold's group supported a grand coalition with the SPD.
However, by 1954 this leftist group had fallen in line behind Adenauer. The
left-wing pressured Adenauer into pursuing a more vigorous social policy, but this eventually resulted in the disappearance of a liberal faction by the second half of the period.
10.03 Issue Factionalism
2 for 1950-56, AC5
1 for 1957-62, AC5
Although the party contained conservative Catholic farmers and trade union minded Catholic Ruhr workers, there were no major conflicts between those two groups. The party maintained a middle course and thereby pleased everyone. The only time when issue factionalism could be identified was during the early 1950's when Karl Arnold and other party liberals advocated and succeeded in obtaining a more vigorous social welfare policy. By 1957 this factionalism was non-existent.
10.04 Leadership Factionalism
2 for 1st half, AC7
5 for 2nd half, AC7
Concern about Adenauer's power and style as CDU leader did not really surface in factional tendencies until the second half of our time period, when some structural changes were adopted by the party to dilute his power. In 1956, the number of vice-chairmen was increased from 2 to 4 with this end in view.
10.05 Strategic or Tactical Factionalism
2 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
Initially, there was some concern over entering a coalition with the FDP instead of negotiating a grand coalition with the SPD. But with the success achieved by the CDU in elections, there was little room for tactical or strategic arguments during the rest of our time period.
10.06 Party Purges
0, AC9
No purges.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 Membership Requirements
3, AC9
Party members had to be 18 years old and in possession of their civil rights. Admission was made by a petition to the appropriate district association. Each member had to pay dues. Party kept complete records on membership, implying that all members were registered with the CDU.
11.02 Membership Participation
3, AC3
The CDU membership numbered nearly 300,000. Unlike the SPD, the CDU did not depend upon its membership for financial support. However, there were certainly thousands of dedicated party members who attended meetings and work in political campaigns.
11.03 Material Incentives
1, AC3
Although some sources indicate that Adenauer tended to distribute patronage positions on a confessional basis, the data are not clear enough to allow for a substantive code on this variable.
11.04 Purposive Incentives
2, AC3
Although some CDU militants sought government positions, it appears that many were genuinely concerned with operationalizing CDU programs.
11.05 Doctrinism
0, AC3
The party programs and bylaws were often cited by party leaders throughout the time period. However, party programs were subject to interpretation and change.
11.06 Personalism
0, AC9
While militants were loyal to Adenauer throughout the time period, there is no evidence that Adenauer's leadership was in any way charismatic. many party militants resented his power and he, in turn, tended to ignore the criticism from his underlings. It could safely be said that Adenauer enjoyed his long tenure because of his political abilities. Personality was not his strong suit.