Democratic Party, 123
Demokratische Partei, FDP
The Free Democratic Party was one of the original parties in
Janda's 1950-1962 ICPP study. The party continued throughout
1950-1990 in the Harmel-Janda study of party change.
essay on party politics in West Germany from 1950 to 1962
- By far the smallest of the three parties, the Free
Democrats have come to be frequent partners in coalition
governments led by the CDU and even the SPD, despite the
FDP's conservative position on economics.
essay on party politics in the united Germany from 1963
to 2000 says:
- FDP, although it is the smallest
of the original parties, it has been able to balance the
power in the Bundestag through the formation of
coalitions. Because of this capacity, the FDP is
sometimes referred to as a pivot party. Despite its small
size, the FDP ahs been in power 39 of the 47 years of the
Republic, and out of those years, the FDP never received
more than 13% of the popular vote in any national
election. But, the FDP has been slowly declining after
the joint election of 1990. The FDP may be losing its
pivotal role to a newer, younger Green Party which may
have more to offer to the major parties. Indeed, the FDP
failed to enter the governing coalition following the
1998 election, which was won decisively by the SPD who
chose the Greens as its coalition partner.
Consult the index to
variables for annual scores of the party's issue
orientation, organizational complexity, centralization of
power, and coherence from 1950 through 1990.