GIUSEPPE ARE e PETER WEBER
Germania: un modello che cambia. I mutamenti del sistema politico tedesco nell'era Kohl
Summary West German Democracy during the chancellorship of Helmut Kohl has been characterized by political stability. The most important changes in the 80s were the rise of the new post-materialistic cleavage and the success of the new Green Party.
German unification has partially covered these new developments, restabilising momentarily the traditional party system in the elections of 1990. The successful extension of the West German party system to the East has been guaranteed by the mechanisrns of Chancellor's Democracy. As a consequence, however, the difficulties of forging the two different realities in East and West Germany into one system have been dominating the political process, leading to disappointment with the parties in power, CDU/CSU and FDP, but also with the main opposition party SPD.
Suffering from growing economic and cultural divergencies between their supporters the two catch-all-parties CDU/CSU and SPD have found it harder to maintain their electoral strength. In the Eastern regions the protest vote has been collected by the postcommunist-party PDS, the former SED. In Western regions the reborn Green Party now seems ready to take the part of the old, anaemic Liberal Party FDP.
It is mainly the stability of the government system, supported by a great number of autonomous and highly effective institutions, that has limited the symptoms of crisis to some aspects of the party system. Thus German Chancellor's Democracy continues to guarantee political stability and the necessary adjustments for the new millenium.