A smaller government would be better


1. Term

Coalition (K.) in the parliamentary system Ds is understood to mean the amalgamation of two or more → parties or their → parliamentary groups for the purpose of forming and supporting a government. Ks are required in the parliamentary system if one party alone has not achieved the necessary majority of all mandates or has too little majority. The formation of a K. can be conditioned by the type of government system, the → party system as well as the → electoral system. K.en are temporary alliances that are usually concluded for one legislative period. In K., the parties involved can not necessarily enforce their own programmatic, but have to compromise. The interests of the smaller K. partner (s) can be given greater consideration than his / her voter vote suggests if he / she is / are absolutely necessary for the formation of the K. Legal limits are set for education by the free mandate of the → MP (Art. 38 GG), the → Federal Chancellor's right to propose the appointment of ministers (Art. 64.1 GG) and the Federal Chancellor's authority to issue guidelines (Art. 65 GG). However, these state-theoretical provisions have become less and less important in political practice in the FRG, so that political developments have increasingly restricted these rights.

After successful negotiations, agreements are made that reflect the political goals (proposed legislation, etc.) and personal ideas (division and composition of the ministries and state secretaries) of the parties involved. In political practice, the agreements require the approval of the parliamentary groups, usually also the party executive. At the state level, special party conferences usually vote on the K.s agreements. K.s are closed if one party does not achieve an absolute majority. Nevertheless, there can also be no if a party has won an absolute majority. K.en differentiate themselves from all-party governments and from electoral alliances. As a rule, children also assume the existence of an → opposition. Usually the strongest parliamentary group forms a so-called small K. with a small group. However, it is also possible to form a small K. against the strongest faction. A grand K., formed from the strongest parliamentary groups, contradicts the real meaning of a parliamentary system based on the principle of majority government and strong opposition. A major K. is therefore actually only formed in times of crisis (war, national emergency, urgently needed reforms that are only possible with a constitution-changing majority) and when another majority is politically not possible.

2. Coalition agreements

After an election, i. d. R. the political leadership of the strongest party, the initiative to conduct negotiations with the aim of forming the government. The top politicians of the parties aspiring to the new K. - i. d. R. Chairpersons, board members, general secretaries, individual ministers, in some cases also prime ministers of the federal states as well as the parliamentary groups (→ political elite) - for talks together to make political agreements about the future policy of the K. Since 1961 it has become common practice at the federal level to conclude K. agreements. Such agreements can include cooperation during the entire legislative period as well as the promise not to vote in the → Bundestag with changing majorities; the participation of the group chairmen in cabinet meetings; the formulation of political principles in the different areas of the policy to further agreements between the K.svereinbarung. A time limit for the K. or a time limit for the term of office of the head of government can also be agreed in order to bring about new elections early. Legal agreements are not legally binding and cannot be sued. In order to review the K. agreements and to defuse the tensions that will certainly arise in a K. during a legislative period, a K. Committee is set up, to which the top politicians of the parties entering the K. belong. In addition to the general coordination, it has the task of settling any disputes that arise between the partners, to discuss parliamentary work in advance, to clarify government initiatives and thus to coordinate government and parliamentary work. K committees "have developed into an informal decision-making body with extensive competencies" (Schreckenberger 1994: 334). The problem of constitutional conformity then arises, since the K. Committee can act as a kind of subsidiary government, which is not provided for in the constitution. So there was z. Z. the Große K. from 1966 to 1969 the "Kreßbronner Kreis", which also included top politicians from the → CDU / → CSU and → SPD, but who were not represented in the government. As a quasi-constitutional body, the K. Committee actually conducts the business of the government without being responsible to parliament. Working groups have formed below the K committee and they play an increasingly important role. Social agreements facilitate government work, promote governability and stabilize the basis of trust between the parties. The K.s agreements are intended to document and legitimize government work internally and externally, as well as creating transparency.

3. Coalitions in Germany

In principle, in a parliamentary system, all parties represented in parliament should be able to form a coalition with one another. With the entry of extreme parties into the German Bundestag - z. For example, in the initial phase of the FRG the KPD (→ splinter parties) on the left and the NPD in seven state parliaments in the 1960s - the parliamentary basis for the formation of the union decreased. The formation of K. largely eludes the will of the electorate and is left to the discretion of the parties. Although statements have been made by the parties before the elections for a long time, these are not always kept. B. the majority do not allow such an intended formation of a C. So had z. B. the SPD in BW 1992 excluded a K. with the CDU in the election campaign, but then had to enter a major K. due to the election result. The formation of a K. can act structurally formative for an entire epoch. The formation of a bourgeois K. from CDU / CSU, → FDP and DP in 1949 established the uninterrupted 20-year rule of the CDU as well as the fact that this party had the first three Federal Chancellors (Adenauer 1949-1963, Erhard 1963-1966, Kiesinger 1966-1969). With the formation of the Big K. in 1966, the SPD demonstrated its ability to govern at the federal level and - not least based on its success as a ruling party - was able to enter into a small K. with the FDP in 1969, which lasted until 1982. During this time the Social Democratic Chancellors Brandt (1969-1974) and Schmidt (1974-1982) ruled.

The Bonn ruling parties tried to enter into similar agreements at the state level in order to have a majority in the → Federal Council as well as possible. During the reign of the social-liberal K. there were also many social-liberal state governments. Due to → federalism and the increase in the number of states as a result of reunification (→ Federal Republic of Germany - Development and Perspectives since 1990 [1]), it is unlikely that all → federal states will form the same K.en as at the federal level. Länderk.en not only have the function of offering the Bonn / Berlin opposition parties the opportunity to exercise government at the state level, but are also an experimental field for a possible future agreement at the federal level. The formation of the social-liberal K. in NRW from 1966 onwards served as a test for the formation of the SPD / FDP government at the federal level in 1969. The formation of the red-green coalition in North Rhine-Westphalia in 1995 served as a test run at the federal level for 1998. In the summer of 2011, there was a diversity of Ks in D. In the federal government there is a coalition of CDU / CSU and liberals who are in charge of it also in SH (→ Land Schleswig-Holstein), in NI (→ Land Niedersachsen), in HE (→ Land Hessen), in SN (→ Land Sachsen) and in BY (→ Land Bayern), coalitions of SPD and Bündnis 90 / The Greens exist in RP (→ State of Rhineland-Palatinate), in HB (→ State of Bremen), and in NRW (→ State of North Rhine-Westphalia) as a minority government. The Greens have provided the first Prime Minister in BW (→ State of Baden-Württemberg) in a coalition with the SPD since 2011. Major players - CDU and SPD - are in office in TH (→ State of Thuringia), in MV (→ State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), in ST (→ State of Saxony-Anhalt) and in BE. A so-called Jamaica coalition of the CDU / FDP and the Greens existed in the SL (→ State of Saarland) until the beginning of January 2012. In BY (→ State of Bavaria) the CSU has been ruling with the FDP since 2008. The only sole government currently leads. the SPD in HH (→ Land Hamburg),

The more parties form a C., the more susceptible C.s are likely to be. A C. acting with a small majority can be politically more powerful than a large C., as the factional discipline in small C.en i. d. R. is larger. Kens can integrate parties opposing the system and thus contribute to evolutionary change while at the same time stabilizing the political system. However, the political alternatives are reduced by K.en.

Source: Andersen, Uwe / Wichard Woyke (ed.): Concise dictionary of the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany. 7th, updated Aufl. Heidelberg: Springer VS 2013. Author of the article: Wichard Woyke