Free Democratic Party (Germany)

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Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
Chairman Christian Lindner
Founded 11 December 1948
Headquarters Thomas-Dehler-Haus
Reinhardtstraße 14
10117 Berlin
Youth wing Young Liberals
Foundation Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Membership  (2012) Decrease 57,000[1]
Ideology Liberalism[2]
Classical liberalism
Political position Centre-right[3][4]
International affiliation Liberal International
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colors Yellow and blue
Bundestag
0 / 631
State Parliaments
64 / 1,857
European Parliament
3 / 96
Website
www.fdp.de
Politics of Germany
Political parties
Elections

The Free Democratic Party (German: Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP) is a liberal[5][6] and classical liberal[7][8][9] political party in Germany. The FDP is led by Christian Lindner and, until the 2013 federal election, served as the junior coalition partner to the Union (Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union) in the German federal government.

The FDP was founded in 1948 by members of the former liberal political parties existing in Germany before World War II, the German Democratic Party and the German People's Party. For most of the Federal Republic's history, it has held the balance of power in the Bundestag. It has been in federal government longer than any other party, as the junior coalition partner to either the CDU/CSU (1949–56, 1961–66, 1982–98, and 2009–13) or the Social Democratic Party (1969–82). However, in the German federal election in 2013 the FDP failed to win any directly elected seats in the Bundestag, and came up short of the 5 percent threshold to qualify for list representation. It was thus shut out of the Bundestag for the first time in its history.

The FDP, which strongly supports human rights, civil liberties, and internationalism, has shifted from the centre to the centre-right over time. Since the 1980s, the party has firmly pushed economic liberalism, and has aligned itself closely to the promotion of free markets and privatisation. It is a member of the Liberal International and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

History[edit]

Walter Scheel served as Foreign Minister, Vice Chancellor, Acting Chancellor and President of Germany

Soon after World War II, the Soviet Union forced the creation of political parties. In July 1945 William Kulice and Eugen Schiffer called for the establishment of a pan-German Party, whose constitution the Allies hesitantly approved only in the Soviet occupation zone as the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany. In September 1945, citizens in Hamburg established the Party of Free Democrats (PFD) as a bourgeois Left Party and the first Liberal Party in the Western zones. In the first state elections in Hamburg in October 1946 the party won 18.2 percent of the vote. The FDP secured between 7.8 to 29.9 percent of the 1946 vote in Greater Berlin (East) and Saxony, the only states in Soviet-occupied territories that held free parliamentary elections. However, it had to support the policies of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) and join the National Front of the GDR as a "bloc party".Following the FDP's success, liberal parties were founded across the states. The FDP won Hesse's 1950 state election with 31.8 percent, the best result in its history, through appealing to East Germans displaced by the war by including them on their ticket.

Founding of the party[edit]

The Democratic Party of Germany (DPD) was established in Rothenburg ob der Tauber on 17 March 1947 as a pan-German Party. Its leaders were Theodor Heuss and William Külz. However, the project failed as a result of disputes over Külz's political direction.

The Free Democratic Party was established on 11–12 December 1948 in Heppenheim, in Hesse, as an association of all 13 regional liberal party organizations in the three Western zones of occupation.[10] The proposed name, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), was rejected by the delegates, who voted 64 to 25 in favour of the name Free Democratic Party (FDP).

The party's first chairman was Theodor Heuss; his deputy was Franz Blücher. The place for the party's foundation was chosen deliberately: it was at the Heppenheim Assembly that the moderate liberals had met in October 1847 before the March Revolution. Some regard the "Heppenheim Assembly", which was held at the Halber Mond (Half Moon) Hotel on 10 October 1847 as a meeting of leading liberals that was the beginning of the German Revolution of 1848/49.

Up to the 1950s, several of the FDP's regional organizations were to the right of the CDU/CSU, which initially had ideas of some sort of Christian socialism, and even former office-holders of the Third Reich were courted with national, patriotic values .

The FDP was founded on 11 December 1948 through the merger of nine regional liberal parties formed in 1945 from the remnants of the pre-1933 German People's Party (DVP) and the German Democratic Party (DDP), which had been active in the Weimar Republic.[Note 1] The FDP's first Chairman, Theodor Heuss, was formerly a member of the DDP and after the war of the Democratic People's Party (DVP).

1949–1969: The reconstruction of Germany[edit]

"Schlußstrich drunter!" – FDP election campaign poster before the 1949 Bundestag election in Hesse calling for a halt on De-nazification

In the first elections to the Bundestag on 14 August 1949, the FDP won a vote share of 11.9 percent (with 12 direct mandates, particularly in Baden-Württemberg and Hesse), and was thus 52 of 402 seats. In September of the same year the FDP chairman Theodor Heuss was elected first President of the Federal Republic of Germany. In his 1954 re-election, he received the best election result to date of a President with 871 of 1018 votes (85.6 percent) of the Federal Assembly. Adenauer was also elected on the proposal of the new German President with extremely narrow majority for the first Chancellor. The FDP participated with the CDU / CSU and the DP to Adenauer's coalition cabinet and placed with Franz Blücher (Vice-Chancellor), Thomas Dehler (Justice) and Eberhard Wildermuth (housing) three ministers.

In the most important economic, social and German national issues, the FDP agreed with their coalition partners, the CDU / CSU. However, the FDP recommended to the bourgeois voters a secular party that refused the religious schools and the accused the opposition parties of clericalization. The FDP said they were known also as a consistent representative of the market economy, while the CDU was then dominated nominally from the Ahlen Programme, which allowed a Third Way between capitalism and socialism. Ludwig Erhard, the "father" of the social market economy, had his followers in the early years of the Federal Republic in the Union rather than in the FDP.

The FDP voted in parliament at the end of 1950 against the CDU- and SPD- introduced de-nazification process. At their party conference in Munich in 1951 they demanded the release of all "so-called war criminals" and welcomed the establishment of the "Association of German soldiers" of former Wehrmacht and SS members, to advance the integration of the nationalist forces in democracy. The 1953 Naumann-Affair, named after Werner Naumann, identifies old Nazis trying to infiltrate the party, which had many right-wing and nationalist members in Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. After the British occupation authorities had arrested seven prominent members of the Naumann circle, the FDP federal board installed a commission of inquiry, chaired by Thomas Dehler, which particularly sharply criticized the situation in the North Rhine-Westphalian FDP. In the following years, the right wing lost power, and the extreme right increasingly sought areas of activity outside the FDP. In the 1953 federal election the FDP received 9.5 percent of the party votes, 10.8 percent of the primary vote (with 14 direct mandates, particularly in Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Hesse, Württemberg and Bavaria) and 48 of 487 seats.

In the second term of the Bundestag, the South German Liberal democrats gained influence in the party.[citation needed] Thomas Dehler, a representative of a more left-liberal course took over as party and parliamentary leader. The former Minister of Justice Dehler, who in 1933 suffered persecution by the Nazis, was known for his rhetorical focus. Generally the various regional associations were independent and translated so different from country to country accents in liberal politics. After the FDP had left in early 1956, the coalition with the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia and made with SPD and center a new state government, were a total of 16 members of parliament, including the four federal ministers from the FDP and founded the short-lived Free People's Party, which then up was involved to the end of the legislature instead of FDP in the Federal Government. The FDP first took it to the opposition.

Only one of the smaller post-war parties, the FDP survived despite many problems. In 1957 federal elections they still reached 7.7 percent of the vote to 1990 and their last direct mandate with which they had held 41 of 497 seats in the Bundestag. However, they still remained in opposition, because the Union won an absolute majority. In the following example, the FDP sat for a nuclear-free zone in Central Europe.

Even before the election Dehler was assigned as party chairman. At the federal party in Berlin at the end January 1957 relieved him Reinhold Maier. Dehler's role as Group Chairman took over after the election of the national set very Erich Mende. Mende was also chairman of the party.

In the 1961 federal elections, it achieved 12.8 percent nationwide, the best result until then, and the FDP entered a coalition with the CDU again. Although it was committed before the election to continuing to sit in any case in a government together with Adenauer, Chancellor Adenauer was again, however, to withdraw under the proviso, after two years. These events led to the FDP being nicknamed the "Umfallerpartei" (pushover party).[citation needed]

In the Spiegel Affair, the FDP withdrew their ministers from the federal government. Although the coalition was renewed again under Adenauer in 1962, the FDP withdrew again on the condition in October 1963. This occurred even under the new Chancellor, Ludwig Erhard. This was for Erich Mende turn the occasion to go into the cabinet: he took the rather unimportant Federal Ministry for All-German Affairs.

In the 1965 federal elections the FDP gained 9.5 percent. The coalition with the CDU in 1966 broke on the subject of tax increases and it was followed by a grand coalition between the CDU and the SPD. The opposition also pioneered a course change to: The former foreign policy and the attitude to the eastern territories were discussed. The new chairman elected delegates in 1968 Walter Scheel, a European-oriented liberals, although it came from the national liberal camp, but with Willi Weyer and Hans-Dietrich Genscher led the new center of the party. This center strove to make the FDP coalition support both major parties. Here, the Liberals approached to by their reorientation in East Germany and politics especially of the SPD.

1969–1982: Social changes and crises[edit]

On 21 October 1969 began the period after the election of a Social Liberal coalition with the SPD and the German Chancellor Willy Brandt. Walter Scheel was he who initiated the foreign policy reversal. Despite a very small majority he and Willy Brandt sat by the controversial New Ostpolitik. This policy was within the FDP quite controversial, especially since the entry into the Federal Government defeats in state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Saarland on 14 June 1970 followed. In Hanover and Saarbrücken, the party left the parliament.

After the federal party congress in Bonn, just a week later supported the policy of the party leadership and Scheel had confirmed in office, founded by Siegfried party rights Zoglmann 11 July 1970 a "non-partisan" organization called the National-Liberal action on the Hohensyburgstraße - to fall with the goal of ending the left-liberal course of the party and Scheel. However, this was not. Zoglmann supported in October 1970 a disapproval resolution of opposition to Treasury Secretary Alexander Möller, Erich Mende, Heinz Starke, and did the same. A little later all three declared their withdrawal from the FDP; Mende and Strong joined the CDU in, Zoglmann later founded the German Union, which does not make it past the status of a splinter party.

The foreign policy and the socio-political changes were made in 1971 by the Freiburg theses, which were as Rowohlt Paperback sold more than 100,000 times, on a theoretical basis, the FDP is committed to "social liberalism" and social reforms. Walter Scheel was first foreign minister and vice chancellor, 1974, he was then second-liberal President and paving the way for inner-party the previous interior minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher free.

From 1969 to 1974 supported the FDP Chancellor Willy Brandt, then she ruled at the Helmut Schmidt page. Already at the end of the 70s did not seem to be sufficient for a coalition the similarities between FDP and SPD, but the CDU / CSU chancellor candidate of Franz Josef Strauss in 1980 left the two parties go again together in the federal election. The FDP, however, saw more and more the differences to the SPD, especially in economic policy. The position on the question of NATO Double-Track Decision Chancellor Schmidt's own SPD had not behind. Also contradictions within the FDP were always greater

1982–1998: joined Kohl government, with economic transition and reunification[edit]

In all federal election campaigns since the 1980s, the party sided with the CDU and CSU, the main conservative parties in Germany. An exception to the party policy was made in the 2002 campaign, in which it adopted a position of "equidistance" to the CDU and SPD. Following German reunification in 1990, the FDP merged with the Association of Free Democrats, a grouping of liberals from East Germany and the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany.

On 1 October 1982, FDP elected together with the CDU / CSU parliamentary group of the CDU party chairman Helmut Kohl as the new Chancellor (→ turn (West Germany)). The coalition change had severe internal conflicts result, the FDP then lost about 20 percent of its 86,500 members, as reflected in the general election in 1983 reflected (drop from 10.6 percent to 7.0 percent). The members went mostly to the SPD, the Greens and newly formed splinter parties, such as the left-liberal party Liberal Democrats (LD) across. Under the exiting members was also the former FDP General Secretary and later EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen. At the party convention in November 1982, the Schleswig-Holstein state chairman Uwe Ronneburger challenged Hans-Dietrich Genscher as party chairman. Ronneburger received 186 of the votes - about 40 percent - and was just narrowly defeated by Genscher.

Young FDP members who did not agree with the politics of the FDP youth organization Young Democrats, had founded in 1980 the Young Liberals (JuLis). For a time there were two youth organizations side by side until the JuLis penetrated due to the turn and the new official youth organization of the FDP were. The Young Democrats split from the FDP and were left a party independent youth organization.

In the time of reunification, the FDP's objective of a special economic zone in the former East Germany, but could not prevail against the CDU / CSU, as this would prevent any loss of votes in the five new federal states in the general election in 1990.

During the political upheavals of 1989/1990 originated in the GDR new liberal parties like the FDP East Germany or the German Forum Party. They formed the Liberal Democratic Party, who had previously acted as a block party on the side of the SED and with Manfred Gerlach also the last Council of State of the GDR presented, the Alliance of Free Democrats, (BFD). Within the FDP came in the following years to considerable internal discussions about dealing with the former block party. Even before the reunification of Germany united on a joint congress in Hanover, West German FDP with the parties to the BFD and the former block party NDPD to the first all-German party. Both party factions brought the FDP a great, albeit short-lived, increase in membership. In the first all-German Bundestag elections, the CDU/CSU/FDP center-right coalition was confirmed, the FDP received 11.0 percent of the valid votes (79 seats) and won (in Halle (Saale)) the first direct mandate since 1957.

During the 1990s, the FDP won between 6.2 and 11 percent of the vote in Bundestag elections. It last participated in the federal government by representing the junior partner in the government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the CDU.

In 1998, CDU/CSU and FDP coalition lost the federal election, ended the FDP for near than 30 years in government coalition. They went back into opposition until 2009, a new center-right coalition government formed.

2005 federal election[edit]

In the 2005 general election the party won 9.8 percent of the vote and 61 federal deputies, an unpredicted improvement from prior opinion polls. It is believed that this was partly due to tactical voting by CDU and Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) alliance supporters who hoped for stronger market-oriented economic reforms than the CDU/CSU alliance called for. However, because the CDU did worse than predicted, the FDP and the CDU/CSU alliance were unable to form a coalition government. At other times, for example after the 2002 federal election, a coalition between the FDP and CDU/CSU was impossible primarily because of the weak results of the FDP.

The CDU/CSU parties had achieved the 3rd worst performance in German postwar history with only 35.2 percent of the votes. Therefore, the FDP wasn't able to form a coalition with its preferred partners, the CDU/CSU parties. As a result, the party was considered as a potential member of two other political coalitions, following the election. One possibility was a partnership between the FDP, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Alliance 90/The Greens, known as a "traffic light coalition", named after the colors of the three parties. This coalition was ruled out, because the FDP considered the Social Democrats and the Greens insufficiently committed to market-oriented economic reform. The other possibility was a CDU-FDP-Green coalition, known as a "Jamaica coalition" because of the colours of the three parties. This coalition wasn't concluded either, since the Greens ruled out participation in any coalition with the CDU/CSU. Instead, the CDU formed a Grand coalition with the SPD, and the FDP entered the opposition. FDP leader Guido Westerwelle became the unofficial leader of the opposition by virtue of the FDP's position as the largest opposition party in the Bundestag.

In the 2009 European parliament elections, the FDP received 11% of the national vote (2,888,084 votes in total) and returned 12 MEPs.[11]

2009 federal election[edit]

Christian Lindner is FDP chairman, having succeeded Philipp Rösler in December 2013.

In the national vote on 27 September 2009 the FDP increased its share of the vote by 4.8 percentage points to 14.6%, an all-time record so far. This percentage was enough to offset a decline in the CDU/CSU's vote compared to 2005, to create a CDU-FDP governing coalition in the Bundestag with a 53% majority of seats. On election night, party leader Westerwelle said his party would work to ensure that civil liberties were respected and that Germany got an "equitable tax system and better education opportunities."[12]

The party also made gains in the two state elections held at the same time, acquiring sufficient seats for a CDU-FDP coalition in the northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein and gaining enough votes in left leaning Brandenburg to clear the 5% hurdle to enter that state's parliament.

However, after reaching its best ever election result in 2009, the FDP's support has since collapsed.[13] By the end of 2010, the party's support had dropped to as low as 5%. The FDP retained their seats in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, which was held six months after the federal election, but out of the seven state elections that have been held since 2009, the FDP have lost all their seats in five of them due to failing to cross the 5% threshold.

Westerwelle stepped down as party leader in 2011 after the party was wiped out in Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate and lost half its seats in Baden-Württemberg. He was replaced on 13 May 2011 by Philipp Rösler. The change in leadership failed to revive the FDP's fortunes and in the next series of state elections the party lost all its seats in Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin.[14] In Berlin the party lost nearly 3/4 of the support they had in the previous election.[15] In March 2012, they also lost all their seats in Saarland. However, this was averted in the Schleswig-Holstein state elections, when they achieved 8% of the vote, which was a severe loss of seats but still over the 5% threshold. In the snap elections in North Rhine-Westphalia a week later, the FDP not only crossed the threshold, but also increased its share of the votes to 2 percentage points higher than the previous state election. This was attributed to the local leadership of Christian Lindner.[16]

2013 federal election[edit]

In the federal elections on 22 September 2013 the FDP came up just short of the 5% threshold. It failed to win any directly elected seats either; it has not won any directly elected seats since 1990. As a result, the FDP will be out of the Bundestag for the first time since 1949.

2014 European election[edit]

In the 2014 European parliament elections, the FDP received 3.36% of the national vote (986,253 votes in total) and returned 3 MEPs.[17]

Policies[edit]

Membership development

The FDP adheres to a classical liberal ideology,[7][8][9][18] advocating liberalism in both the economic sphere and social sphere.[19] The current guidelines of the FDP are enshrined in the "Principles of Wiesbaden". A key objective of the FDP is the "strengthening of freedom and individual responsibility".

Economic policy[edit]

The FDP espouses the most economic liberal ideas of the German mainstream parties. The main goal is the creation of jobs by creating incentives for private investments. This shall be achieved, among other measures, through reduced bureaucracy, privatisation, deregulation, through removal of subsidies, and reform of collective bargaining. The national debt shall be reduced. The party supports globalisation.

In the tax policy a simple tax code is called for. The party supports a bracket income tax system, as opposed to the current 'linear' system, and, in the long term, a flat tax. The reasoning is that through tax cuts, the purchasing power of employees will be increased and the economy will be stimulated.

Environment and energy policy[edit]

In energy policy, the FDP calls for a combination of nuclear, coal, oil and gas and renewable energy for electricity production. The FDP opposes phasing out of nuclear power.[citation needed]Regarding the EEG (or Feed-in tariff) the website of the FDP states that its policy is for more frequent review of the rates at which renewable generators are paid, in order to prevent what it describes as overpayment (Überförderungen). The FDP were one of the coalition partners proposing the severe cuts to EEG tariff payment rates in March 2012.

Social policy[edit]

The FDP aims for the introduction of a citizen's dividend (Bürgergeld), which collects all the tax-financed social welfare and social security funds of the state. The social security funds should be supplemented through privately funded schemes.

The common view in the party is a critical attitude towards the state and to conservative and egalitarian social policies. Under the slogan "As much government as necessary, as little government as possible," the FDP tries to limit the state involvement in the life of the individual as far as possible. The unifying stance for them is the idea of "creating and maintaining the freedom of individuals". Thus the party supported nearly all social liberalizations that have been implemented in the federal republic.

Throughout its history, the FDP's policies have shifted between emphasis on social liberalism and economic liberalism. Since the 1980s, the FDP has maintained a consistent pro-business stance. The FDP supports strong competition laws and a minimum standard of welfare protection for every citizen. In addition, the FDP endorses to complement the social welfare and health care systems with laws that would require every employed citizen to invest in a private social security account.

The FDP supports gay rights; former party leader Guido Westerwelle is openly gay. Yet the party's group in parliament voted against an oppositional motion for gay marriage, in order not to threaten the coalition with the Christian Democrats.[20]

Domestic policy[edit]

The FDP is opposed to wiretapping, although the FDP originally supported 'Großer Lauschangriff'. It also rejects data retention in the phone and internet. The FDP is opposed to a tightening of the penal code, and instead supports for the recruitment of more police officers, judges, and prosecutors to improve security and speed up trials. In addition, improved rehabilitation is called for, especially for young offenders.

One objective of the FDP is the promotion of pre-school education. There shall be mandatory language tests at the age of four to detect linguistic weaknesses of children with immigrant backgrounds and train them in time for school. Half-day childcare shall be free, in accordance with the legal right to a kindergarten place, from the third year of life and school enrolment. Language teaching shall constitute an integral part of the curriculum from grade one onwards.

The FDP calls for the establishment of full-day schools and the high school diploma after twelve years of schooling. In addition, the Liberals are opposed to integrated schools, because they believe that those schools are not performance-oriented enough and individual student support is not sufficiently guaranteed. The FDP supports tuition fees to support the funding of universities. It also calls for the abolition of laws and regulations to improve research conditions.[clarification needed] The FDP opposed the 1996 spelling reform; as a result, their election manifestos are written in the previously conventional spelling.[citation needed]

Foreign policy[edit]

The FDP describes itself as the pro-European party, although the minority national liberal faction is soft eurosceptic.[21] The FDP wants a politically integrated EU with a Common Foreign and Security Policy, but supported a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. The FDP advocates the accession of Turkey to the EU, although this would require Turkey to fulfil all criteria.[citation needed]

Election results[edit]

Federal Parliament (Bundestag)[edit]

Below are charts of the results that the Free Democratic Party has secured in each election to the federal Bundestag. Timelines showing the number of seats and percentage of party list votes won are on the right.

Election Year Vote % Seats Place[Note 2]
1949 11.9 52 3rd
1953 9.5 48 3rd
1957 7.7 41 3rd
1961 12.8 67 3rd
1965 9.5 49 3rd
1969 5.8 30 3rd
1972 8.4 41 3rd
1976 7.9 39 3rd
1980 10.6 53 3rd
1983 6.9 34 3rd
1987 9.1 46 3rd
1990 11.0 79 3rd

Election year # of party list
votes
 % of party list
vote
# of overall seats won +/-
1994 3,258,407 6.9 (#4/5)
47 / 672
Decrease 32
1998 3,080,955 6.2 (#4/5)
43 / 669
Decrease 4
2002 3,538,815 7.4 (#4/5)
47 / 603
Increase 4
2005 4,648,144 9.8 (#3)
61 / 614
Increase 14
2009 6,316,080 14.6 (#3)
93 / 622
Increase 32
2013 2,082,305 4.8 (#6)
0 / 631
Decrease 93

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1979 1,662,621 5.9 (#4)
4 / 81
1984 1,192,624 4.8 (#5)
0 / 81
Decrease 4
1989 1,576,715 5.6 (#6)
4 / 81
Increase 4
1994 1,442,857 4.1 (#6)
0 / 99
Decrease 4
1999 820,371 3.0 (#6)
0 / 99
Steady 0
2004 1,565,431 6.1 (#6)
7 / 99
Increase 7
2009 2,888,084 11.0 (#4)
12 / 99
Increase 5
2014 986,253 3.3 (#7)
3 / 96
Decrease 9

Leadership[edit]

Hans-Dietrich Genscher served almost continuously as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1974 to 1992.

Party chairmen[edit]

Leader From To
1 Theodor Heuss 1948 1949
2 Franz Blücher 1949 7 March 1954
3 Thomas Dehler 7 March 1954 24 January 1957
4 Reinhold Maier 24 January 1957 29 January 1960
5 Erich Mende 29 January 1960 29 January 1968
6 Walter Scheel 29 January 1968 1 October 1974
7 Hans-Dietrich Genscher 1 October 1974 23 February 1985
8 Martin Bangemann 23 February 1985 9 October 1988
9 Otto Graf Lambsdorff 9 October 1988 11 June 1993
10 Klaus Kinkel 11 June 1993 10 June 1995
11 Wolfgang Gerhardt 10 June 1995 4 May 2001
12 Guido Westerwelle 4 May 2001 13 May 2011
13 Philipp Rösler 13 May 2011 7 December 2013
13 Christian Lindner 7 December 2013 Incumbent

Leaders in the Bundestag[edit]

Leader From To
1 Theodor Heuss 1949 12 September 1949
2 Hermann Schäfer 12 September 1949 10 January 1951
3 August-Martin Euler 10 January 1951 6 May 1952
4 Hermann Schäfer 6 May 1952 20 October 1953
5 Thomas Dehler 20 October 1953 8 January 1957
6 Max Becker 8 January 1957 November 1957
7 Erich Mende November 1957 22 October 1963
8 Knut von Kühlmann-Stumm 22 October 1963 23 January 1968
9 Wolfgang Mischnick 23 January 1968 15 January 1991
10 Hermann Otto Solms 15 January 1991 26 October 1998
11 Wolfgang Gerhardt 5 October 1998 30 April 2006
12 Guido Westerwelle 30 April 2006 25 October 2009
13 Birgit Homburger 25 October 2009 10 May 2011
14 Rainer Brüderle 10 May 2011 22 October 2013
No seats in the Bundestag 22 October 2013

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ These nine regionally organised liberal parties were the Bremian Democratic People's Party (BDV) in the state of Bremen, the Democratic Party of Southern and Middle Baden (DemP) in the State of South Baden, the Democratic Party (DP) in the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, the Democratic People's Party of Northern Württemberg-Northern Baden (DVP) in the State of Württemberg-Baden, the Democratic People's Party of Southern Württemberg-Hohenzollern (DVP) in the State of Württemberg-Hohenzollern, the united Free Democratic Party (F.D.P.) of the British zone of occupation, the Free Democratic Party (F.D.P.) in the Free State of Bavaria, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the State of Hesse, and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Berlin (West). Cf. Almut Leh and Alexander von Plato, Ein unglaublicher Frühling: erfahrene Geschichte im Nachkriegsdeutschland 1945 - 1948, Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (ed.), Bonn: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 1997, p. 77. ISBN 3-89331-298-6
  2. ^ Counts Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union together for purposes of comparison.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.fdp.de/Aufbau-der-Partei/492b178/index.html
  2. ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck". Parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  3. ^ Dymond, Johnny (27 September 2009). "Merkel heading for new coalition". BBC News. 
  4. ^ Peel, Quentin (9 May 2010). "Germans take weeks over coalition pacts". Financial Times. 
  5. ^ Thomas Banchoff; Mitchell Smith (12 November 2012). Legitimacy and the European Union: The Contested Polity. Taylor & Francis. p. 123–. ISBN 978-0-415-18188-4. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Sylvia Breukers (20 January 2007). Changing Institutional Landscapes for Implementing Wind Power: A Geographical Comparison of Institutional Capacity Building: the Netherlands, England and North Rhine-Westphalia. Amsterdam University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-90-5629-454-0. 
  7. ^ a b Gunlicks, Arthur B. (2003). The Länder and German federalism. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-7190-6533-0. 
  8. ^ a b van Dijk, Ruud (2008). Encyclopedia of the Cold War, Volume 1. London: Taylor & Francis. p. 541. ISBN 978-0-415-97515-5. 
  9. ^ a b Zimmer, Matthias (1997). Germany: Phoenix in trouble?. Edmonton: University of Alberta. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-88864-305-6. 
  10. ^ "Heppenheimer Proklamation der Freien Demokratischen Partei" [Heppenheim Proclamation of the Free Democratic Party] (pdf). 12 December 1948. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  11. ^ http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/de/europawahlen/EU_BUND_09/ergebnisse/bundesergebnisse//
  12. ^ Merkel to head new center-right government Deutsche Welle 27 September 2009.
  13. ^ Kundnani, Hans (24 August 2009). "Germany's Liberal Collapse". London: Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Rot-Grün als "große Koalition", Stern, 23 May 2011, retrieved 15 May 2012 
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  21. ^ Taggart, Paul; Szczerbiak, Aleks. "The Party Politics of Euroscepticism in EU Member and Candidate States". SEI Working Paper 51. Sussex European Institute. p. 11. [dead link]

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