About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

21 Trinity C.L. Rev. 136 (2018)
The Centre Cannot Hold: Reflections on Militant Democracy in Germany

handle is hein.journals/trinclr21 and id is 146 raw text is: 





THE CENTRE CANNOT HOLD: REFLECTIONS ON
         MILITANT DEMOCRACY IN GERMANY

                          BENJAMIN Low*


Introduction

On  24 September   2017, Germany   went  to the polls to elect the 19th
Bundestag  and, by extension, the next government of the Federal Republic.
At the time of the election, most analysts and opinion polls were predicting
a sizeable, albeit reduced, victory for the centre-right Christian Democratic
Union  (CDU/CSU) and more disconcertingly, electoral gains for the
populist right-wing Alternative for Germany   (AfD).1 The opinion polls
were prescient: the CDU/CSU  took 26.8% of the vote, its lowest share since
1949, while the AfD  took  12.6% of the vote,2 easily surpassing the 5%
electoral threshold needed to attain representation in the Bundestag and
leapfrogged to become  the third-largest party in the Bundestag after the
CDU/CSU   and  the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).
      The results of the 2017 Federal Election are significant in that the
present  composition  of the  German   parliament  remains  even  more
fragmented  than ever, thereby making  the task of forming a governing
coalition extremely  difficult.4 More importantly however,  a  far-right
political party in  Germany   has  managed   to  achieve parliamentary
representation for the first time since the inception of the Federal Republic.
While  it remains to be seen whether  the AfD  can continue  its present
string of electoral successes, the 2017 election result raises questions as to
the  viability of Germany's constitutional-legal   model   of  'militant

* Senior Freshman LLB Candidate, National University of Singapore. I am grateful to Agnes
Lo for her unstinting support in this endeavour. All errors remain my own.
1 'Sonntagsfrage Bundestagswahl' (Wahlen, Wahlrecht und Wahlisysteme)
<http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/index.htm> accessed 15 December 2017.
2 '2017 Bundestag Election: final result' (Federal Returning Officer, 12 October 2017)
<https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/en/info/presse/mitteilungen/bundestagswahl-
2017/34_17_endgueltiges-ergebnis.html> accessed 16 December 2017.
3 § 6, Federal Electoral Law (Bundeswahlgesetz, BWG) (FRG).
4 At the time this article was written, coalition talks between the CDU/CSU, the Free
Democratic Party and the Green Party had collapsed, prompting the CDU/CSU to seek the
possibility of another 'grand coalition' with the SPD.


@ 2018 Benjamin Low and Dublin University Law Society

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most