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After Christian democracy

Christian democracy has driven European politics for two generations. In Italy, Belgium and Germany, it is now in disarray-accused of rule by patronage rather than by policy. But does Austria point to the post-Christian democrat future?

By prospect   March 2000

Something has happened to Christian democracy in Europe. It has slipped at speed from an unchallenged position as the model for the future of European centre-right politics, into an abyss from which it may not be able to emerge. Helmut Kohl’s downfall is a huge blow to the CDU in Germany. It has caused humiliation and embarrassment on a scale which is difficult for outsiders to appreciate. Like the 13th chime on a clock, it raises doubts about all that went before. Everything will have to be re-examined-every part of the organisation, every approach to policy and, above all, the…

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