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Angela’s hour

Germany's grand coalition has a good chance to give the reform process a shove

By prospect   November 2005

In the last 15 years Germany has been ruled by a non-declared “grand coalition of indecisiveness,” formed by two social democratic parties, one of the left, one of the right. By making this grand coalition explicit, the recent election result in Germany may not turn out to have been the disaster it was widely portrayed as in Britain.

A combination of proportional representation (and thus coalition government), a powerful second chamber representing the states and a strong constitutional court has left Germany with relatively weak central government. Moreover, thanks to their permanent control of certain key states, neither of the…

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