What is some kind of political party


Associations of citizens who have common interests and common political ideas. In elections, parties want to gain political power in parliaments and governments in order to achieve their political goals. See citizens' initiatives
Democracy in Germany is a party democracy. Anyone who actively participates politically and does not only want to vote every four years on programs and candidates that others have decided and put up can only do so by participating in a party. Today, only candidates who have been nominated by a party have a realistic chance of moving into a parliament after federal or state elections. The parliamentary groups of the parties also determine what happens in the Bundestag and in the state parliaments. Despite this outstanding importance for political life in Germany, less than 2% of those eligible to vote are members of a political party - and the trend is falling.

According to the Basic Law, all citizens are free to found a party [Art. 21 GG]. However, it must be structured in accordance with democratic principles, and it must give a public account of where its funds come from. Parties that want to eliminate the free democratic basic order are forbidden. The Federal Constitutional Court decides on the application for such a ban, which can only be made by the Federal Government, the Bundestag or the Bundesrat. So far this has only happened twice: in 1952 the right-wing extremist "Socialist Reich Party" and in 1956 the left-wing extremist KPD were banned.
The parties are indispensable for the functioning of democracy in Germany. They collect politically like-minded people, submit well-formulated political programs that bundle certain ideas and interests in society and suggest solutions to political problems (program function). They also offer politically trained management staff (recruiting function). Only then will voters be able to make a choice in federal and state elections. You can choose between different policy offers and between different people. Furthermore, the parties constantly convey political opinions from the population to the parliaments and governments, so that contact with the grassroots for "those up there" is not lost. A special party law regulates the rights and obligations of the parties.

In order to fulfill their tasks, the parties need a lot of money, not only for election campaigns, but also for full-time employees and widely ramified party organizations.
You receive this money from membership fees and private donations as well as to a considerable extent from the state treasury, i.e. from tax money. This state funding is not without controversy. The private donation practice also gave rise to criticism when a party made high individual donations (more than
10 000 euros) did not publish in their annual report, as prescribed by the Political Parties Act.
In addition to two large people's parties - CDU / CSU and SPD - there are a number of smaller parties in Germany, of which Bündnis '90 / Die Grünen, FDP and Die Linke are also represented in the Bundestag.


Source: Thurich, Eckart: pocket politik. Democracy in Germany. revised New edition Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education 2011.