power confusion

A somewhat remarkable constellation; indeed telling, if we think about power relations, and the role of political parties as it is defined in the Basic Law (so-called constitution):

Article 21
[Political parties]

(1) Political parties shall participate in the formation of the political will of the people. They may be freely established. Their internal organisation must conform to democratic principles. They must publicly account for their assets and for the sources and use of their funds.

The German Social Democrats reached apparently the end of the ‘governance period’, preparing the election of a new board – this happened on December 11th.

Auf dem Ordentlichen Bundesparteitag in Berlin wurden am 11. Dezember 2021 die Mitglieder des SPD-Parteivorstands neu bestimmt. 

Interestingly, on the 4th of December the same party voted in favour of the Koalitionsvertrag, the agreement between social democrats, greens and liberals.

There are two extrem interpretations:

  • The outgoing elite of the party uses the remaining power to determine the future course.
  • A party, being somewhat in a limbo, not having a board anymore and not having a board yet, is deciding about a major issue, one that will be substantial for the future of the party.

Article 21.2. ff. of the German constitution speaks in general terms of the unconstitutional character of parties and the way and means not to allow such parties. Unconstitutionality is broadly defined as not being conform with the basic law. I am wondering now, if – at least when reading formal structures in a substantioal light – the procedure applied here can be really seen as democratic.

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