Multiparty system is a system where two or more political parties dominate voting process in almost all elections at every stage of government. This results in almost all elected offices being members of one of the two or more major political parties. In a multi party system, one party typically holds the majority of the sits in the parliament and mainly known as the majority party while the rest are minority parties (Sarma 2007, p.1).
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Germany is a federal republic based on a representative democracy. German politics for instance take place in the perspective of parliamentary representative perspective. The Chancellor heads the German government. The German republic has of late experience a lot of political instability and due to the existence of more than one political party. Initially, the German republic experienced a lot of political threats due to political issues. In 1919-1933 there was what it was termed as spartacist uprising. The movement had a lot of left wing political views. The group came up from the independent socialist’s movement after being subjected to a lot of frustrations in the government. Currently, the question is not dictatorship or democracy but the history has put the question and reads as; socialist’s democracy (Dalton 1981, p. 74)
On 1 January 1919, the followers of the Spartacist movement came up in an attempted revolution. At first, the move was resisted by the movement leaders. The new government reacted quickly and in a brutal manner. The government ordered the army to terminate the revolution with the help of a paramilitary group made up of the former service men. The city of Berlin came back to normalcy in two weeks time. The two leaders of the movement were executed in cold blood while in police custody (Rupnik 2003, p.237).
Great movement of workers answered the call to struggle. They had a favorite slogan dubbed “Down, down, down (with the government) resounded once more. According to the eyewitness, he says that he had to cross the Brandenburg procession at the gate near Tiegarten and also in front of the main staff headquarters. Most of the marchers were well armed and many trucks equipped with machine guns stood at Siegessaule. The witness says he repeatedly asked to be allowed to pass since he had an urgent task. They obligingly allowed him to pass. If the crowds had determined and conscious leaders instead of just windbags, Berlin would have been in their hands that very same day at noon (Baker 1981, p.75)
Roadblocks were raised and fighting started as the Freikorps tried to bring back order. Noske was immediately given dictatorial powers across Berlin through the swift action by the government. Noske immediately ordered for 30,000 Freikorps troops to enter Berlin. By March 9th, the council’s soldiers and workers decided to terminate the strike. However, this did not placate Noske together with the Freikorps. In contradiction, Noske announced that any individual who bears weapons against the government troops will be shot on sight. By the time the fighting was over, some 2000-3000 workers had lost their lives and nearly 10,000 were seriously wounded. On the same month, the communist’s party was murdered in a police station while attempting to escape (Zielonka 2003, .p 200).
These events give us the picture of how multi party system can lead to political instability in any country. Germany experience a lot of unrest during the First World War then it was also affected by political unrest in 1920s. At this stage, Germany was yet to experience more of political storms for decades (Mattox 2001, p. 35).
Recently, in 2005, a general election was held and was highly competitive. The same elections led to the Left Party coming up as a force to the left of SPD (Schweitzer 1995, p 244). Concurrently, the country is going through an increasing level of trade union militancy. This trend gives the impression of a growing malaise inside the German society as a layer of youth and workers look for an alternative (Rachwald 2000, p. 40)
The strike to demand for higher wages in the public sector and the coming up of a newly created Left Party in the Western part of the country have covered the larger portion of the political scene in the country of late (Jones 2005, p.11).
Whereas the Chancellor Angela Merkel with her “Grand Coalition” of Christian Democrats (CDU) and Social Democrats (SPD) pride themselves on issues concerning economic growth as well as the reduction in the figures of un-employment with tens of millions of German working class citizens living in a different reality (Pedley 2000, p. 62).
In contrary to some of the European countries, the German real wages have fallen drastically in the recent years. In various economic sectors without strong unions even the most absolute level of income has considerably reduced. The process of labor casualization is going on. Millions of working poor citizens cannot sustain themselves with the wages and have to look for or ask for more welfare benefits (Collier 2003, p.13).
Hessen is the worst hit area of Germany by the political crisis. This state in the heart of the country with a population of six million inhabitants, the local Christian democrats had got overall majority seats with more than 48% of the votes cast in the year 2003. CDU used the position to come up with a “neoliberal” attack. This year, the January elections were highly competitive and it was a tough race between the CDU and SPD (Schofield 1998, p. 267).
This is significant because the CDU in Hessen is known to be notorious for being especially reactionary and when it was only two weeks before the elections, they that they would not win. This led to the launching of a vicious and desperate racists and anti-communist operation, arguing that if the left were to be elected to legislature and possibly take in a regional government would gradually change Hessen into another Stalinist state in Germany (Roberts 2003, p 91).
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This reactionary propaganda failed to get the needed effect. It was followed by a huge liberal operation of posters with catchphrases such as “freedom or socialism”. However, it failed to win most of the two traditional bourgeois parties. On the other hand, the greens and SPD who had stated that they were intending to come up with a coalition in the region also failed to capture the majority seats between them and therefore had to rely only on six members of parliament elected on the Die Linke party to get the regional SPD leader (Siaroff 2009, p. 202).
The Hessen case for instance, the need for Deutsche Telekom re-nationalization with compensation based on the proven need, was highly accepted by Die Linke conference during the last summer without any resistance at all (Fairclough 2002, p 123).
All these events in Germany were dictated by the country’s political climate. The political climate in Germany has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that a multiparty state is likely to realize political turmoil because of the misunderstanding between the party leaders. Another country in Europe that experiences a lot of polital instability due to multiparty system is Ireland. These two countries have become the central focus in Europe due to the nature of their party organizations.
Ireland is an independent democratic nation with a parliamentary system of government. The president is the head of state and mainly ceremonial. He is elected for a term that lasts seven years. The current president is called Mary McAleese, who is serving her second term after taking over the leadership from President Mary Robinson (Prager 2009, p. 133).
So far, the Irish politics remain dominated by two main political parties that came up out of the country’s worst civil war in early 1920s. Those who resisted the 1921 agreement that separated the island (Boyce 1995, p.76) formed the Fianna party. Although the opponents of the treaty lost in the war, Fianna soon became the country’s biggest political party. The country’s second largest party is called Fine Gael. Other significant parties include the Greens, Sinn and Labor (Foley 1992, p. 20).
The May 2007 general elections brought the country’s largest party Fianna and its leader Bertie back to leadership in a coalition government for un-expected five-year term. Members of the coalition who joined the leading party were the Green party as well as the progressive democrats (Boyland 1990, p. 30).
In early 2008, the country’s president announced his intentions to resign as the president. On April the same year, a new party leader was elected and assumed office in May. All these events played a major role in shaping the Irish political landscape. However, in June 2009 Fianna suffered the biggest defeat through the European and local elections. Fine Gael, independent and Labor parties got healthy margins (Farrell 1978, p.29). In the referendum that was held on October the same year, the voters approved the Lisbon treaty and European Union 33% and 67 % respectively. The politics have however made the popularity of the current government to decline because of the poor economic performance (Penniman 1989, p.45).
In Northern Ireland, the conflict comes out of the history of the British rule. The historical animosity between the Protestants and the Catholics with various armed political efforts to unite the country with other parts of the island. Republican and Nationalists groups were looking for a united country whereas the unionists and loyalists want the country to remain part of United Kingdom (Richard 1992, p.47). After many years in war by the Loyalists and the Republican’s paramilitaries especially the provisional Republican Army of Ireland, the Irish and the British governments agreed fro a PIRA ceasefire in 1994, which was then followed by the famous U.S Good Friday treaty in 1998 (Cox 2006, p. 60).
The GFA came up with a power sharing executive and assembly to serve as the local government of Northern Ireland. The country’s assembly had 108 elected. The main political parties in Northern Ireland are the Democratic Unions Party (DUP), Sinn Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Fein and the Social Democratic and Labor Party (Stephen 2005, p.200).
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