Traffic light coalition

Last updated
Traffic lights in Kassel. The three colours of the traffic lights are the colours of the parties in a "traffic light coalition". Ampel-Kassel-02.jpg
Traffic lights in Kassel. The three colours of the traffic lights are the colours of the parties in a "traffic light coalition".

In German politics, a traffic light coalition (German : Ampelkoalition) is a coalition government of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Alliance 90/The Greens. It is named after the parties' traditional colours, respectively red, yellow, and green, matching the colour sequence of a traffic light (Ampel). The term is also used for similar coalitions between social democrats, liberals and greens in other countries.

Contents

History

At a state level, early traffic light coalitions occurred in Brandenburg between 1990 and 1994 and in Bremen between 1991 and 1995. [1] [2] Negotiations to form such a coalition following the 2001 Berlin state election were not successful; [3] likewise, preliminary talks after the 2010 North Rhine-Westphalia state election led to no result. [4] A traffic light coalition was formed in Rhineland-Palatinate following the 2016 Rhineland-Palatinate state election. [5] The 2021 Rhineland-Palatinate state election marked the first time in German history that an outgoing traffic light coalition was replaced by a renewed traffic light coalition in a state election. [6]

The logos of the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party, and the Greens, respectively.
SPD Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, Logo um 2000.svg
SPD
FDP Logo der Freien Demokraten (gelbes).svg
FDP
Alliance '90/The Greens Bundnis 90 - Die Grunen Logo.svg
Alliance '90/The Greens

Historically, there have been red-green coalitions between the SPD and the Greens (from 1998 to 2005) and social-liberal coalitions between the SPD and the FDP (from 1969 to 1982) in the Bundestag. [7] [8] Despite the common ground on cultural liberalism between the three parties, the FDP's economic liberalism and long association at the federal level with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) traditionally made such a coalition problematic, [9] with former FDP chairman Guido Westerwelle explicitly ruling out this option for the 2009 federal election. [10] Previously, the inconclusive 2005 federal election had produced media speculation about a traffic light coalition, but no such coalition was formed. [11]

Following the 2021 federal election, the SPD emerged as the largest party in the Bundestag, but did not have enough seats to govern outright. With the SPD and the CDU ruling out a grand coalition with each other, a traffic light coalition was viewed as the most likely outcome by many in the media. [12] [13] On 24 November 2021, the SPD, Greens, and FDP announced that they had reached a deal to implement the coalition, with SPD candidate Olaf Scholz set to become chancellor. [9] The coalition went into effect when Scholz and his cabinet took office on 8 December 2021. [14]

Traffic light coalitions in other countries

Austria

In Austria, the term Ampelkoalition has been borrowed from Germany to describe a theoretical coalition of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), The Greens, and a liberal party. In the 1990s, this referred to the Liberal Forum (LiF). In the 2010s, the term reemerged to describe a theoretical coalition of the SPÖ, Greens, and NEOS – The New Austria, the latter of which is the successor to the Liberal Forum. NEOS's colour is pink, rather than yellow. [15]

Belgium

The Verhofstadt I Government of Belgium, headed by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt from 1999 to 2003, comprised liberals (the Flemish Liberals and Democrats and French-speaking Liberal Reformist Party), socialists (the Flemish Socialist Party and the French-speaking Socialist Party), and greens (the Flemish Agalev and the French-speaking Ecolo).[ citation needed ] However, as the political colours of the liberal parties were blue instead of yellow, it was known as the "purple-green" coalition.

Luxembourg

Following the 2013 general election in Luxembourg, negotiations started with the aim of forming a three-party coalition government comprising the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP), the Democratic Party (DP) and The Greens in order to oust the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) of the incumbent Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.[ citation needed ] This variant on the traffic light coalition is known as a "Gambia coalition" (German : Gambia-Koalition; Luxembourgish : Gambia(-)Koalitioun, Gambiakoalitioun), as the party colours match the flag of the Gambia, [16] [17] and Luxembourg's liberal party (DP) uses blue as its party colour rather than yellow.

Romania

In Romania the term of traffic light coalition has recently been described as a coalition consisting of Social Democratic Party (PSD), National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR/RMDSZ). [18] After political crisis of 2021 which resulted in the breakup of the center-right coalition between the PNL, the USR and the UDMR, a traffic light government was elected (also called the National Coalition for Romania) consisting of PSD, PNL and UDMR, Ciucă Cabinet. [19]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the term has been used to describe a coalition between the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party of England and Wales, notably that which has run the City of Lancaster district council from time to time, including from the 2019 election. [20] [21]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Free Democratic Party (Germany)</span> Political party in Germany

The Free Democratic Party is a liberal political party in Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jürgen Trittin</span> German politician (born 1954)

Jürgen Trittin is a German Green politician who served as Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in the government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005.

After the Communist rulership ended and the former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu was executed in the midst of the bloody Romanian Revolution of December 1989, the National Salvation Front (FSN) seized power, led by Ion Iliescu. The FSN transformed itself into a massive political party in short time and overwhelmingly won the general election of May 1990, with Iliescu as president. These first months of 1990 were marked by violent protests and counter-protests, involving most notably the tremendously violent and brutal coal miners of the Jiu Valley which were called by Iliescu himself and the FSN to crush peaceful protesters in the University Square in Bucharest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1994 German federal election</span>

Federal elections were held in Germany on 16 October 1994 to elect the members of the 13th Bundestag. The CDU/CSU alliance led by Helmut Kohl remained the largest faction in parliament, with Kohl remaining Chancellor in a narrowly re-elected coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP). This elected Bundestag was the largest in history until 2017, numbering 672 members.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jamaica coalition (politics)</span> German political term

Jamaica coalition is a term in German politics describing a governing coalition among the parties of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Green Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2009 German federal election</span>

Federal elections were held in Germany on 27 September 2009 to elect the members of the 17th Bundestag.

Social–liberal coalition in the politics of Germany refers to a governmental coalition formed by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

Grand coalition is a term in German politics describing a governing coalition of the parties Christian Democratic Union (CDU) along with its sister party the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), since they have historically been the major parties in most state and federal elections since 1949. The meaning of the term may change due to the growth of some formerly minor parties in recent years.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2016 Rhineland-Palatinate state election</span> 2016 Rhineland-Palatinate state election

The 2016 Rhineland-Palatinate state election was held on 13 March 2016 to elect the members of the Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate. It was held on the same day as the Baden-Württemberg state election and Saxony-Anhalt state election. The incumbent coalition government of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and The Greens led by Minister-President Malu Dreyer was defeated. The SPD remained the largest party, and formed a "traffic light coalition" with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and The Greens. Dreyer was subsequently re-elected as Minister-President.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carina Konrad</span> German politician

Carina Konrad is a German politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) who has been serving as a member of the Bundestag from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate since 2017.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Hitschler</span> German politician

Thomas Hitschler is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who has been serving as Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Defence in the coalition government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz since 2021. He has been serving as a member of the Bundestag from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate since 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cansel Kiziltepe</span> German politician

Cansel Kiziltepe is a German economist and politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who has been serving as State Minister (Senator) for Labour, Social Affairs, Equality, Integration, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination in the government of Governing Mayor Kai Wegner since 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2021 Baden-Württemberg state election</span> State election

The 2021 Baden-Württemberg state election was held on 14 March 2021 to elect the 17th Landtag of Baden-Württemberg. The outgoing government was a coalition of Alliance 90/The Greens and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led by Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2021 Rhineland-Palatinate state election</span> German state election

The 2021 Rhineland-Palatinate state election was held on 14 March 2021 to elect the 18th Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate. The outgoing government was a "traffic light coalition" of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Free Democratic Party (FDP), and The Greens led by Minister-President Malu Dreyer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anne Spiegel</span> German politician, Federal Minister for Family Affairs

Anne Spiegel is a German politician of Alliance 90/The Greens. She served as Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in the cabinet of Chancellor Olaf Scholz since 8 December 2021; she announced her resignation on 11 April and was dismissed by the President on 25 April 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">German governing coalition</span> Potential governing alliances in Germany

In Germany's federal electoral system, a single party or parliamentary group rarely wins an absolute majority of seats in the Bundestag, and thus coalition governments, rather than single-party governments, are the usually expected outcome of a German election. As German political parties are often associated with particular colors, coalitions are frequently given nicknames based on the colors included. Prominent political parties in Germany are the CDU/CSU (black), the SPD (red), the Greens (green), the Left, the AfD (blue), and the FDP (yellow).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Third Dreyer cabinet</span> State government of Rhineland-Palatinate

The Third Dreyer cabinet is the current state government of Rhineland-Palatinate, sworn in on 18 May 2021 after Malu Dreyer was elected as Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate by the members of the Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is the 25th Cabinet of Rhineland-Palatinate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ciucă Cabinet</span> 132nd government of Romania

The Ciucă Cabinet was the 132nd government of Romania led by former Romanian Land Forces army general Nicolae Ciucă from 25 November 2021 to 12 June 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stefanie Hubig</span> 21st-century German politician

Stefanie Hubig is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who has been serving as State Minister for Education in the government of Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer since 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2026 Rhineland-Palatinate state election</span> German state election

The 2026 Rhineland-Palatinate state election will be held in 2026 to elect the 19th Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate.

References

  1. Downs, William M. (1998). "Coalition Government, Subnational Style" (PDF). Ohio State University Press Columbus. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  2. The Week in Germany. German Information Center. 19 May 1995. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  3. "PDS takes power in Berlin". The Irish Times. 18 January 2002. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  4. Beucker, Pascal (15 May 2010). "Neue Chance für Rot-Rot-Grün". Die Tageszeitung: Taz (in German). Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  5. Brady, Kate (13 March 2016). "Rhineland-Palatinate plays it safe, re-electing SPD for sixth consecutive term". DW. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  6. Niewel, Gianna (28 September 2021). "Wo die Ampel leuchtet". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German).
  7. Larres, Klaus; Panayi, Panikos (2014-08-27). The Federal Republic of Germany since 1949: Politics, Society and Economy before and after Unification. Routledge. p. 100. ISBN   978-1-317-89174-1.
  8. Hancock, M. Donald; Krisch, Henry (2008-07-10). Politics in Germany. CQ Press. p. 109. ISBN   978-1-4833-0117-4.
  9. 1 2 Rinke, Andreas; Marsh, Sarah (24 November 2021). "Three German parties reach coalition deal to end Merkel era". Reuters. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  10. "SPIEGEL Interview With FDP Leader Westerwelle - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Der Spiegel. Spiegel.de. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
  11. Peifer, Douglas (November 2007). "Peifer on Langenbacher, 'Launching the Grand Coalition: The 2005 Bundestag Elections and the Future of German Politics'". H-Net. H-German. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  12. "Factbox: German "traffic light" coalition seen as most likely". Reuters . 27 September 2021. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  13. Kirby, Jen (27 September 2021). "Germany's (sort of) change elections". Vox. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  14. Stickings, Tim (8 December 2021). "Who is Olaf Scholz? German chancellor takes reins of new Cabinet". The National. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  15. "The traffic light also flashes in Austria". Kurier (in German). 20 October 2021.
  16. "Three-way "Gambia Coalition": a first for Luxembourg". luxtimes.lu. 11 December 2017.
  17. "Juncker sidelined as Luxembourg's royal palace steps in - DW - 25.10.2013". DW.COM.
  18. "Coaliția semafor" (in Romanian). România Liberă. 2021-11-26. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  19. "DOCUMENT Alianța PSD-PNL-UDMR se va numi Coaliția Națională pentru România / Ce conține acordul politic / Cum se schimbă ministerele la rotație: Justiția va reveni PSD, Finanțele, PNL - Politic - HotNews.ro" (in Romanian). www.hotnews.ro. 2021-11-24. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  20. Glover, Julian (10 September 2005). "Delegates try to shake off image as single-issue party". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  21. Lakin, Nick (7 January 2021). "New make-up for Lancaster City Council Cabinet after Labour members leave to form new group". Lancaster Guardian.