chapter  3
18 Pages

Germany

Heated debates but cooperative behaviour
WithChristian Stecker

This chapter characterises opposition parties in Germany focussing specifically on their voting behaviour, the initiation of bills and the tabling of parliamentary questions. It tests influences of different variables on patterns of oppositional behaviour, most importantly changes in the party system and the outbreak of the Global Financial Crisis. Analysing all votes on final passage legislation between 1991 and 2013 it is shown that political distances and institutional veto powers are strong predictors of government–opposition agreement. There is also evidence that the Left Party is a permanent opposition party invested strongly in scrutiny activity after the outbreak of the crisis.