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Christian Social Union in Bavaria


The Christian Social Union in Bavaria (   ) is a Christian democratic[1][2] and conservative[3][4] political party in Germany. The CSU operates only in Bavaria, while its larger sister party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), operates in the other fifteen states of Germany. The CSU has 45 seats in the Bundestag, making it the smallest of the five parties represented.

The CSU was founded in some ways as a continuation of the Weimar-era Catholic Bavarian People's Party (BVP). At the federal level, the CSU forms a common 'CDU/CSU' faction in the Bundestag with the CDU, which is frequently referred to as the Union Faction (die Unionsfraktion). Until the 2013 election, the CSU governed at the federal level along with the CDU in a coalition government with the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). In the state of Bavaria, the CSU governed as the major party in a coalition government with the FDP from 2008 to 2013. Since the 2013 Bavarian state election the CSU governs alone with an absolute majority. The CSU differs from their coalition partners, the CDU, by being somewhat more conservative in social matters while the CSU is economically a bit more pro-interventionist.

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bavaria

The CSU is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and the International Democrat Union. The CSU currently has three ministers in the cabinet of Germany of the federal government in Berlin, while party leader Horst Seehofer serves as Minister-President of Bavaria: a position that CSU representatives have held since 1957.

History

Chairman Franz Josef Strauß in 1976

Franz Josef Strauß (1915–1988) had left behind the strongest legacy as a leader of the party, having led the party from 1961 until his death in 1988. His political career in the federal cabinet was unique in that he had served four ministerial posts in the years between 1953 and 1969. From 1978 until his death in 1988, Strauß served as the Minister-president of Bavaria. Strauß was the first leader of the CSU to be a candidate for the German chancellery, in 1980. In the 1980 federal election Strauß ran against the incumbent Helmut Schmidt of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), but lost thereafter, as the SPD and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) managed to secure an absolute majority together, forming a Social-liberal coalition.

The CSU has led the Bavarian state government since it came into existence in 1946, save from 1950 to 1953 when the Bavaria Party formed a state government in coalition with the state branches of the SPD and FDP. Before the 2008 elections in Bavaria, the CSU perennially achieved absolute majorities at the state level by itself. This level of dominance is unique among Germany's 16 states. Edmund Stoiber took over the CSU leadership in 1999. He ran for Chancellor of Germany in 2002, but his preferred CDU/CSU–FDP coalition lost against the SPD candidate Gerhard Schröder's SPD-Green alliance.

In the 2003 Bavarian state election, the CSU won 60.7% of the vote and 124 of 180 seats in the state parliament. This was the first time any party had won a 2/3 majority in a German state parliament.[5] The Economist later suggested that this exceptional result was due to a backlash against Schröder's government in Berlin.[6] The CSU's popularity declined in subsequent years. Stoiber stepped down from the posts of Minister-President and CSU chairman in September 2007. A year later, the CSU lost its majority in the 2008 Bavarian state election, with its vote share dropping from 60.7% to 43.4%. The CSU remained in power by forming a coalition with the Free Democratic Party. In the 2009 general election, the CSU received only 42.5% of the vote in Bavaria in the 2009 election, which constitutes its weakest showing in the party's history.

The CSU made gains in the 2013 Bavarian state election and the 2013 federal election, which were held a week apart in September 2013. The CSU regained their majority in the Bavarian Landtag and remained in government in Berlin. They have three ministers in Angela Merkel's current cabinet: Christian Schmidt (Minister of Food and Agriculture), Alexander Dobrindt (Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure) and Gerd Müller (Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Relationship with the CDU

The CSU is the sister party of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).[7] Together, they are called 'The Union'.[7] The CSU operates only within Bavaria, and the CDU operates in all other states, but not Bavaria. While virtually independent,[8] at the federal level, the parties form a common CDU/CSU faction. No Chancellor has ever come from the CSU, although Strauß and Edmund Stoiber were CDU/CSU candidates for Chancellor in the 1980 federal election and the 2002 federal election, respectively, which were both won by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Below the federal level, the parties are entirely independent.[9]

Since its formation, the CSU has been more conservative than the CDU.[10] It is also regarded as a right-populistic party. The CSU and the state of Bavaria decided not to sign the Grundgesetz of the Federal Republic of Germany, as they could not agree with the division of Germany into two states, after World War 2. Although Bavaria has a separate police and justice system (distinctive and non-federal), the CSU has actively participated in all political affairs of the German Parliament, the German Government, the German Bundesrat, the parliamentary elections of the German President, the European Parliament, and meetings with Gorbachev in Russia.

Leaders

Party chairmen

Chairman From To
1st Josef Müller 17 December 1945 28 May 1949
2nd Hans Ehard 28 May 1949 22 January 1955
3rd Hanns Seidel 22 January 1955 16 February 1961
4th Franz Josef Strauß 18 March 1961 3 October 1988
5th Theodor Waigel 16 November 1988 16 January 1999
6th Edmund Stoiber 16 January 1999 29 September 2007
7th Erwin Huber 29 September 2007 25 October 2008
8th Horst Seehofer 25 October 2008 Present day

Ministers-President

The CSU has contributed eleven of the twelve Ministers-President of Bavaria since 1945, with only Wilhelm Hoegner (1945–46, 1954–57) of the SPD also holding the office.

Minister-President From To
Fritz Schäffer 28 May 1945 28 September 1945
Hans Ehard (1st time) 21 December 1946 14 December 1954
Hanns Seidel 16 October 1957 22 January 1960
Hans Ehard (2nd time) 26 January 1960 11 December 1962
Alfons Goppel 11 December 1962 6 November 1978
Franz Josef Strauss 6 November 1978 3 October 1988
Max Streibl 19 October 1988 27 May 1993
Edmund Stoiber 28 May 1993 30 September 2007
Günther Beckstein 9 October 2007 27 October 2008
Horst Seehofer 27 October 2008 Present day

Politicians

See: List of Bavarian Christian Social Union politicians

Election results

Federal Parliament (Bundestag)

Election year # of
constituency votes
# of
party list votes
% of
party list votes
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1949 1,380,448 5.8
24 / 402
1953 2,450,286 2,427,387 8.8
52 / 509
Increase 28
1957 3,186,150 3,133,060 10.5
55 / 519
Increase 3
1961 3,104,742 3,014,471 9.6
50 / 521
Decrease 5
1965 3,204,648 3,136,506 9.6
49 / 518
Increase 1
1969 3,094,176 3,115,652 9.5
49 / 518
Steady 0
1972 3,620,625 3,615,183 9.72
48 / 518
Decrease 1
1976 4,008,514 4,027,499 10.6
53 / 518
Increase 5
1980 3,941,365 3,908,459 10.3
52 / 519
Decrease 1
1983 4,318,800 4,140,865 10.6
53 / 520
Increase 1
1987 3,859,244 3,715,827 9.8
49 / 519
Decrease 4
1990 3,423,904 3,302,980 7.1
51 / 662
Increase 2
1994 3,657,627 3,427,196 7.3
50 / 672
Decrease 1
1998 3,602,472 3,324,480 6.8
47 / 669
Decrease 3
2002 4,311,178 4,315,080 9.0
58 / 603
Increase 11
2005 3,889,990 3,494,309 7.4
46 / 614
Decrease 12
2009 3,191,000 2,830,238 6.5
45 / 622
Decrease 1
2013 3,544,079 3,243,569 7.4
56 / 631
Increase 11

European Parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1979 2,817,120 10.1 (#3)
8 / 81
1984 2,109,130 8.5 (#3)
7 / 81
Decrease 1
1989 2,326,277 8.2 (#4)
7 / 81
Steady 0
1994 2,393,374 6.8 (#4)
8 / 99
Increase 1
1999 2,540,007 9.4 (#4)
10 / 99
Increase 2
2004 2,063,900 8.0 (#4)
9 / 99
Decrease 1
2009 1,896,762 7.2 (#6)
8 / 99
Decrease 1
2014 1,567,258 5.3 (#6)
5 / 96
Decrease 3

Landtag of Bavaria

Election year # of
constituency votes
# of
party list votes
% of
overall votes
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1946 1,593,908 52.2
104 / 180
1950 1,264,993 1,262,377 27.4
64 / 204
Decrease 40
1954 1,855,995 1,835,959 37.9
83 / 204
Increase 19
1958 2,101,645 2,091,259 45.5
101 / 204
Increase 18
1962 2,343,169 2,320,359 47.5
108 / 204
Increase 7
1966 2,549,610 2,524,732 48.1
110 / 204
Increase 2
1970 3,205,170 3,139,429 56.4
124 / 204
Increase 14
1974 3,520,065 3,481,486 62.0
132 / 204
Increase 8
1978 3,394,096 3,387,995 59.1
129 / 204
Decrease 3
1982 3,557,068 3,534,375 58.2
133 / 204
Increase 4
1986 3,142,094 3,191,640 55.7
128 / 204
Decrease 5
1990 3,007,566 3,085,948 54.9
127 / 204
Decrease 1
1994 3,063,635 3,100,253 52.8
120 / 204
Decrease 7
1998 3,168,996 3,278,768 52.9
123 / 204
Increase 3
2003 3,050,456 3,167,408 60.6
124 / 180
Increase 1
2008 2,267,521 2,336,439 43.4
92 / 187
Decrease 32
2013 2,754,256 2,882,169 47.7
101 / 180
Increase 9

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Stoiber – Dominant But Not Omnipotent American Institute for contemporary German studies, author: Prof. Clayton Clemens, accessed: 7 June 2008
  6. ^ The Economist: Old soldiers march into the unknown
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links

  • Christlich-Soziale Union – Official site (English page)
  • http://allstates-flag.com/fotw/flags/de%7Dcsu.html
  • http://www.deutschland.de/link.php?lang=2&category2=190&link_id=1002
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