Social Democratic Party of Germany

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The Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei DeutschlandsSPD) is Germany's oldest political party in the German Parliament. The party governed at the federal level in a grand coalition with the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union from 2005 until October 27, 2009. It conceded defeat in the federal election of September 2009, with its share of votes having dropped from 34.2% to 23%, compared to 2005, and became the largest opposition party represented in the Bundestag. The party participates in eight state governments, of which six are governed by SPD minister-presidents. The SPD is a member party of the Party of European Socialists and the Socialist International. It was also one of the first Marxist-influenced parties in the world.

Contents

Party platform

The SPD was established as a socialist party in 1875. However, the SPD underwent a major shift in policies reflected in the differences between the Heidelberg Program of 1925, which "called for the transformation of the capitalist system of private ownership of the means of production to social ownership",[1] and the Godesberg Program of 1959, which aimed to broaden its voter base and move its political position toward the centre.[2] After World War II, under the leadership of Kurt Schumacher, the SPD re-established itself as a socialist party, representing the interests of the working class and the trade unions. With the Godesberg Program of 1959, however, the party evolved from a socialist working class party to a social democratic party.

The current party platform of the SPD espouses the goal of social democracy, which is seen as a vision of a societal arrangement in which freedom and social justice are paramount. According to the party platform, freedom, justice, and social solidarity, form the basis of social democracy. The coordinated social market economy should be strengthened, and its output should be distributed fairly. The party sees that economic system as necessary in order to ensure the affluence of the entire population. The SPD also tries to protect the society's disadvantaged with a welfare state. Concurrently, it advocates a sustainable fiscal policy that doesn't place a burden on future generations while eradicating budget deficits. In social policy, the SPD stands for civil rights in an open society. In foreign policy, the SPD aims at ensuring global peace by balancing global interests with democratic means. Thus, European integration is one of the main priorities of the SPD.

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