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The German Christian Democrats are one of the most successful parties of the mainstream right in post-war Europe. They have held the Chancellor’s office for approximately forty-nine years, compared with just short of twenty years for the Social Democrats (SPD), their primary opponents on the mainstream left. Although the silent revolution eventually pulled the Christian Democrats to the left as the party followed public opinion, its primary contribution has been to cause fragmentation on the left. This fragmentation has meant that the left side of the political spectrum has been weaker overall. German unification also contributed to left-party fragmentation, helping the Christian Democrats to dominate politics. The silent counter-revolution, on the other hand, has been unusually weak in Germany. This weakness meant that the Christian Democrats did not face much of a threat from the right side of the political spectrum. The combination of a strong silent revolution fragmenting the political left and a weak counter silent-revolution minimizing a threat from the right has contributed to the long-term success of the German Christian Democrats.
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