Germany’s 2009 Bundestag Election: a Political Realignment in Progress?

by Manuel Alvarez-Rivera, Puerto Rico  Voters in Germany gave a substantial plurality to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-of-center Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian counterpart, the Christian Social Union (CSU), in a general election held last Sunday to choose members of the Bundestag, the lower house of Germany’s bicameral legislature. Moreover, Chancellor Merkel – who […]

Is Latvia still headed for an early election?

The economy is in crisis, and expected to decline by as much as ten percent this year. The coalition government’s hold on power is shaky at best, following public protests that turned violent. An embattled cabinet minister tenders his resignation. This may all sound very familiar, and it should: recent developments in Latvia appear to be at times almost a blow-by-blow re-enactment of the events that took place in Iceland last month, which culminated in the collapse of that country’s coalition government.

Chile’s democratic restoration, two decades on

For many countries in Latin America, the wave of democratization that swept the region during the 1980s offered yet another opportunity to establish constitutional arrangements that had proved to be short-lived on many previous occasions. However, for Chile the restoration of democracy in 1990 was the continuation – after an authoritarian parenthesis of seventeen years […]