Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats have started coalition talks with the Free Democrats and The Greens to form a new government. What do these parties stand for? Handelsblatt Explains Why the Christian Democrats Neither Have Nor Need An Ideology Few Germans could say what exactly Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union stands for. On September 24, they will give the CDU another victory all the same. Handelsblatt Explains Why the Free Democrats Could Be Kingmakers Again Christian Lindner, leader of Germany’s FDP, is hell-bent on bringing the pro-business liberal party out of Hades and back to Berlin. Handelsblatt Explains Why Bavaria’s CSU Is Angela Merkel’s Closest Ally – and Most Dangerous Foe The Christian Social Union is a party that rules Bavaria and exists only there; but because of an alliance with the chancellor's Christian Democrats it also wields much power in national politics, and could determine the next coalition. Handelsblatt explains Why Germany’s Greens Need to Turn a New Leaf Liberal on ecological and social issues but out of step with voters' security fears, the sunflower party has arrived in the political middle and is wondering where to go from there. Handelsblatt Explains Why the Alternative for Germany is No Alternative For the first time since 1960, a far-right party will enter the German parliament. But German democracy is mature enough to absorb it. Handelsblatt explains Why the Social Democrats Have a Proud Past and Uncertain Future One of the world’s oldest democratic parties, and once Germany’s only political force to resist Hitler, the SPD is nonetheless struggling to stay relevant. Handelsblatt Explains Why the Left Party is Stuck Between Senescence and the Hard Right The Left was once the country’s go-to opposition and refuge for disenchanted East Germans. But recently a right-wing populist party has seized that role – and The Left's base. Handelsblatt Explains Why Germany Has 34 Political Parties The kaleidoscope of Germany’s political scene – with dozens of factions in the running alongside the major parties – is democracy in action, even when it’s kooky.