cordon sanitaire (en cursivas) / quarantine line / containment policy
Note added at 6 mins (2009-12-02 14:19:58 GMT)
Beginning in the late 1980s, the term was introduced into the discourse on parliamentary politics by Belgian commentators. At that time, the Flemish nationalist and right wing Vlaams Blok party began to make significant electoral gains. Because the Vlaams Blok was catalogued as a racist group, the other Belgian political parties committed to exclude the party from any coalition government, even if that forced the formation of grand coalition governments between ideological rivals. Commentators dubbed this agreement Belgium's cordon sanitaire. In 2004, its successor party, Vlaams Belang changed its party platform to allow it to comply with the law. While no formal new “cordon sanitaire” agreement has been signed against it, it nevertheless remains uncertain whether any mainstream Belgian party will enter into coalition talks with Vlaams Belang in the near future. Several members of various Flemish parties have questioned the viability of the cordon sanitaire. Critics of the cordon sanitaire claim that it is also undemocratic.
With the electoral success of extremist parties on the left and right in recent European history, the term has been transferred to agreements similar to the one struck in Belgium:
* In Italy, the Italian Communist Party and Italian Social Movement were excluded from coalition governments during the Cold War. The end of the Cold War resulted in a dramatic political realignment.
* After German reunification, East Germany's former ruling party, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, or SED), reinvented itself first (in 1990) as the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and then (in 2005 before the elections) as the Left Party, in order to merge with the new group WASG that had emerged in the West. Over the past fifteen years, all other German political parties have consistently refused to consider forming a coalition with the PDS/Left Party on a federal level, while on state levels, so-called red-red coalitions with the SPD were formed. This applied only to a few former GDR states in the north-east until since 2001, such a coalition also took over the city-state of Berlin, considered by some a late triumph of those who had built the Berlin Wall. The possibility of such a coalition became a crucial aspect of the campaigns before and the negotiations after the 2005 elections to the German Bundestag: theoretically, the outgoing SPD-Green government could have stayed in power by forming a tri-partisan coalition, with either the Left Party or the FDP. As the FDP had declined such a traffic light coalition in advance and the SPD had promised beforehand not to extend the red-red coalitions to federal level, the SPD had to choose the sole remaining option, entering a grand coalition with conservative parties. As the CDU had gained more votes, this gave them the chancellorship.
* In the Netherlands, a parliamentary cordon sanitaire was put around the Centre Party (Centrumpartij, CP) and later on the Centre Democrats (Centrumdemocraten, CD). When their leader Hans Janmaat was set to speak, most other parliamentarians would leave the Chamber.
* Some (though not all) of the Non-Inscrits members of the European Parliament are unaffiliated because they are considered to lie too far on the right or left of the political spectrum to be acceptable to any of the European Parliament party groups.
* In France, the policy of non-cooperation with Front National together with the majoritarian electoral system leads to the fact, that FN is permanently underrepresented in Parliament (e. g. 0 seats out of 577 in 2002 elections, despite its receiving 11.3% of the vote).
* In the Czech Republic, the Communist Party is effectively excluded from any possible coalition because of strong anti-Communism present in most political parties, including the Social Democrats. Also a cordon sanitaire was put around the Republicans of Miroslav Sládek, when they were active in the Parliament (1992-1998). When any of its members was set to speak, other deputies would leave the Chamber of Deputies.
* In Estonia and Latvia, "Russian-speaking" parties (ForHRUL and Harmony Centre in Latvia, formerly Constitution party in Estonia) are excluded from participation in ruling coalitions on state level.
* In Catalonia, the Spanish nationalist groups such as PP or Ciutadans are implicitely excluded from any government coalition on national level.
* In Sweden, the political parties in the parliament have adopted a policy of non-cooperation with Sweden Democrats in the municipalities. However, there have been exceptions where local politicians have supported resolutions from SD.
* In Norway, all the parliamentary parties had consistently refused to formally join into a governing coalition at state level with the right-wing Progress Party until 2005 when the Conservative Party opened up for this. In some municipalities however, the Progress Party cooperate with many parties, including the center-left Labour Party.
| Rafael Molina Pulgar|
Local time: 16:41
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in category: 32