Germany’s PDS: Between East and West
As with other communist successor parties, Germany's Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) enjoyed a political comeback in the mid-1990s. The PDS's success can be explained by many eastern German voters' disenchantment with the social, cultural, and economic effects of reunification as well as by the distinctive regional and fragmented character of the German Political Party System that allows the PDS, as the self-proclaimed defender of "eastern interests," disproportionate political influence. The PDS is faced with a dilemma, however. In the long-term it will have to become a true all-German party of the left if it wishes to survive electorally. Yet in becoming an all-German party the PDS risks losing the distinctive eastern identity that has been so essential to its success hitherto.