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Disclaimer: I'm not a native German speaker. I think the DW piece is referring to what is called Koalitionsvertrag in Germany and loosely translated as "coalition contract" by DW - We Europeans are generally not native English speakers. Vertrag can be translated as agreement, but also, yes, contract, or even treaty (such the infamous Versailler Vertrag in 1919). Germans tend to be quite formal when doing business: during a project with a German customer, our interlocutors always insisted that each details of the deliverables, acceptance criteria, technical training and support must be specified "in the contract".

It's no surprise that a coalition agreement between political parties be written down in a formal document. There are several Wiki pages (nur auf Deutsch) documenting past "coalition contracts".

by Bernard on Sun Jan 28th, 2018 at 09:20:10 PM EST
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Thank you for that information. I will investigate.

Sorry for any confusion, too. I meant to type indenture. I don't know what happened there.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 28th, 2018 at 11:24:28 PM EST
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As far as I know it is not enforceable, though it uses the same word you'd use for a legal contract. In fact it is probably illegal since parliamentarians are only bound by their own conscience according to the constitution. So basically the buying and selling of those consciences is what the coalition agreement is all about.
In practice it is enforced in the same way that party discipline is enforced: Since you vote for a party and not a person the placement on the list is all important. And if MPs get silly they might be forgotten when the list is made.
by generic on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 12:40:11 AM EST
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