The Party of Democratic Socialism's electoral prowess reflects the success other reformed communist parties are having with voters disillusioned with the changes since 1989. This article seeks to explain why it is doing so well, what kind of people are drawn to it, and what its success tells us about the new eastern political culture and the consequences of unification. Its future prospects depend on how quickly the two parts of Germany become integrated and how effectively the other parties respond to eastern Germans' feelings. PDS success is a product of eastern German attitudes and conditions. It thrives on the tensions between east and west and on east Germans asserting their determination to be different from west Germans. But it will experience difficulty in continuing to derive its identity from a mixture of nostalgia for certain aspects of the GDR and animosity toward western Germans. With its path to western voters blocked, with growing intraparty disunity, and with a leader absorbed by charges that he had been a Stasi collaborator, the PDS faces a serious struggle to survive in the 21st century as a long-term significant political force.

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