Courtesy Reuters

In Germany as in France, 1969 will be remembered as the year of the break in continuity. The principal break is in each case obvious: the departure of General de Gaulle after eleven years in power and the relegation of the Christian Democrats to the opposition after twenty years in power. But the nature and import of these breaks call for interpretation.

Both resulted, in large measure, from a fairly continuous evolution of the electorate. In the Federal Republic, the figures are quite clear. Although it is true that their participation in the government since December 1966 made the Socialists "respectable," even

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