Whose Party Is It, Anyway?

FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

Slipping: Unpopular policies have split Schröder's party and others

It's getting awfully lonely at the top for German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller. Their austerity drives have angered voters, alienated supporters — and inspired the creation of new leftist parties to oppose reform.

Since coming to power in 1998, Schröder's Social Democratic Party (SPD) has lost 125,000 members — 16% of the total — primarily because of the government's effort to cut back the welfare state. According to a recent Forsa poll published in Stern magazine, 64% of those surveyed think Schröder's reforms are wrong, and 76% find them "socially unjust." Now disgruntled...