German political conventions demonstrate clearly that in Germany, substance is more important than form. For decades the podium was set to the side, with the stage dominated by up to fifty party leaders sitting in three or four extended rows.
And although in recent years the podium has been moved front and center, the stage continues to be dominated by party leaders. The message is clear. The party and its political platform remain front and center.
German political parties also do their best to keep hidden their internal power struggles. Instead they are presented as debates over substance which should be resolved internally and speedily. The politicians involved are quick to state that the battle is not about themselves or political office, but about important issues of substance.