The CDU/CSU and SPDominance in the FRG should not suggest that smaller parties were frozen out of the parliamentary system and had no chance to gain representation in the Bundestag. In the 1949 Bundestag, seven small extremist, regional, and interest group parties held seats, in addition to the national Free Democratic Party. But by 1961, all except the FDP had fallen under the 5 percent barrier. Without the ability to attract voters and gain support from the major coalition ally (CDU/CSU or SPD), the FDP would have suffered the same fate as its minor party rivals. But the FDP s ability to hold seats in the Bundestag throughout West Germany's existence from 1949 to 1990 meant that it blocked the emergence of a two party system in which the CDU/CSU and SPD would have been the only parties in the Bundestag. From 1961 until 1983, when the Greens joined the parliamentary club, the country in effect had a hybrid "two-and-one-half" party system (two dominant parties and one minor party) rather than a two-party or multiparty system.