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Elections in Germany update:No turn to the right, after all!

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 12:40 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Summary from the Guardian (5 mins ago, for source, see link above)
Quote:
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/a_zpsaff36fa2.jpg
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 12:47 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
"Silence south of the olive line"? I don't believe I've heard the expression before, but it is kind of thought provoking.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 01:41 pm
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/a_zpsc8271e15.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/b_zpsa5263683.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/c_zps1fa08894.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/d_zpsc73a1990.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 01:56 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Stefan Kornelius, Merkel biographer, Süddeutsche foreign editor:
Merkel is basking in triumph. What a day for her. This usually distant and unemotional women is grinning and cheering all evening. Finally she gets the reward she was denied for two consecutive elections. But she knows the traps: Sitting with her challengers and all the other party chairs in the traditional TV roundup, she is not giving a hint about her next steps. Certainly her party is that close to an overall majority - the first time since Adenauer in 1957. But waking up tomorrow morning with all votes counted she might need to find a coalition partner anyway.
Even if she could govern on her own, she will need the Social Democrats' vote in the second chamber, the Bundesrat, for major domestic legislation. Also, the most pressing issues in Europe require a larger consent in the Bundestag. Merkel's big goal will be a major structural reform within the EU. To achieve this she might even be forced to change the German constitution and put it to a vote to the German people.
Experience tells Merkel that political success is always followed by disappointment. She doesn't believe in a linear way to triumph. So her joyful mood will quickly fade and the old, cautious Merkel will return. Don't expect too much change. Merkel might win big, but that won't change her character.


Mats Persson, director of the Open Europe think tank:
Whatever happens this is a massive public endorsement for Angela Merkel, who has established herself as the most powerful female politician ever. Part of her resounding victory must also be seen as a validation of her eurozone policy – expect more of the same.
Whether or not the anti-euro Afd makes it into parliament, its strong showing means it could become a force to be reckoned with in the European elections.
No matter the coalition outcome, there will have to be a lot of soul searching by the FDP and centre-left. In the end the leadership of these parties could well end up paying the price for their poor showing.


Ian Traynor, The Guardian:
There will be little quick change in her policies on Europe, unless there are major developments in a big ailing country such as Italy or France.

She is under no pressure at home to change in any case. The main opposition Social Democrats and Greens might bicker and attack her policies, but where and when it matters, in the chamber of the Bundestag in Berlin, they have always voted with her on the key decisions.


Source: Guardian's German election blog
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 02:06 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
As of now, 22:00h local time, it doesn't seem that the CDU/CSU gets a majority of seats.
Since, however, this could change due to overhang seats. we'll have to wait some hours until the official result.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Sep, 2013 11:14 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/a_zps2e00f72e.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/b_zps58d238a6.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/c_zps494f72a6.jpg
http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/d_zpscd4cd135.jpg
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 09:46 am
Wow, FDP totally skunked. Things would have been different if Thomas had been there to help.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 09:54 am
@joefromchicago,
It wasn't that bad ... in Munich


http://i1334.photobucket.com/albums/w641/Walter_Hinteler/b_zpse1802f38.jpg
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 12:31 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I know that the CDU/CSU, as the biggest party in the Bundestag, has the first shot at forming a government. But why should the SPD cooperate if it has a chance at forming a coalition with the Greens and Reds? Is a Red-Green-Red coalition possible, or is Die Linke still considered unacceptable in any government?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 12:53 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Die Linke still considered unacceptable in any government?
Yes. I sincerely doubt that there could be a Red-Red-Green coalition.

The CDU/CSU will try to get the SPD on their side. Which might happen, but is difficult for the SPD: they had had bad experiences during the last time of a "great coalition". (All 'good results' were credited to the CDU/CSU by the public.) And the fate of the FDP just now isn't encouraging either.

Greens and CDU/CSU won't work - though the CDU (not the CSU!) might flirt with this idea.

It might take weeks and longer until we get a new government. (New election are "un-German", we like compromises.)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 03:28 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
I know that the CDU/CSU, as the biggest party in the Bundestag, has the first shot at forming a government. But why should the SPD cooperate if it has a chance at forming a coalition with the Greens and Reds? Is a Red-Green-Red coalition possible, or is Die Linke still considered unacceptable in any government?

In theory, die Linke is still unkosher. In practice, Red-Green-Red coalitions have occured in the Bundesländer (States), so unkosherness is not a show-stopper if the alternative is not to govern at all. Still, I think the most likely coalition is CDU/CSU/SPD, because it's easier on the SPD.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 03:42 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
Wow, FDP totally skunked. Things would have been different if Thomas had been there to help.

The FDP leadership, for reasons best known to itself, has purged its ranks from most members who were liberal in any sense that Wilhelm Humboldt, John-Stuart Mill, or Theodor Heuß would recognize. It wouldn't have wanted my help.

One of the more frustrating things yesterday evening was to watch a talkshow in which one of the interviewees was Gerhardt Baum. Baum is a lawyer by training, a veteran of the Schmidt administration (his highest rank was minister of the interior), a staunch civil libertarian --- and, as far as active politics is concerned, history. The FDP would be a better party with Gerhard Baum as its leader, but with Baum being 81, that's not going to happen.

And that's a shame, because Germans want to vote for a party of the kind the FDP used to be in the 1970s. There's plenty of Germans who want their privacy protected against the NSA and the BND, but they vote for the Pirates or the Greens now. There are plenty of Germans who oppose crazy macroeconomic experiments like the Euro, but they voted for Alternative für Deutschland, a new party with a one-plank platform, the abolition of the Euro. And I can't even blame voters for behaving this way because the only thing Germans got from the FDP were tax breaks for hotel owners. (Why hotel owners, of all people? Good question. I have no idea, and I'm not sure if I even want one.)
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 04:09 pm
Thanks, Walter and Thomas. I think the main thing is that Die Linke needs to have its own color, instead of sharing red with the SPD. I suggest pink.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Sep, 2013 11:26 pm
@Thomas,
I have to agree with Thomas here.
At the poll station, I had had nice talks with a co-poll worker, from the FDP, lawyer by profession, a lot younger than Baum but with a similar opinion,

Looking at the votes, all of us said that roughly with 10% it wasn't clear what voters wanted.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Sep, 2013 05:29 am
An interesting aside:
About 15% of the German voters choose parties which aren't in the Bundestag - that's 6.68 million persons whose votes were for the birds. (Mainly because the FDP and the AfD didn't get 5%)
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Sep, 2013 04:30 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
What do you think about that case of non-representation, Walter?
Do you think the 5% threshold is too high?

(Not that I think any of the parties left out of the Bundestag are worth anything)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Sep, 2013 12:40 am
@fbaezer,
Until now, it seems to work well.
The 'problem' only arose, because two parties are juts a ittle below those 5% - with one (FDP) being in the parliament from the very first day.

But I don't think that 5% is too high. (If it would be e.g. 3%, all those with 2.9% would cry ....)
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2013 01:09 am
@fbaezer,
Deutsche Welle published an article about this today
Quote:
From the ballot box to the bin
Some 7 million German voters cast their ballots for parties that never made it into parliament. How can 16 percent of voters not have their choices represented in parliament?
[...]
The business-friendly, free-market liberal Free Democrats got some 4.8 percent of the vote, meaning that Merkel's junior coalition partner of the past four years won't make it to parliament for the next term. The euro critics of the AfD (Alternative for Germany) were rather successful in their first electoral campaign winning 4.7 percent of the vote but also failed to pass the 5 percent threshold. Their votes won't be represented by members of parliament and neither will the ones cast for other small parties like the Pirate party, the Animal Protection Party, or party that represents senior citizens' interests.

Since German reunification in 1990, in the past sex elections there's been an average of 5 percent of votes that didn't get represented as they were for parties that failed to make the 5 percent threshold. This time, this number of votes without representation has tripled to 16 percent - or about 7 million votes. Now, there's protest against the electoral law dating back to 1949.
... ... ...
Lordyaswas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2013 02:44 am
@Walter Hinteler,
"Since German reunification in 1990, in the past sex elections"......


You have sex elections?

And here's me thinking that it was Switzerland that voted on everything.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Sep, 2013 02:57 am
Isn't the system used in Germany supposed to make sure that parties which might not be represented in a "first past the post" system get into the legislature? Is this system not failing?

(A genuine question here, i'm not taking the piss.)
 

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