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Dwarven Pirate
06 Dec 07,, 00:39
Die Linke was founded in the middle of June this year and it is now Germany’s third biggest party, with over 70,000 members. It registers between 11 and 14 percent support in polls, the third highest rating, and is set to enter regional parliaments in forthcoming elections in the states of Hessen, Hamburg and Thuringia

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There are five factors behind the rise of the new party:

Attacks on the German working class.
The role of the SPD in those attacks.
The return of class struggle from below.
A growing youth radicalisation.
Increasing unease at the role Germany plays in the “war on terror”, especially in Afghanistan.


I wonder why we cannot get such a thing happening in America. Is US just too big? Parliamentarianism surely helps, but is it a prerequisite? People such as Lou Dobbs urge people to register as Independents for their voting rights, but its not really the same thing. (My grandfather proclaimed himself a Radical Independent, and I march to that tune, but thought better of registering as such in order to keep off of No-Travel lists, lol).

America does have a long history of popular parties forming for specific goals. I wonder what it would take to begin such a thing today.

Here is a link to the article I was reading, tho I have not finished reading it yet: International Socialism: Germany’s political earthquake (http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=366&issue=116)

So, what is the real skinny in Germany (anyone living there?)?

FibrillatorD
06 Dec 07,, 19:40
Congress is stuck in a two-party system. An independent can't even get on a House committee without first caucusing with either the repubs or the dems, for example. Rules, procedures, leadership are all built on the two-party assumption.

Best to just improve the parties we have.

Tarek Morgen
06 Dec 07,, 20:12
While I would find the two party system you have unbearable, this party is hardly the kind you should want to change that.

First, Die Linke (the left) is not really a new party, it consist out of two part.
The biggest one is the PDS (party of democratic socialism) which is the self-proclaimed spin-off of the former SED, the Party which ruled East Germany for 40 years. It had considerable support in East Germany, but non in the west after the reunion.

The smaller halve is the WASG, uh..that stands for something like Election alternative for work and social justice..more or less. This is a spin-off of the left wing of the SPD which did not like the reforms of SPD-Green government under schröder which reduced the welfarestate and some other things. (The irony is, now that Schröder is gone, those reforms actually seem to show some good effects and our unemployments are on a ca 15 years low, the budget deficet will be gone in a few years and the economy is if not booming, expanding at a satisfactionable speed) still the SPD lost heavy in the polls because of those reforms).

Those two merged recently and formed now what is know as Die Linke.

My main beef with them (apart that most of them belonged to the former SED, a party responsible for countless crimes against their own people...) is that all they basicly do is to opposse everything anyone else suggest on the basis that it is unsocial, without giving any (realistic) alternatives. And as their chances to be part of any federal government are more than slim they can keep on this easy course and ear puplic support since they don't have to actually accomplish anything, just point at what the other are (seemingly) doing wrong.

Of all 5 major parties in Germany, this one is the only I never have, and never will vote for.