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Thread: German Election

  1. #1
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    German Election

    A German election is due next Sunday. It is expected to be dull, and Angela Merkel is expected to be the winner.

    So we just wait and see.

    Much is at stake in the German election
    20 Sept [FT] Germany goes to the polls next Sunday, and hardly anybody cares. There are three frequently stated reasons for this lack of interest. First, the campaign has been exceptionally dull. Second, Angela Merkel will almost certainly re-emerge as chancellor no matter what the result. And third, nobody expects any concrete policy changes.

    The first of those judgments is correct, the second is correct but misleading. The third is wrong.

    Ms Merkel will probably be re-elected chancellor, but her power and political longevity will greatly depend on which coalition emerges after the elections. One of the two most likely constellations is a small centre-right coalition, led by Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian allies, and the liberal Free Democratic party. The other is another grand coalition with the Social Democratic party.

    If a centre-right coalition emerges on Sunday, Ms Merkel will be secure. The centre-right is still marginally ahead in the polls, but the lead has narrowed. If the CDU’s share of the vote falls below the already disappointing result of 2005, Ms Merkel could be in trouble. She would probably not be toppled, but would have to confront many unsuccessful, angry CDU parliamentary candidates. .....

  2. #2
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    But two incident relating to Afghanistan can provide some excitement.

    Afghanistan leaps to fore of German election
    40 min ago [AP] BERLIN — Police with machine pistols patrolled airports and train stations Monday after al-Qaida threatened Germans to vote to leave Afghanistan or face attack.

    The threats, and a German-ordered airstrike that killed dozens in northern Afghanistan, have forced Germany's Afghan mission to the forefront of a national election campaign despite attempts from all candidates in Sunday's vote to avoid it.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel has steadfastly backed the mission and urged calm. On Monday, she said that "people can be confident that everything is being done for their security."

    On Friday, a German speaker claiming to belong to al-Qaida threatened Germans with "a rude awakening after the elections" if they do not push their political parties to withdraw soldiers from Afghanistan. Two days later, the same man issued another video mentioning Afghanistan.

    Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble responded directly to al-Qaida's threats, saying Monday that "Whatever you will do: you will not be able to influence the democratic formation of opinion in Germany."

    Schaeuble's words were an apparent reference to Spain's election campaign in 2004, when bombing by Islamic radicals killed 191 people on Madrid trains days ahead of the vote that saw the ouster of a government that had supported the war in Iraq.

    Germany's unpopular mission in Afghanistan, where it has more than 4,200 troops, was put in a harsher spotlight last month by a German-ordered airstrike near Kunduz in which NATO says civilians died. ....

  3. #3
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    Disgusting tactics by Al-Quida - the Germans know where to stuff it.

    I think Merkel will win handy enough, but do the SPD favour an immediate withdrawl?

    If so they could be brought back from the dead by shite like this.
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    - John Stuart Mill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crooks View Post
    I think Merkel will win handy enough
    Merkel has been losing support in the last two weeks, mostly over increased discussions regarding internal financial politics such as the possible introduction of minimum wages (which the CDU and their chosen partner FDP oppose).

    Current surveys this week and in fact since the beginning of the month see a likely draw between a CDU/CSU/FDP conservative coalition (Merkel's preference) and a SPD/Green/Left coalition, both bouncing around 47-49% of the poll. It's not unlikely we'll see another haphazard Grand Coalition after this election, even if literally everyone on all sides wants to avoid that. Merkel herself has lost considerable support among the electorate, with approval ratings taking a nosedive.

    The SPD has already warned the CDU against trying to rule with only a overhang mandate majority - that's how tight the race is. Overhang majorities have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, with laws to be adjusted until 2011, so it'll still be possible for the last time in this election.

    Quote Originally Posted by crooks View Post
    but do the SPD favour an immediate withdrawl?
    The SPD officially does not favour a withdrawal at all - however there have been internal calls in the party - e.g. from former chancellor Schröder - for an exit strategy with a set exit date (Schröder named 2015 as an example).

    Btw: It is pretty much seen as given that the Left Party (former GDR governing party), the only party openly opposing the Afghanistan mission, will finally manage to score consistently above 5% in all German states, and at least 20% in 7 of the 16 states.

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Kato,

    From what little I read this could possibly be the most lifeless election in human history. Not even the lady in the top job seems to be able to get excited about the election. is this so, or are my sources being unfair?


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  6. #6
    Professor (retired) Senior Contributor Merlin's Avatar
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    The opinion polls continue to predict that Merkel would win. She felt so confident that she could leave the country a few days before the election to attend the UN and G20 meetings in NYC and Pittsburgh.

    But of course being seen shaking hands and rubbing shoulders with other world leaders would boost her public image back home.

  7. #7
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Merkel has been losing support in the last two weeks, mostly over increased discussions regarding internal financial politics such as the possible introduction of minimum wages (which the CDU and their chosen partner FDP oppose).

    Current surveys this week and in fact since the beginning of the month see a likely draw between a CDU/CSU/FDP conservative coalition (Merkel's preference) and a SPD/Green/Left coalition, both bouncing around 47-49% of the poll. It's not unlikely we'll see another haphazard Grand Coalition after this election, even if literally everyone on all sides wants to avoid that. Merkel herself has lost considerable support among the electorate, with approval ratings taking a nosedive.

    The SPD has already warned the CDU against trying to rule with only a overhang mandate majority - that's how tight the race is. Overhang majorities have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, with laws to be adjusted until 2011, so it'll still be possible for the last time in this election.
    In that scenario considering that the Left Party is fairly toxic could Merkel not just govern with the Liberals?

    If they've taken roughly half each but the Left has 7-8% surely that gives them a (wobbly) lead over SPD-Grune (the most realistic left of centre coalition).

    Is Merkel still leading Steinmeier by a lot in 'prefered Chancellor' polls? If so she might argue she's 'the people's choice' - I've heard he's bland and boring but maybe he's grown to the role and closed some of the gap.

    I wonder if the left bloc wins would Steinmeier be willing to take support from the left without offering them a place in government - I'd imagine he'd have to swing more vocally to the left to pull that off.

    Maybe the Right wing bloc could even entice the Greens into supporting it for concessions on climate issues and a softer stance on drugs, I'm not German but surely you guys are fed up of having such a dualist government?!

    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The SPD officially does not favour a withdrawal at all - however there have been internal calls in the party - e.g. from former chancellor Schröder - for an exit strategy with a set exit date (Schröder named 2015 as an example).

    Btw: It is pretty much seen as given that the Left Party (former GDR governing party), the only party openly opposing the Afghanistan mission, will finally manage to score consistently above 5% in all German states, and at least 20% in 7 of the 16 states.
    Is Afghanistan a big issue?

    It's weird that there's not some support for a withdrawl within one of the volkspartie, especially if it's a vote winner, is it because of the grand coalition that neither side seems to have particularly vocal opinions on a timeframe (They're equally responsible)?

    The Left are an interesting party, they done very well last time, but I wonder can they expand much more - I'd have imagined that dissatisfied SPD voters in the West would plump for the Greens or some even not turn out over voting the Left, and considering how strong they already are in the East surely that's where their scopes are set?
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    - John Stuart Mill.

  8. #8
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Merkel has been losing support in the last two weeks, mostly over increased discussions regarding internal financial politics such as the possible introduction of minimum wages (which the CDU and their chosen partner FDP oppose).
    You guys don't have minimum wage?
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  9. #9
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    You guys don't have minimum wage?
    Nope, they don't, unlike your queerosexual pinko Marxwrecked statist nation .
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    - John Stuart Mill.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crooks View Post
    Nope, they don't, unlike your queerosexual pinko Marxwrecked statist nation .
    I knew there's something cool about Germany. Awesome guns, fast cars, a rich history of invading the frogs, a robust language, AND no minimum wage.

    Santa Monica's "living wage" is $12/hr.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  11. #11
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I knew there's something cool about Germany. Awesome guns, fast cars, a rich history of invading the frogs, a robust language, AND no minimum wage.

    Santa Monica's "living wage" is $12/hr.
    It's funny, 'Socialist' Europe has six countries with no specific minimum wage provisions: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

    Kato will have better answers on it in Germany's case, but I think it's mostly to do with the fairly powerful union movement which has never needed it and the fairly progressive corporate types who are fair to workers - they set wages at the negotiating table, not in stone, the strong social welfare net also ensures a decent standard of living anyway.

    There's a lot to be said for it, cept of course in bad times I'd imagine the parties get at each others throats over cutbacks and who takes the pain.

    On your list, besides the language (I use the word loosly ) I agree, though I've always had a soft spot for France, Widespread porn and Social unrest are a heady combination.
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    - John Stuart Mill.

  12. #12
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    We really need more French members here. And Japanese too. I wonder why we don't have Japanese members.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    We really need more French members here. And Japanese too. I wonder why we don't have Japanese members.
    Well for the French they tend not to go big on the English internet, they've a rather impressive one themselves, I'm on a French forum, it's great, they use DailyMotion, not YouTube, Le Monde not NYT, and have a huge blog/media pool to draw from.

    Add in the fact that beyond the young they don't have a massive grasp of English (or desire to have one) and hey presto, you've explained the fairly small portion of them (we do have some though, Oscar for example).

    Japanese I'd say it's similar, they've their own needs catered to, added to the alieness of culture - I can't imagine being on a Japanese forum, I suppose lots of them feel the same towards the West.

    Maybe we should start a media campaign for more Frenchies:

    Enjoy being heckled for you're national identity and political beliefs?

    Enjoy having your masculinity and sanity questioned by shrill neoliberals?

    Enjoy butter cookies and Celine Dion?

    Bienvenue sur la Bord des droit extreme.
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    - John Stuart Mill.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    I guess I can see the French's tendency not to participate in an all-English language forum. They've always been a little...odd.

    Now the Japanese, you figure the first east Asian country to embrace the west should have more people participate in this forum. We have a ton of Chinese members, who are recent converts to the internet, and the English language in general. They were in the Russian camp during the Cold War.

    We don't have Koreans either. Korea is the most wired nation on this planet. You figure a few of them would be interested in international affairs, especially with North Korea, to find their way here.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  15. #15
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    Proportionally speaking, the Chinese aren't massive on the board - they should make up 17%, I'd have said it's at the very most half that.

    With them there are so many they're bound to 'exist' in numbers everywhere, but statistically I'd say they're fairly small, plus a large portion of them are more like CPC sock-puppets than personalities, which again shows a clash of cultures that not even the biggest social project in history can cross.

    I see why we've lots of Indians - India has a strong English speaking tradition (especially as a second language), I guess it comes naturally to flit onto western boards, they've got western ideals as well as Indian ones.

    Japan has a massive self contained net - it reminds me of my little brother, he loved Pokemon in the 90s....and what he got that was brand new to Ireland was 10 years old in Japan, they're not just far ahead in tech, they're impenitrable unless you speak Japanese, due to the complete out of this worldness of Japanese society.

    Japan is in my view the most insular place on the planet, I've never talked to a Japanese person on the internet, to quote Quagmire, 'it's like narnia, you gotta believe they're out there'.

    Korea, beyond the fact that my doctor is Korean and he plays Halo, I got nothin )!
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
    - John Stuart Mill.

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