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2021 German Federal Election

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  • #16

    For minor parties (other than the mainstream 7), running in at least half of states
    • Left Wing
      • MLPD (leninists)
      • DKP (stalinists)
    • Centrist
      • VOLT (social-liberal, right side)
      • Animal Protection Party (social-liberal, left side)
      • Pirates (social-liberal, left side)
      • Humanist Party (radical liberal)
    • Single-topic
      • PARTEI (satirical parody party)
      • V-Party³ (vegans)
    • Right Wing
      • ÖDP (conservative, green)
      • Free Voters Union (conservative)
      • Team Todenhöfer (neoliberal, one-man party)
      • LKR (neoliberal)
      • NPD (nazis)
      • BASIS (anti-lockdown, conspiracy theorist, nazis)
    The "centrists" above tend to compete with and play in the same political field and voter section as FDP, the "conservatives" with CDU, the "neoliberals" with AFD, the "left wing" parties with the Left. There are about 20 further parties running with state lists in fewer states, most of them tend to be single-topic or fairly right-wing. There are a few hundred independent candidates, of which maybe 10% belong to any of these several dozen minority parties.

    As usual none of these have any chances of getting in the Bundestag. About one-third of those above have some chances to get over 0.5%, at which point they'd get their campaign costs refunded. The only significantly sized among these parties is PARTEI with about 52,000 official party organization members, an order of magnitude larger than any of the other smalls and probably more members than those have combined. They'll probably end up at around 1.0% as last time.


    Otherwise the only one among these smallest parties notable recently is III.Weg/"Third Way", some neonazis that proclaim on their campaign posters that Greens should be hung. As in lynched. Literally. They sorta get away with it due to having very small print beneath stating that the above refers to the green-colored posters. They only run in two states, in one (Bavaria) police took down those posters, in the other (Saxony) it is considered "a valid statement" and sufficiently ambiguous.
    Last edited by kato; 12 Sep 21,, 12:54.

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    • #17
      It is interesting that the overall number of such small parties running has not increased significantly, and for the most part it's the same groups as always. This is despite the fact that due to the pandemic the required number of supporter signatures to be collected was lowered to one-quarter the usual number (minimum 1/4000th of eligible voters in a state instead of 1/1000th, maximum 500 instead of 2000). To field a single candidate only running in one electoral district you only needed 50 signatures this year.

      About 40 further groups tried to run, but were rejected for a variety of reasons, e.g. bogus signatures, not filing applications in time, not actually having a party organization or not campaigning. This rejection can also hit parties that are established or have been running for ages - for example the Anarchist Pogo Party was rejected for late application this time, and the state list of the Greens for Saarland state was rejected due to doubts about whether it came about democratically within the party. Groups can sue with the Supreme Court against such decisions, the only one that did so (successfully) was DKP - they were originally rejected due to constantly filing their financial reports as a party late.

      Only five of the above small parties managed to collect sufficient signatures in all 16 states and thus run in all of them - VOLT, ÖDP, the Animal Protection Party, MLPD and NPD. Four of the small parties did not have to collect signatures - LKR and PARTEI due to having a representatives in the Bundestag (independents that joined them), the Free Voters Union due to having more than five representatives in state parliaments and the "South Schleswig Voter Union" only running in Schleswig-Holstein state (due to being the formal party of the protected Danish and Friesian minorities).

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      • #18
        The Wahl-o-mat app has achieved a new user record with this election.

        Wahl-o-mat is an application (German only, website or smartphone app) which matches your answers (simple yes/no) in a 40-item questionnaire to party programmes and campaign statements, returning which of the parties running your answer set is compatible to to what extent. The application is published by the Federal Agency for Civic Education with new questionnaires for every federal, state or european election since 2002. It is primarily aimed at younger voters, in particular first-time voters - but in general is a nice tool to confirm that what you're voting for is actually what you thought with regard to positions.

        The agency considers it likely the most important tool for voter information outside TV duels. There were surveys in 2017 that about one-in-three people voting use it, among voters under 29 half of them.

        In 2017 Wahl-o-Mat was used 15.694 million times. So far this year it has been used 15.703 million times and we still have 9 days to go till the election.

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        • #19
          Results look a bit too close to call so far

          SPD 24.9 to 25.6%
          CDU/CSU 24.4 to 24.7%
          Greens 14.6 to 14.7%
          FDP 11.6 to 11.7%
          AfD 10.3 to 11.1%
          Left 5.0%
          Others 8.0 to 8.4%

          Both SPD (Scholz) and Laschet (CDU) have claimed victory and are demanding chancellorship pretty much.

          Exact results including seat distribution will depend heavily on the number of direct mandates each party has won where, as well as exact counting of the mail-in vote.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by kato View Post
            Results look a bit too close to call so far

            SPD 24.9 to 25.6%
            CDU/CSU 24.4 to 24.7%
            Greens 14.6 to 14.7%
            FDP 11.6 to 11.7%
            AfD 10.3 to 11.1%
            Left 5.0%
            Others 8.0 to 8.4%

            Both SPD (Scholz) and Laschet (CDU) have claimed victory and are demanding chancellorship pretty much.

            Exact results including seat distribution will depend heavily on the number of direct mandates each party has won where, as well as exact counting of the mail-in vote.
            So who do you think will create the winning coalition with the Greens and FDP to run the country. I know you're way of doing elections is really complicated but I believe that to be Chancellor one needs an absolute majority in parliament.

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            • #21
              The South Schleswig Voter Union, the political party of the Danish and Friesian minority, may have gotten enough votes to get a seat. German name of the party is Südschleswigscher Wählerverband (abbr. SSW), danish Sydslesvigsk Vælgerforening, friesian Söödschlaswiksche Wäälerferbånd. As an acknowledged national minority party they are exempt from the 5% hurdle, and thus only need somewhere around minimum 50,000 votes to get a single seat based on vote share. The exemption is formalized in a bilateral treaty between Germany and Denmark from 1955, although there have been numerous attempts over the decades to remove it, usually in attempts by rightwingers to have an election declared invalid.

              Politically the party traditionally aligns with the Social Democrats, although they're more left-liberal. Usually they only run in state elections - the last time they ran at federal level was in 1961. The only time they had a representative in the Bundestag was in 1949-1953. From 2012 to 2017 they were part of the state government in Schleswig-Holstein state in a coalition with SPD and Greens, currently they hold three seats in the state parliament there.
              Last edited by kato; 26 Sep 21,, 21:21.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                So who do you think will create the winning coalition with the Greens and FDP to run the country. I know you're way of doing elections is really complicated but I believe that to be Chancellor one needs an absolute majority in parliament.
                Technically you don't need an absolute majority, although the election concept is a bit complicated and so far every chancellor has been elected with an absolute majority.

                As for coalitions, the heads of FDP and Greens have agreed to first talk with each other before talking to the CDU or SPD. FDP predictably is already trying to push a bit towards CDU.

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                • #23
                  So it appears that the poor results for 'die Linke' means that the possible SPD+Green+Left coalition will fall short of a majority.

                  That will reduce leverage for the SPD in talks with FDP; does it perhaps mean that the so called Jamaica coalition is the most likely option given the strong preference of the FDP for the CDU?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by InExile View Post
                    does it perhaps mean that the so called Jamaica coalition is the most likely option given the strong preference of the FDP for the CDU?
                    We will be seeing several months of coalition negotations, in all directions. While FDP and Greens portray themselves as kingmakers there's always the option of leaving them out entirely and continuing the current Grand Coalition.


                    ---

                    Geographical distribution, end result, relative majorities (not won districts):

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	maj.jpg Views:	0 Size:	88.6 KB ID:	1577047
                    Red = SPD, Green = Green
                    Dark Blue = CDU, Blue = CSU, Light Blue = AfD

                    Preliminary Final result (shaded = 2017):
                    Click image for larger version  Name:	proz.jpg Views:	0 Size:	28.8 KB ID:	1577048

                    Seat Distribution:

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	seats.jpg Views:	0 Size:	51.4 KB ID:	1577049
                    Last edited by kato; 27 Sep 21,, 08:11.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Parties are starting to draw their own conclusions from their results:
                      • Annalena Baerbock, the chancellor candidate of the Greens due to the lower-than-expected result will have to yield any vice chancellor post in a coalition to her co-head of the Greens, Robert Habeck
                      • Within the CDU there are demands from various sides for Laschet to step down as CDU head due to the lowest postwar result for the party.
                      • In the FDP, following the campaign with young, dynamic Lindner as the spearhead now that the election is over the old guard is pushing back to the foreground and setting down principles. Lindner was still re-elected as figurehead (FDP parliamentary faction chief).

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                      • #26
                        Kato,

                        Gonna ask you to look in a crystal ball.....

                        What impact do you think this new political alignment will have on Germany's defense policies?

                        Thanks
                        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                        Mark Twain

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by kato View Post
                          Parties are starting to draw their own conclusions from their results:
                          • Annalena Baerbock, the chancellor candidate of the Greens due to the lower-than-expected result will have to yield any vice chancellor post in a coalition to her co-head of the Greens, Robert Habeck
                          • Within the CDU there are demands from various sides for Laschet to step down as CDU head due to the lowest postwar result for the party.
                          • In the FDP, following the campaign with young, dynamic Lindner as the spearhead now that the election is over the old guard is pushing back to the foreground and setting down principles. Lindner was still re-elected as figurehead (FDP parliamentary faction chief).
                          and Scholz initially said he had a mandate and that CDU step down and become the opposition. Now if he thinks 25.6% is a mandate while 74.4% voted against you I'd like to see how that works.

                          Interesting to me that the far right Afd is so strong in one particular region of Germany. What is the history with that region? Kind of like Alabama and Mississippi here.

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                          • #28
                            Seven things we learned from the German elections according to the BBC.

                            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58705286

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                              What impact do you think this new political alignment will have on Germany's defense policies?
                              Below for a traffic-light coalition (SPD-Green-FDP):

                              The only somewhat relevant realignment I could instantly see for a SPD-Green-FDP government would be possibly medium-term an behind-closed-doors cancellation of German nuclear carrier aircraft, i.e. no money for the planned Super Hornet order (SPD was against it while in government, Greens were against it while in opposition, FDP probably considers it not cost-effective).

                              From a quick look at defense policies in campaign programmes of the parties:
                              • Europe and NATO:
                                • All three want to establish a joint European Union Military and European foreign politics.
                                • The Greens (only them) want a "new strategic direction" for NATO in which basically the US role is reduced and "European values" rule the alliance.
                                • All three parties want a permanent "European Union" seat in the UN Security Council, and by that they don't mean France unless France voluntarily gives its seat up for that purpose.
                                • In general all three parties are rather pro-interventionist and pro-military, even if by the opposite camp the Greens in particular tend to be misrepresented as stating otherwise.
                              • Defence Industry:
                                • SPD and Greens consider the 2 Percent target completely moot. FDP wants it functionally replaced with spending 3 Percent on "defence, development and diplomacy" (in the same sense as Obama used that term, except the Democrats back then called for 4 Percent).
                                • There are really major differences primarily between SPD and FDP on defence goods exports, imports and protectionism in defence industry.
                                • Outside of the nukes - and, to some extent, unmanned combat aircraft - there are no downright refusals of military procurement programmes, and no expectation of lower military budgets. SPD actually claims that thanks to them the defense budget was raised in recent years in the first place.
                                • One point that may be of some worry: FDP wants the socalled "Trendwenden"/"Turnarounds" of the Bundeswehr re-audited and re-evaluated - these were programmes established in 2016-2017 to basically buy spare parts again, recruit more soldiers, stop selling Bundeswehr tanks abroad and such; these programmes had replaced failing previous austerity politics that were largely installed and supported by the FDP originally. Defense politics wise the FDP is a party that in the past has brought forward proposals to basically get rid of all rear-echelon elements (and they put "rear echelon" pretty far forward) and then replace them with military contractors.
                              • Specific countries (no real changes there, but thought i should list these):
                                • For Russia : In general all three parties are rather anti-Putin, with explicit criticism. FDP and Greens are both very pronounced in that stance, offhand they have some connections to civil rights groups in Russia. All three also seem to see somewhat of a focus of action on Belarus as a current theater instead; for Ukraine there's treaties that just have to be enacted after all, other places are not a concern.
                                • For China : All three parties are slightly ambivalent on a couple topics there (SPD is pretty non-aligned on that), although none supports considering Taiwan a separate nation. All three do see a "conflict of interests" and "system rivalry" between Europe and China. Only the Greens have some sort of programme for Indopacific partnerships, although even they don't see this in any defence/alignment context pro or contra China.
                                • For Turkey : Greens and FDP differ majorly in how they want to handle Erdogan, with Greens going towards using NATO to put pressure on him and FDP instead wanting to remove any tension. All three do not support EU candidacy for Turkey as long as Erdogan is in power.
                                • For UK : SPD and Greens consider treaties formed so far a "basis" for future relationship, but to some extent for the UK warn about (and accuse of) attempting to undermine European standards, in particular for labor rights. FDP as a capitalist party of course doesn't address this.
                                • For the USA : Some blah-blah about rebooting German-US relationships with "the new US government", read slowly removing the tension installed by Trump.
                              Small note: SPD has relatively little "explicit" stuff for foreign politics in its campaign programme - after all people just need to look at politics of the last four years for that for them, the SPD held the foreign ministry.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                                Interesting to me that the far right Afd is so strong in one particular region of Germany. What is the history with that region? Kind of like Alabama and Mississippi here.
                                Legend-wise, Saxony is historically the socalled "valley of the ignorant" - the only area of East Germany where West German television and radio couldn't be received, and thus couldn't be influenced by western propaganda.

                                Realistically though it has more to do with the fact that post-Reunification this area - with one-quarter the East-German population - was still relatively well-off (for eastern standards), and thus received much less "solidarity" subsidies. In the last ten years or so however they've had to attune their lifestyle to the same standards as elsewhere. That meant e.g. that in the countryside schools and hospitals started closing/consolidating and public services like public transit was scaled back to realistic levels sufficient for the limited population.

                                In addition while officially the state is relatively well-off a lot of people in the countryside are unemployed or low-income and see this dichotomy as somewhat grating. In West Germany we had this effect to some extent for the NPD rightwing-extremist party in the 1960s and 1970s in rural areas.

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