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German Elections Open Thread

by nanne Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 10:05:43 AM EST

For all your German elections news and results

Recent coverage:
Federal Elections in Germany by nanne
Nuclear Dump (of final storage and German elections) by DoDo


Display:
Is there going to be one for chit chat ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 10:11:01 AM EST
You have your answer :-)
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 10:18:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Come on, 7!

Oh, wait.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 10:15:14 AM EST
Seemed to be low according to the numbers posted for 14:00, at 36%, 5 percentage points below the level of 2005 (when final participation was at 77%).

Postal voting, which is expected to be more significant this time around, was not considered.

Poor turnout on election day should bode ill for the SPD, but DER SPIEGEL speculates that the number could still turn around as it's a pretty day across Germany. Which reminds me that I should go outside for a few hours.

The first projections are expected at 18:00, if there's no twitter leak before that point.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 10:28:43 AM EST
...quite a number of twitter leaks by now.

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=CDU+SPD+FDP

But not very reliable yet, as far as I can judge.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 11:01:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really, no, wildly divergent numbers there. The noise drowns all.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 11:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently somebody was aware of a test site of the Bremen election authorities that used dummy numbers and started publicizing them as if they were real. link.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:39:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could there be party asymmetries in postal voting? (I suspect not much...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:33:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not in favour of the SPD. There could be an advantage for the FDP and Greens. But I don't know the share of the votes, and I don't know at what time the postal votes get counted.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the number for participation will be around 72.5%.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 02:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How does that compare to previous elections?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a record low for Germany, the previous federal elections were 77%.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:31:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global News Blog » Blog Archive » German election live blog | Blogs |
Welcome to the live blog of the German election, a showdown between Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (left) and Chancellor Angela Merkel (right). More than 50 Reuters correspondents, photographers and television crews in Berlin and across Germany will be tracking the story throughout the weekend.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 11:29:42 AM EST
Huh, the reduce the German elections to a showdown between Merkel and Steinmeier? And the article isn't even signed by an Anglo or American...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 11:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel fluffs her lines as election rivals close in - Europe, World - The Independent

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, rallied her party faithful for one last push on the eve of today's election, arguing that only the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) would keep the country on a stable course, re-energise the economy and safeguard the interests of working people. The election is expected to be close, perhaps very close, with the last polls showing the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) continuing to close the gap on the centre-right CDU-CSU alliance.

Ms Merkel, who hopes to serve a second term at the head of a new, less constrained, coalition, with the free-market FDP rather than SPD, had returned from the G20 summit in Pittsburgh only hours before. She cited her international experience and stature in support of her bid to remain in power. But tiredness told, and Ms Merkel, while her serious and feisty self, at times appeared hesitant and less fluent than usual.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 11:40:07 AM EST
ARD:

Party%+-
CDU/CSU33.5%-1.7
SPD22.5%-11.7
FDP15.0%+5.2
Left Party12.5%+3.8
Greens10.5%+2.4

ZDF:

Party%+-
CDU/CSU33.5%-1.7
SPD23.5%-10.7
FDP14.5%+4.7
Left Party13.0%+4.3
Greens10.0%+1.9



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:04:48 PM EST
Below 25% would be a very poor result for the SPD, lower than what they were getting in the last polls. The result for the CDU/CSU is also bad, but with this result they should be able to form a coalition with the FDP.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:09:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn. My hopes were not high, but if the exit polls don't err big, there will be a comfortable margin. Everyone will forget the overhang mandate debate.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:16:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turnout is the key part in this, I think. The SPD should have put much more resources in this.

If this holds we'll see a debate within the SPD about a change in the leadership. On Phoenix they're already speculating about Nahles and Wowereit.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:21:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Nahles has a lot of potential, but she'd need to grow into a true national role.

Wowereit: I have no sense on how he'd play outside of Berlin (or even if he has those kinds of ambitions). What's the local take on him?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wowi is popular in Berlin, and we want to keep him as mayor.

He's an excellent politician but not the sharpest analytical mind, or at least that's not how he comes across to me. Nahles also has a minor perception problem of being too much of a party operative. But she might fit well in the role of Müntefering, and Wowi might fit well in the role of Steinmeier. Of course, there would be others who aspire to that role, among them Sigmar Gabriel.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:37:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gabriel has the ambition, but methinks he would manage to push the SPD's numbers below that of the Greens and the Left Party...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:40:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
God knows they need a new Münte, but now that they're out in the cold I think they could use a Lafontaine-like rabble-rouser more than they could a Steinmeier. I don't think being a party operative is a disadvantage right now - however moves into the party leadership right now will need to be able to build a secure base so that they can present themselves as the head of a unified party (something e.g. Beck never got). I guess together Nahles and Wowi would be a dream team.

Gabriel - I dunno. I've heard his standard speech as Environment Minister, and he is (was, now) intelligent enough to understand the problem of climate change and make it the core of his standard pitch (although he's too politically committed to coal to acknowledge the solution). But he's not stirring.

Besides, like Steinmeier and Steinbrück, he's an old Schröderite, and the IMO the SPD needs someone new if it's going to credibly rebuild.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:54:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

Erleichterung bei Union, Entsetzen bei der SPD | tagesschau.deErleichterung bei Union, Entsetzen bei der SPD | tagesschau.de
Steinmeier sprach von einem "bitteren Tag für die Sozialdemokratie - da gibt es nichts drumherum zu reden". Die Ursachen müssten nun in Ruhe analysiert werden. Er kritisierte indirekt die Berichterstattung der Medien vor der Wahl - diese hätten das Wahlergebnis schon vorweggenommen. Damit habe die Partei im Wahlkampf zu kämpfen gehabt.Steinmeier sprach von einem "bitteren Tag für die Sozialdemokratie - da gibt es nichts drumherum zu reden". Die Ursachen müssten nun in Ruhe analysiert werden. Er kritisierte indirekt die Berichterstattung der Medien vor der Wahl - diese hätten das Wahlergebnis schon vorweggenommen. Damit habe die Partei im Wahlkampf zu kämpfen gehabt.
Unter dem Beifall seiner Parteifreunde kündigte Steinmeier an, er wolle nun "Oppositionsführer" werden. Der bisherige Fraktionsvorsitzende Peter Struck hatte nicht mehr für das Parlament kandidiert. Den Wählern versprach Steienmeier, ihre Stimme für die SPD sei "nicht verloren". Die Sozialdemokraten würden nun genau darauf achten, ob die neue Regierung sich bewähre. Er habe "Zweifel, dass sie es können".Under the applause of his fellow party members, Steinmeier announced that he now wanted to be the "leader of the opposition". Peter Struck, the present head of the parliamentary fraction, did not run for reelection. Steinmeier promised the voters that their vote for the SPD was "not lost". The Social Democrats would now carefully scrutinize the performance of the new government. He expressed "doubts that they can handle it."


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:11:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I very much doubt that someone who loses more than 10 percentage points at the polls will stay on.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:16:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Schröder can get him a job with a gas pipeline...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:26:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the SPD. Not losing is not an option.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I screwed up something, didn't I? Here's the full translation.

Erleichterung bei Union, Entsetzen bei der SPD | tagesschau.deUnion relieved, SPD horrified
Steinmeier sprach von einem "bitteren Tag für die Sozialdemokratie - da gibt es nichts drumherum zu reden". Die Ursachen müssten nun in Ruhe analysiert werden. Er kritisierte indirekt die Berichterstattung der Medien vor der Wahl - diese hätten das Wahlergebnis schon vorweggenommen. Damit habe die Partei im Wahlkampf zu kämpfen gehabt.Steinmeier spoke of a "bitter day for Social Democracy - there is no way around that." He added that the causes would now need to be analyzed at length. He indirectly criticized the reporting in the media in the run-up to the election - they had treated the election result as a foregone conclusion. Steinmeier said that the party had labored under this in the election campaign.
Unter dem Beifall seiner Parteifreunde kündigte Steinmeier an, er wolle nun "Oppositionsführer" werden. Der bisherige Fraktionsvorsitzende Peter Struck hatte nicht mehr für das Parlament kandidiert. Den Wählern versprach Steienmeier, ihre Stimme für die SPD sei "nicht verloren". Die Sozialdemokraten würden nun genau darauf achten, ob die neue Regierung sich bewähre. Er habe "Zweifel, dass sie es können".Under the applause of his fellow party members, Steinmeier announced that he now wanted to be the "leader of the opposition". Peter Struck, the present head of the parliamentary fraction, did not run for reelection. Steinmeier promised the voters that their vote for the SPD was "not lost". The Social Democrats would now carefully scrutinize the performance of the new government. He expressed "doubts that they can handle it."


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:23:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gabriel can get excited in a speech, he often slams fist on the table, but he also rambles on for too long. Wowi can be rousing, but he's always controlled. What I like most is that he has a penchant for irony.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:19:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I like most is that he has a penchant for irony.

But is that good in the larger sense? I mean, I personally enjoy irony - I think all of us here do.

But for that very reason I fear that might make him less, not more, palatable on the national stage.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:29:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Likely. I don't know how well irony plays outside of Berlin, I live in a bubble here relative to the larger country. A highly enjoyable bubble.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:38:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for a FDP/CDU victory. Tells us all we need to know. Barf.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:31:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Notice that they totally ignore that die Linke is no longer an east only party.  I'm suspicious of exit polls, particularly if there's postal voting.  Any good campaign organization on the left is going to push their people to vote by post if at all possible.  That way you get out the disabled and elderly, who tend to be supportive of things like pensions and government aid.  Plus I wonder if there will be a large group of Hartz IV people who show up in the postal vote.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GOTV is not only not a tradition, but sometimes illegal in Europe.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This I know. But there is a difference between giving someone a ride to the polling station, and encouraging them to vote by post.  Regardless, I think that there is likely a demographic bias to postal voting.

Does Germany have a "day of reflection", a day in which no campaigning takes places immediately prior to the election day?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:46:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There used to be, but it is eroded now.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone was on Stefan Raab's show yesterday (as four years ago). Well, everyone except Merkel and Steinmeier.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 02:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't see that? Did Raab make them slide down the bannister in a wok or crack off-color jokes about their sex lives?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:22:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can read the review here.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:39:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The elderly is the only group in France where Sarko had a clear majority...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:12:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the "Financial Times Deutschland" would have liked a CDU-Green coalition. :)

They were very skeptical of the FDP. Promising tax cuts and a balanced budget given the budget reality sounded stupid to them. Not to mention that the FDP was the only party not reflecting on the financial crisis.

That will probably mean that the "FTD" isn´t a "serious" (economics) newspaper any longer, right?
At least for the Economist or the WSJ?

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The FTD is definitely different from it's mother the FT, too. Economic liberal, but more modern and broad-sighted.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:47:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.
I do remember some editorials and opinion pieces there which quite openly ridiculed its "mother", the FT.
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:54:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The overhang seat debate is alive! In Schleswig-Holstein.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 02:10:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Party%+/-
CDU31.0%-9.2
SPD25.5%-13.2
FDP15.5%+8.9
Greens12.0%+5.8
Left Party6.5%+5.7
SSW (Danish minority)4.0%+0.4



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:09:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now this is the one light in the shadow from my view point. The four left-leaning parties [including the Danish minority party] prevented a CDU+FDP majority.

Oh, and the Left Party made it into the fourth non-city-state West German regional parliament -- four more remain. (Oh, and on the other side, the Greens made it in another East German state in Brandenburg -- some Reunification.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:26:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD 21:40:

Party%+-
CDU31.5%-8.7
SPD25.4%-13.3
FDP15.1%+8.5
Greens12.1%+5.9
Left Party6.0%+5.2
SSW (Danish minority)4.4%+0.8

ZDF 21:21:

Party%+-
CDU31.4%-8.8
SPD25.7%-13.0
FDP14.9%+8.3
Greens12.1%+5.9
Left Party6.3%+5.5
SSW (Danish minority)4.0%+0.4


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD 22:07:

PartySeats+-
CDU30+/-0
SPD23-6
FDP13+9
Greens11+7
Left Party5+5
SSW (Danish minority)3+1

ZDF 22:13:

PartySeats+-
CDU29-1
SPD22-7
FDP12+8
Greens10+6
Left Party5+5
SSW (Danish minority)3+1

In both projections, CDU+FDP would have a majority of one only thanks to the local rules overhang mandates that were legally challenged.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:30:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huge losses for SPD.

If CDU/CSU+FDP does not gain a majority will the SPD be up for another great coalition?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:12:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I think so. But right now it looks like a CDU/FDP coalition will get through.

btw: the Pirate Party is getting 2% in the ARD exit poll.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for telling me :)

2% is a good result for a first federal election.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:44:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Party%+/-
SPD31.5%-0.4
Left Party27.5%-0.5
CDU21.5%+2.1
FDP8.0%+4.7
Greens5.5%+1.9
DVU (far right)1.0%-5.1
NPD (even more far right)? ("fails 5%")+?



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:14:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Matthias Platzeck will continue with the Grand Coalition in Brandenburg as before -- and, unless the far right voters refused to answer exit pollsters, the far right is out! (But I don't get why rbb/ARD won't give figures for NPD.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:19:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd rule it in the realm of the impossible that the infighting with the DVÜ got them the 5.1% that the DVÜ lost. Also look at the percentages that the other parties are getting, which are not covered by the small loss of the SPD and Linke.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:24:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the Tagesschau is saying that the NPD got 2.5%.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:26:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The article did say that the NPD failed the 5% limit, and the other numbers add up to 95%, but there was no figure. Thanks for spotting it at ARD.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:27:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD 21:37:

Party%+-
SPD33.0%+1.1
Left Party27.3%-0.7
CDU19.7%+0.3
FDP7.3%+4.0
Greens5.4%+1.8
DVU (far right)1.2%-4.9
NPD (even more far right)?+?

ZDF 21:18:

Party%+-
SPD32.5%+0.6
Left Party27.9%-0.1
CDU20.0%+0.6
FDP7.1%+3.8
Greens5.1%+1.5
DVU (far right)??
NPD (even more far right)??

Platzeck may choose to drop the CDU and coalition with the Left Party. Would be clever thinking of the Bundesrat.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All I can say (besides a declaration of nausea) is that this sure is a funny moment in history to be electing a small-government, tax-cutting coalition.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I don't get is former SPD voters who stay home.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hostility to "communist" Link Partei, or "hippie" Greens, ie, accepting the common wisdom that these are unacceptable, extremist parties?

It should not apply to the Greens at all anymore (but maybe they are seen as jobs-unfriendly with the green policies?), but it might still prevent votes from going to Links?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:43:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greens are increasingly being seen as a party of relatively well-off urbanites with relatively little social competence.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:01:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Difficult question about "The Left".

I think it´s a mixture right now.

  • Some SPD members/voters probably are still angry about Lafontaine´s "departure".
  • In some/most West German states "The Left" consists mostly of former SPD members and union members so it seems unlikely that they themselves would be seen as extremist. Some "memory" of the old East German "SED" though probably still remains.
  • They wanted to establish the party everywhere in Germany as fast as possible. So in some regions the party organization includes (or included) a pretty high number of former (West German) communists. These small organized groups could get a majority locally. (And these remaining West German communists are hardcore.)

Anyway the Greens needed roughly 20 years. First outsiders, then coalition partners at state level. And finally coalition partners at federal level. Always with the SPD back then.
And now coalition partner with the CDU at local and state level too.

"The Left" are a pretty "new" party. Only a few years old. And there are already red-red coalitions in Eastern Germany at the state level. The next step might be one in Western Germany.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Understanding Linke is realizing there is not one house.  The west version is very different from the East version.  You could even make the argument that there's a third house, the LaFontaine house.  But i am certain that a great minority of their votes were protest votes.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The party has been in government for 11 years and hasn't waged the clearest of campaigns, so I do get it. As Jerome indicates, the Left is seen as either too extreme or as dirty because of implied ties to the former East German regime, and the Greens are positioning themselves as a bourgeouis party too much.

There's little motivation among SPD voters and little desire to go elsewhere, and apparently little organisational attention from the SPD to get people to vote.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:55:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still don't get why the part of the SPD electorate that dislikes the Greens and the Left Party for the reasons you name isn't at least afraid of the FDP.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously the FDP doesn't campaign on the things it intends to do to workers, and the other parties haven't done enough to communicate how bad a CDU/FDP government would be. The main thing the Greens campaigned on against 'Schwarz Gelb' was nuclear energy, and the Left were mainly playing up their own overton window effect, whereas the SPD campaign was unfocused.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lesser-evilism oly gets you so far. And if voting for the SPD will result in another Grand Coalition and Third-Way business-as-usual, why bother?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 04:17:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what the weather is like in Germany right now.  Sometimes low turnout can be explained by something as simple as rain or cold weather.  Particularly for elderly voters, and less so for those without vehicles.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was sunny. And there is actually an opposite effect common in Europe: on a sunny Sunday, people might rather go on a full-day excursion...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The weather's fantastic today.

At least something is.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A center-right alliance led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared on course for a narrow victory in Germany's national elections Sunday, potentially putting it in a position to relaunch Germany's stalled economic overhaul at a time of growing demands for Europe's biggest economy to do more for global growth.

Ms. Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union and its pro-business ally, the Free Democratic Party, were set to win a slim majority in Germany's lower house of parliament, according to early exit polls.

See - the WSJ says so...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:47:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is Josef Joffe. :)


"The national mood and the whole party spectrum has shifted to the left," says Josef Joffe, one of Germany's leading political commentators, who teaches international studies at Stanford University and publishes German weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

"Neither the FDP nor the CDU will attack the kind of issues that Germany needs to attack, to get off its sclerotic average economic growth of 1.5% in the last decade," Mr. Joffe says.

And yes, I can´t stand him! He´s a neo-con and an id*ot.
But I sure hope he is right here. :)

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:05:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it me, or doe sit look awful?
well, maybe Germany will not change policy after all, but I do not count on that.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:01:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Awful. And the updated projections don't look any better.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:09:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed... sad day... I just hope taht the Physics genius in merkel tell her not to change policy.... we will see.But what is your take (and the rest of the people with more knowledge?)

And to the SPD, never never never listen to anybody who tells you to dismantle a social safety net, never, never, they do not know what they are talking about. A lack of what they call efficiency can be much more efficient as a whole if it gives stability and redundancy to the system.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:55:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD, 20:54:

Party%+-
CDU/CSU33.7%-1.5
SPD23.1%-11.1
FDP14.6%+4.8
Left Party12.0%+3.3
Greens10.6%+2.5
Pirate Party1.9%+1.9

ZDF 21:00:

Party%+-
CDU/CSU33.8%-1.4
SPD23.1%-11.1
FDP14.6%+4.8
Left Party12.4%+3.7
Greens10.1%+2.0


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:47:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any seat projections?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:53:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD, 21:36:

PartySeats+-
CDU/CSU238+16
SPD148-73
FDP93+32
Left Party76+23
Greens67+16

(24 overhang mandates, thus 622 seats total)

ZDF 21:46:

PartySeats+-
CDU/CSU230+8
SPD148-73
FDP92+31
Left Party80+27
Greens64+13

(16 overhang mandates, thus 614 seats total)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:16:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, the ARD projection is 22:04. In the percentages, there were only changes of tenth percents.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:18:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And so ends the German sustainability experiment.  I blame corporate control of the media, as in amurka, and completely incompetent old people controlling the SPD.

This is really bitter and i have nothing intelligent to say.  Except beware of Guido Westerwelle, it's as if the Financial Times won the election.  I say that from the background of my ex-inlaws being FDP powers.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:17:16 PM EST
Westerwelle wants to follow in the footsteps of Genscher so he'll go to the Auswärtiges Amt. As for the sustainability experiment and all the rest, you can block a lot while being in the opposition. The parties on the left now have to look to May 2010 and try to get into the government again in NRW. They also have to try to form coalitions in Thuringia, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein.

In the end I think this election bodes worse for the rights of the German labourer and the privatisation of further public services than for the green sector.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CDU wants to cut photovoltaics feed-in rates, that much is already clear.

the rights of the German labourer and the privatisation of further public services

On this front, I wonder just how much hypocrisy the CSU will allow itself. (My guess: an incredible amount...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As we figured earlier, any major changes to the renewable energies law will have to go through the Landestag. Solar can bear a further cut as long as it's negotiated with the sector (and not a post-hoc cut on the existing capacity).

The CSU, at least, would also have to be hypocritical (and against the long-term interests of Bavaria) to go along with the CDU and FDP without objection.

My guess is that labour law will be up first, selling off the Deutsche Bahn afterwards (but they need a 'favourable market environment' for that). Plus the extention of the running time of the nuclear plants, they should try to get that in early, too.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:35:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
will have to go through the Landestag

Bundesrat, you meant. Ah, I forgot about that, even though IIRC I dug it up...

The CSU, at least, would also have to be hypocritical (and against the long-term interests of Bavaria) to go along with the CDU and FDP without objection.

But it will be funny (funny in a dark sense) if they want to play protector of the people against the FDP while their own little neolib is making policy as economy minister.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:39:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Landestag

eeehm... Bundesrat would be the right word...

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:39:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, the regional parliaments have relevance when it comes to zoning laws. So NRW will be crucial.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:41:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's just that i always include the "rights of the German labourer and the (non) privatisation of further public services" as a key part of my version of Green.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough, and I agree with you on that. I don't think this is the end, though. More an interruption.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the worse economic time for this, though. Germany is set at best for jobless recovery and at worse for deepening recession.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When bad things happen, it's always the Left's fault. So it won't be Germany's new overlords who get the blame.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:09:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To a large extent the SPD is at fault, so at least that part of the election result is understandable...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:12:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would think Westerwelle is bound to take the AA whatever his wishes may be because according to protocol that's the second-highest office after the Chancellorship. What kind of a figure this maturity-challenged opportunist will cut on the world stage is another story...

The new government will not go after workers' rights until after the NRW elections next May (that is, not if they care about getting the CDU-led coalition re-elected). Rüttgers works pretty hard at keeping up relations with labor and has declared himself a support of codetermination. Any move before them will both undercut CDU support and undermine Rüttgers' credibility personally.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:40:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I´m not a fan of Westerwelle. But I must admit I would like to see him visiting the USA and meeting with Republican politicians. :)
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:47:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I blame corporate control of the media, as in amurka, and completely incompetent old people controlling the SPD.

From the day the Schröderite old guard staged its coup against Beck, this was to be expected. The SPD demolished itself, and listening to that media was another symptom of their incompetence.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:24:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And i also blame the Greens for not taking advantage of the financial crisis.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:25:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they've allowed environmental issues to become lifestyle issues for a certain clientèle, one that hasn't been hurt too much by the GFC.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GFC?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:36:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great Financial Crisis?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:40:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great Financial Crisis.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:41:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global Financial Crisis
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 02:01:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like GCF better: Great Clusterfuck.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:23:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like it, though it sounds vaguely incestuous.

Although that is probably the point...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm heading off to a political meeting not tied to any particular party, will report back if i can learn anything.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:38:39 PM EST
The Stimmung here was beyond disappointed.  the most positive discussion was regarding how opposition will refine the points the left parties embrace.  the least positive was everyone pointing fingers.

To me, the mark of how bitter this was, was how early everyone was completely drunk, so i left early.

i was surprised at how many people understood how dangerous the FDP is, but then i live in Das Viertel.  But even the CDU speaker said that the results were an anomaly, and shouldn't be used to change every direction completely.  he was booed by his own people.

I still have nothing intelligent to say, other than the Bild-Zeitung should be outlawed, but then that would make me a fascist, so better i say nothing.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:45:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DER SPIEGEL had a photo report on the divison of posts between the FDP and CDU. In a potential government the FDP should get at least a third of the posts, which should shuffle things a bit.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 02:44:20 PM EST
My German nicht ist gut.  But from what I got, the FDP is going to be taking the economic ministries (finance, economics) and the foreign ministry foe Westerwelle.  Did I read that right?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:10:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorta. They won't get the economics and the finance ministry, either of those is probably going to the CSU's Von und Zu Guttenberg, and the other to the FDP.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:34:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, "Der Spiegel" was speculating.

Foreign ministry for Westerwelle though is a given.
But as "Der Spiegel" itself says it is unlikely that the FDP will get both "economic" ministries.

In the past they usually got the economics ministry.
Plus justice and 1-2 less important ones.
Of course back then they never got 14% or so. So they might insist on more this time.

Finance would be "free" now since Steinbrück is SPD. But normally finance is seen as more important than economics so the larger party would be reluctant to give it up.

On the other hand a FDP finance minister might help Merkel? Depending on who gets it of course.
Even a FDP finance minister might be more interested in getting closer to a balanced budget = less debt. And so might be reluctant to agree to large tax cuts.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:39:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus justice and 1-2 less important ones.

To give the devils their due, they have a history of being less authoritarian than CDU. If one of them could supplant Schäuble at Interior I would count that as an improvement.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:48:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, but let's remember that the FDP justice minister preventing the Großer Lauschangriff [for others: a wide-reaching law on permitting eavesdropping on people, including journalists, priests and doctors, from the late Kohl era] was a dissident within her party with her opinion...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A yes, she of the many-lettered last name.

To be fair, she could be characterized as representing a recognized minority opinion in her party rather than as a dissident, seeing as she had Gerhard Baum and Burkhard Hirsch in her corner.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here I hope the "Spiegel" speculation turns out right and she returns to the justice ministry.
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even a FDP finance minister might be more interested in getting closer to a balanced budget = less debt. And so might be reluctant to agree to large tax cuts.

So, massive social spending cuts on the horizon?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Difficult to answer but personally I´d say no.

The CDU (and CSU in Bavaria) have seen what happened to the SPD after Schroeder´s reforms. And they know the same could happen to them if they initiate massive social spending cuts. I´m not sure they´re willing to risk that.

What I would expect:

  • Some small "cosmetic" tax cuts sometime in 2010/11
  • A promise to cut taxes further as soon as the situation (economy, budget) allows

Basically a "yes we want to cut taxes but right now the budget situation doesn´t allow it".
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 06:42:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, everybody's going to be talking about the SPD meltdown, but as German broadcaster ARD noted, the CDU/CSU achieved its second-worse showing in history. And apparently the lion's share of that goes to Bavaria, where the CSU came in at 41 percent - which for Bavaria is a historical result.

One commentator in the "Elefantenrunde" TV discussion of party heads made a remark about the CDU trying to be the "better FDP" in the final days of the election, i.e. pushing for tax cuts. Which makes sense - as the Dems in the US could tell them (had they the insight), when faced with a policy and a "policy lite", voters will always vote for the real thing.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:31:06 PM EST
the CDU trying to be the "better FDP" in the final days of the election, i.e. pushing for tax cuts.

Sorry to correct you again, but didn't you mean the CSU? :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:40:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh shit. Of course I do. Thanks.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is going on? How can the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, caused by neoliberal economic policies and a finance-led asset bubble, result in one electoral victory after another for the right wing?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:43:08 PM EST
Because the center-left already discredited themselves and couldn't give a coherent criticism, while the hard left couldn't step up to take its place.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 03:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the center-left already discredited themselves and couldn't give a coherent criticism,, while the hard left couldn't step up to take its place.

So what goes on?  Liberalism a la FDP isn't sustainable.  While it's true that Germans have a whole hell of a lot of social safety net to burn before they get themselves into the position that Americans find themselves, it's a possibility.

And this is true basically everywhere.  Certainly in the USA.  When you have no coherent Left alternative, what happens?  

Part of the answer seems to be that initially be that people withdraw from politics.  Europe seems to be at where the US was twenty years ago in that sense.

But now in the US, people are reengaged, and still things stall along.

What happens when their is no possibility for change within the given system of politics, and pressures are building up for change within it?  Rupture and reformation of a new democratic regime?  Authoritarianism?  Something else?

I need to get to Hannah Arendt, but I believe that some of Harvey's (the guy behind a  brief history of neo-liberalism) more academic stuff gets into how liberalism turns authoritarian when it starts hitting these walls it can't deal with.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:06:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm about ready to give up on the Party of European Socialists for a "coherent Left alternative", but where does that leave us? With a European People's Party permanent majority.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ever heard of sewer socialism?

With the creation of the Socialist Party of America, this group formed the core of an element which favored Democratic socialism over Orthodox Marxism, deemphasizing social theory and revolutionary rhetoric and in favor of honest government and efforts to improve public health. The Sewer Socialists fought to clean up what they saw as "the dirty and polluted legacy of the Industrial Revolution,"[3] cleaning up neighborhoods and factories with new sanitation systems, city-owned water and power systems, and improved education. The movement has its origins in the organization of the Social Democratic Party, a precursor to the Socialist Party of America.

In this US, the profusion of levels of government means that if you don't win on national level you can fight locally.

I have to wonder whether the Left has to be redeemed at the local level before there can be national Left alone an international Left.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
should have been a national left let alone and international left.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ManfromMiddletown:
Part of the answer seems to be that initially be that people withdraw from politics.

This was the lowest participation in a German federal election, right?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 06:25:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. The 77% four years ago was already a record low. Now it's down to 71%.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 07:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WHat is most remarkable is that the social safety nets are in large part the result of the response to the Great Depression. And 80 years later here we are staring at the possibility of a repeat and what do we do? Vote into government people who would gladly dismantle the social safety net.

Not that the Social Democrats haven't been busy doing it for the better part of this decade.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 06:35:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
while the hard left couldn't step up to take its place.

And them being a bunch of unreconstructed commies (in Germany I don't know, at least they're that here at home).

Sucks to be a Keynesian today, with such friends as the hard left, who needs enemies...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:19:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who are you calling a Keynesian? Not the SPD, I hope...

The thing is, with the Social Democrats having adopted the neoliberal economic consensus since the "Third Way" of 15 years ago, they are part of the cause of the crisis.

At least the FDP has not been in power while the CDU and the SPD implemented its economic ideology so they have some sort of plausible deniability...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:22:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who are you calling a Keynesian?
Myself. And you, I guess.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does that make us crass?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:38:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shrill, perhaps. Supposedly.

W(h)ither the Left is well worth a separate diary.

It's the most important question now.

When Keynes is seen as some kind of wacky tripped-out hippy extremist by the so-called Official Left, politics has gone far beyond plain dysfunction into outright suicidal insanity.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:14:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Keynes they know about so they can denounce him. But to me the fact that John Stuart Mill, a well-off mid-19th century English liberal that nobody bothers to criticize because they don't know about him, is noticeably to the left of present-day European Social Democrats has been scaring the bejeezus out of me for some time now.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:18:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Keynes wasn't a Socialist, either...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:23:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, he wasn't.

The way Krugman puts it, it's remarkable what the conventional wisdom says about Keynes...

Keynes did not, despite what you may have heard, want the government to run the economy. He described his analysis in his 1936 masterwork, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money," as "moderately conservative in its implications." He wanted to fix capitalism, not replace it. But he did challenge the notion that free-market economies can function without a minder, expressing particular contempt for financial markets, which he viewed as being dominated by short-term speculation with little regard for fundamentals. And he called for active government intervention -- printing more money and, if necessary, spending heavily on public works -- to fight unemployment during slumps.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:28:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Mill was friendly towards some sort of socialism, in fact he considred himself a socialist of some sort, if I'm not mistaken. In fact I have the general impression that he can be considered some sort of ancestral influence on British socialism...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:32:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did write about Mill's opinions on socialism here on ET.
We are too ignorant either of what individual agency in its best form, or Socialism in its best form, can accomplish, to be qualified to decide which of the two will be the ultimate form of human society.

If a conjecture may be hazarded, the decision will probably depend mainly on one consideration, viz. which of the two systems is consistent with the greatest amount of human liberty and spontaneity.

I believe he correctly predicted the way in which "real socialism" would fail in this respect in the 20th Century by degenerating into totalitarianism.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:41:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Léon Walras was a socialist, too. He was in avour of the nationalization of land and he actively promoted the co-operative movement.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 06:50:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that Walrus considered himself a gradualist socialist it is highly ironic that he is probably best known today for the neo-classicals who resort to the IS-LM model and invoke Walrus' Law to avoid having to provide a real model of the labor markets. (The assumption is that if the capital and the goods markets are in equilibrium, then, per Walrus' Law, the labor markets must also be in equilibrium.) A socialist who comes to be known for providing justification for ignoring labor markets!  Steve Keen has written interesting posts that deal with the subject recently.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 11:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"The time has come," Walras said
"To talk of many things:
Of stocks--and bonuses--and default swaps--
Of green shoots--and CEOs--
And why the market is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 12:00:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The time has come", Herr Walrus said,
"To speak of many things,
Of default swaps and CDOs,
Of bonuses and CEOs,
And why the market is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."...

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 12:44:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Those sweetwater people apparently don't even know anything about Keynes either.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 02:44:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the FDP wants to continue everything which led to the crises, and with new clothing, continue the amalgamation of banking power.  Guido and the FDP are the Siemens party.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed -- the SPD at least made a half-backward on neolib policies since, the FDP wants to run further. I fear for their ideas about the German Railways...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:56:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why the FDP shouldn't have gained in this election, but they did. What does the German electorate know that we don't?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:01:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You shouldn't interpret the FDP's percentages on its own terms. A large part of that is CDU voters fed up with having to coalition with the SPD.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:25:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact the CDU and the FDP were fighting over this on election night. (Maybe someone who had the stomach to watch the Elefantenrunde can comment more, I only read it in articles.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:27:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plausible deniability.

It's not about whether their policies have been tried or not. It's about them being able to claim that their policies have not been tried. All they need is a sufficiently big fig leaf that their tame newsies can keep a straight face while they pretend to take their insanity as wisdom.

And if you pay your tame newsies enough, "sufficiently big" is very small indeed.

But hey, at least Siemens make trains that actually run. That's still better than what the Italians and Americans have to show for their lunatic far-right parties...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The social democrats and centre left, having gradually given in to economic-liberal ideas, are all at sea with no analysis of the situation, while the harder left still falls back substantially on what are older views and is unable to appear to offer anything new.

The masses of salary and wage-earners are adrift with no offer of a complete, hope-bearing narrative from the left. Large numbers of them are tempted to take the only ideology in town, and believe that yet more economic liberalism is what's needed to move ahead and reach the good life.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they believe it's all downhill from here and each-man-for-himself offers them the better chance to sink or swim, because the alternative is to solidarily sink all together.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:15:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The greens are not doing badly lately, in France. And some branches of their party do offer a quite coherent left wing narrative.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:27:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the same reason that Hoover would have had a fair chance of winning in the summer of 1930, had there been an election then and not in 1932.

We haven't seen 20 % real unemployment in Europe yet. When we do (and we will if we keep electing far-right lunatics), there'll be a landslide. Either to the left or to the even farther right.

Our job is to make sure that the neo-Nazis (whatever their guises) are whacked rather firmly over the head whenever they show up. As long as we can do that - and keep doing that - things'll break our way eventually.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:32:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, I failed that...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:49:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where there is life there is hope. They haven't taken over the apparatus of the state yet, have they?

And there's always the option of federal intervention if a country goes Mississippi Burning on us. So we have a backstop in the EU that we didn't have the last time around. We don't yet know how effective that backstop would be, and I'd rather we never had to learn, but it's nice to have it all the same.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, how about italy?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:06:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not a state, it's non-consensual performance art.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like statutory rape...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:45:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy is... well, Italy.

Still, much as I find Corruptioni scary, I think he's more of a mafiosi than a brownshirt. He does not strike me as someone who is bent on making a revolution.

Most importantly (mafia connections aside), he doesn't seem to have a cadre of organised, violent thugs as part of his party machinery. And that's really the distinguishing characteristic of fascism, as opposed to general xenophobic far-right, anti-people, pro-fatcat assholes like Corruptioni.

Plus, while Corruptioni may be hard on the Italian people, he's not going to seriously export his racket to the rest of Europe; I wouldn't trust his gang to organise a drinking party in a distillery, nevermind stage a continent-wide revolution. Le Pen and Jobbik, OTOH, are just barely bright enough that they might be able to do that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there any official results out yet somewhere over the interwebs?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:11:32 PM EST
Official results site:

http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/

Right now 270 out of 299 districts are reporting. It should be near 99% soon.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:31:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless some precints in Saxony are still outstanding, it seems the Pirate Party (1.9%) really beat the Neo-Nazis of the NPD (1.4%), though not the combination of the three far-right parties (1.4+0.5+0.1 = 2%). The only other sub-5% dwarf of note is the undead Animal ProtectionParty (0.6%).

For JakeS: the creationists of the also undead Party of Bible-Faithful Christians scored 0.1% (40,000 votes at this stage of counting).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately it seems that Cem didn't get his direct mandate in Stuttgart, Ströbele still seems to be the only one for the greens.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apart from fighting against surveillance and for free intertubes, I think an important role for the pirates will be to have the better "a vote for us is a vote against the establishment" story. Quite a large part of the far-rights votes is more from general discontent with the people in charge then from actual support for the far-rights policies.

Those voters deserve a better alternative.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 06:42:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The official results are on the site of the Bundeswahlleiter.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:33:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For Brandenburg, check the regional election site. As of now, 3,281 out of 3,644 precints were counted.

Again focusing on what goes on below the 5% limit:

  • NPD 2.6% (all new; 5 years ago, the 3 far-right partiesagreed to not run against each other, but now the NPD wanted and did take over)
  • Free Voters (localists) 1.7% (all new)
  • DVU (far-right, "völkisch" version) 1.2% (-4.9)
...
* Republicans (also far-right, tax-cut version) 0.2% (all new)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:51:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears that the CDU actually lost votes from the last election.  The FDP, Greens, and Left all gained.

So overall, a leftward shift in the electorate resulted in a rightward shift in government.  I wonder how much of the right-coalition's gains came from the constituency seats and how much from the lists.

by tyronen on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:57:17 PM EST
On the economy, as well as the environment, the FDP is far away to the right of the CDU/CSU.

I wonder how much of the right-coalition's gains came from the constituency seats and how much from the lists.

The percents posted are for the lists.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 06:03:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Preliminary end result, down to every dwarf party that achieved at least 0.1%in this or the 2005 elections:

Party%+-  Seats+-
Turnout70.81%-6.84622+11
CDU/CSU33.80%-1.37239+17
 CDU27.27%-0.51194+18
 CSU6.53%-0.8645-1
SPD23.04%-11.21146-75
FDP14.56%+4.7393+32
Left Party11.89%+3.1876+23
Greens10.70%+2.5968+17
Pirate Party1.95%+1.951-1
NPD (neo-Nazis)1.47%-0.12--
Animal Protection Party0.53%+0.30--
Republicans (tax-cut far-right)0.45%-0.12--
ödp (ecologists)0.31%+0.31--
Family Party0.28%-0.13--
RRP (pensioners)0.23%--
Rentner (pensioners)0.13%--
RRP+Rentner vs. Greys0.36-0.06--
BP (Bavarian nationalists)0.11%+0.04--
DVU ("völkisch" far-right)0.11%+0.11--
PBC (creationists)0.09%-0.14--
BüSo (civil rightists)0.09%+0.01--
Violets (spiritualists)0.07%+0.07--
MLPD (Marxist-Leninists)0.07%-0.03--

(As before, I compared percentages to the 2005 elections, but seats to the final state of the outgoing Bundestag.)

(The outgoing single MP of the Pirate Party was aman resigning from the SPD after police found pedophilic material in his home. He claimed it was for a private investigation, an explanation accepted by the PP but with no evidence accepted by courts.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 02:47:51 AM EST
Party%+-Seats+-
Turnout73.5%+6.995+24
CDU31.5%-8.634+4
SPD25.4%-13.225-4
FDP14.9%+8.315+11
Greens12.4%+6.212+8
Left Party6.0%+5.25+5
SSW (Danish minority, left-leaning)4.3%+0.74+2
Pirate Party1.8%+1.8--
Free Voters (localists)1.0%+1.0--
NPD (neo-Nazis)0.9%-1.0--

That's a majority of one for CDU+FDP, pending the challenge to the local election rules (for the overhang mandates that helped the CDU).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 03:03:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PartyShare of vote+-Seats+-
Turnout67.5%+11.188+/-0
SPD33.0%+1.131-2
Left Party27.2%-0.826-3
CDU19.8%+0.419-1
FDP7.2%+3.97+7
Greens5.6%+2.05+5
NPD (neo-Nazis)2.5%+2.5--
Free Voters (localists)1.7%+1.7--
DVU ("völkisch" far-right)1.2%-4.9--6

PM Platzeck left it open whether he wants
to continue the Grand Coalition with the CDU or ally with the Left Party this time. Given that the federal SPD was left with one place to exert power, the federal upper house (Bundesrat, which consists of representatives of the regional governments of the 16 federal states), the second choice would be advisable (with a Grand Coalition, Brandenburg would be forced to abstain on issues the CDU and SPD disagree on).

The combined 3.96% for the three far-right parties (the two listed and the 0.2% for Republicans), who ended their strategic alliance in not running against each other, is a welcome drop, but still not reassuring. What should matter is whether the most extremist but dominant of them, the NPD, can maintain its local grass-roots presence. (Unless I am mistaken, with 2.5%, they'll get state funding...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 03:27:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What a fitting andhair-raising photo...

(That's Guido Westerwelle, boss of the FDP and likely future foreign minister)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 03:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I expected, the biggest movement was not between parties, but SPD voters staying home. From ARD:

  • CDU/CSU: won 0.62 million voters from SPD, lost 1.11 million to FDP, 0.92 million to non-voters.

  • SPD: lost 1.64 million to non-voters, 0.78 million to the Left Party, 0.71 million to the Greens, 0.62 to the CDU/CSU, 0.43 million to the FDP, and even to "others" 0.27 million.

  • FDP: gains from others thanthe two big parties were miniscule (20,000 from Greens, 10,000 from Left Party???), while 120,000 went non-voter.

  • Greens: apart from the big gain from the SPD, 70,000 from the SPD; but 150,000 went to other parties (Pirates?), 110,000 to the Left Party, and 20,000 each to the FDP and non-voters.

  • Left Party: apart from the center-left gains mentioned, 70,000 from the CDU/CSU. This time, there was no mobilisation of extra non-voters like in 2005 -- butthe Left Party was the only one not losing voters to non-voters either.

Note that within the CDU/CSU block, the Bavarian CSU was the biiiig loser: they got 42.6% in Bavaria, far away from their "norm" of absolute majority, and are now far smaller than the FDP at the federal level.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 03:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
SPD voters staying home are a vote of no-confidence from faithful SPD sympathisers.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 04:19:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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