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NRW Elections Diary

by dvx Mon May 10th, 2010 at 05:08:50 AM EST

A continuation of this diary.

UPDATE: Preliminary results for the parties obtaining seats:

PartyList voteChangeSeatsChange
Turnout/total59.32%-3.66181-6
CDU (Christian Democrat)34.56%-10.2867-22
SPD (Social Democrats)34.48%-2.6267-7
Greens12.12%+5.9523+11
FDP ([neo]liberals)6.73%+0.5713+1
Left Party (Socialist)†5.60%+2.5111+11

Front-paged with update by afew


We are going to see a lot of post-mortems in the next few days.

If it should prove (as I suspect) that a significant part of the CDU's loss is due to the Greece bailout, then Merkel has made one of the most spectacular political miscalculations in recent political history: by delaying the bailout she not only made the international financial situation much graver than it needed to be, but was forced to accept the inevitability of a bailout at the worst possible moment in terms of her own political situation.

Display:
I have not been able to find out how many votes the far-right xenophobe party polled, but they seem to be fairly insignificant.

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 May 9th, 2010 at 04:26:36 PM EST
We'll see when the official site releases the preliminary results... they don't include small parties in the advance constituency results.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 04:33:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, only on the map! But in the constituency tables, it's there. For example Duisburg III: Pro-NRW (the xenophobes) 3.8% (more than the FDP at 3.5%), Pirates 1.6%.

In Aachen I however, it's Greens 20.0%, FDP 7.4%, Left Party 5.5%, Pirates 4.2%, pro-NRW 0.8%.

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

by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:00:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Duisburg I@: pro NRW on 4.6%...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:02:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting. While pro NRW's results in the individual constituencies have a wild variation between 0.5% and 5%, the neo-Nazi NPD seems rather stable around 1% across the state.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aw shit. The preliminary results match ARD's last projection.

PartyList voteChangeSeatsChange
Turnout/total59.32%-3.66181-6
CDU (Christian Democrat)34.56%-10.2867-22
SPD (Social Democrats)34.48%-2.6267-7
Greens12.12%+5.9523+11
FDP ([neo]liberals)6.73%+0.5713+1
Left Party (Socialist)†5.60%+2.5111+11
Pirates (data freedom)1.54%+1.540+/-0
pro NRW (xenophobes)1.38%+1.380+/-0
NPD (neo-Nazi far-right)0.72%-0.180+/-0
Animal Protection Party0.62%+0.540+/-0
Pensioners0.50%+0.500+/-0
Family0.41%+0.360+/-0
Republicans (tax-cut far-right)0.30%-0.510+/-0
BIG (immigrants)0.18%-2.030+/-0
The Party (satirical magazine joke)0.13%+0.120+/-0
PBC (creationists)0.12%+0.040+/-0
Plebiscite (direct democracy far-right)0.10%+0.100+/-0
ödp (conservative Green)0.10%-0.090+/-0
† In 2005, Left Party progenitors PDS and WASG ran separately, getting 0.89% and 2.21%.

The combined far-right (pro NRW, NPD, Rep, Plebiscite) is 2.50% (+0.79).

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

by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, to repeat from last night in more detail:

  1. Red-Green (SPD+Greens): one short of majority, would be possible as minority government with Left Party outside support, but a leader of the latter was negative on it
  2. Black-Green (CDU+Greens): one short of majority
  3. Grand Coalition (CDU+SPD): would have comfortable majority
  4. Red-Red-Green (SPD+Left Party+Greens): would have majority, but SPD against
  5. Traffic Lights (SPD+FDP+Greens): would have majority, but NRW FDP strongly against the other two and vice versa
  6. Jamaica (CDU+FDP+Greens): would have majority, but NRW FDP and Greens incompatible

If I am a pessimist (from my political point of view), this is heading for a Grand Coalition. If I am an optimist, maybe the Greens can get the SPD swallow some level of cooperation with the Left Party.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:26:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Franz Walter is a senior political scientist close to the Greens. In the past year or two, I noted him as one of the public figures laying the ideological foundation for (and implicitly advocating) Black-Green coalitions as a Green option.

Now in the SPIEGEL, Walter writes about an emotional revival for Red-Green in the populace, with the CDU's scare tactics no more working and Harz-IV blamed only on Schröder, Clement and Münte; reminiscences how the partners in NRW are much more ready for each other than back in the nineties (under Wolfgang "coal lobby" Clement) -- and ends with the suggestion that, would Red-Green see itself as a project, then they should now open and expand the Red [meaning: to the Left Party).

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

by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:08:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The last few years saw the full emergence of a five part system (Fünfparteiensystem) in Germany: the federal parliament and most regional parliaments consist of the big CDU/CSU and SPD and the smaller FDP, Greens and the Left Party. This is a Reunification prcess: the Left Party spread in the West, and the Greens in the East. The exceptions that remain:

  • Left Party: Bavaria, Baden-Württenberg, Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Greens: Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  • FDP: Hamburg

As polls stand, the exceptions could reduce to one state for each small party next year (when Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württenberg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern vote).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 11th, 2010 at 04:35:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Piraten keeps the position of biggest outside parliament that they acquired in the Bundestag elections. Good for them.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 10:39:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Votes for a satirical magazine joke party actually count?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 03:39:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they were denied the ballot in the federal elections... and called for a vote for the Pirates.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 03:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cool.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 03:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since this is NRW,

I guess a joke party was okay with them.

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

by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 05:57:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greens above 20% in Münster I, Bielefeld, Bonn. Left Party above 10% in Duisburg III (also the place where the CDU got least, 21.2%), and near it in -- Bielefeld. Now that in Bielefeld, is not a usual correlation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 04:31:52 PM EST
We may have a result soon -- only Cologne and Dortmund still counting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 04:49:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Cologne (six constituencies) is still counting...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 06:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now all constituencies are reporting, but, for some reason, the statewide result is still not released (recounts?). I'll call it a day.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 07:56:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...but not before noting that four Cologne districts posted the highest vote for the Greens (with 26.9% in Cologne III, they beat the CDU for second place behind SPD), and some ultra-low numbers for NPD (but pro NRW is still 2-3%).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 07:59:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 10pm result in the diary is the projection of public television ARD (second public television ZDF's 21:45 projection sees the SPD ahead).

But, as I predicted in the diary, the balance began to move back in the next projection:
CDU 34.6%
SPD 34.5%
Greens 12.1%
FDP 6.8%
Left Party 5.5%

Still, in seats, a Grand Coalition is the only two-party coalition with a majority:
CDU 67
SPD 67
Greens 23
FDP 13
Left Party 11


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

by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 04:43:48 PM EST
Now CDU and SPD level again.
CDU 34.5%
SPD 34.5%
Greens 12.1%
FDP 6.8%
Left Party 5.6%

Seats unchanged.

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

by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 04:51:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD sees CDU ahead again.

CDU 34.6%
SPD 34.5%
Greens 12.1%
FDP 6.7%
Left Party 5.6%

seats unchanged. As for ZDF, they still see SPD ahead:

CDU 34.5%
SPD 34.6%
Greens 12.1%
FDP 6.7%
Left Party 5.6%

Their seat projection however is now identical to ARD's. No Red-Green then?... So the SPD's identity crisis can start again.

In the election TV shows, commentators emphasized that the SPD may have barred the option of a tripartite left-wing coalition, but not that of a Red-Green minority government with Left Party support. So will they pick that, or a Grand Coalition? (As for other tripartite variations, I don't think any of them are realistic in NRW.)

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

by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 06:16:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The FT already has that spin:


Voters rebuke Merkel for Greek loan

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was facing a bruising defeat on Sunday in a critical regional election after widespread public anger over her decision to lend money to Greece.

So is the rebuke about lending money, or about lending it too late?
The narrative here matters a lot, as it's about what kind of Europe the Germans want!

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:29:02 PM EST
There are a lot of narratives fighting here. I don't think I am cynical if I think most of public opinion doesn't want to give the money. But the SPD would like to emphasize that their abstention was about lack of financial controls and bank responsibility going with the money. And the election winners in NRW want to emphasize that the result has nothing to do with Greece, while the losers claim the opposite.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:34:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The "lending" should have come directly from the ECB, making the question of whether and when Germany should lend irrelevant. But nobody's talking about this.

When there is a run on a bank, the Central Bank may decide to intervene. When there is a run on a country, the Central Bank may not?

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:38:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greece must be destroyed in order to rebuild it to fulfill our plan of a world of trade surpluses.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:50:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We have always been at war against Undue Regul... A few bad appl...Greek profligacy.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 10:37:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it really at all conceivable that people voted to punish Merkel for not bailing out Greece sooner?  Granted, I don't live there, but that strikes me as the kind of sentiment you don't come across much in politics.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 05:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Being seen as indecisive and dithering is always a bad thing. Also it does not need a lot of insight to come to the conclusion that the government had a shit-sandwich prepared, but wanted to wait after the election to serve it.
by generic on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 07:01:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From watching German TV Greece wasn´t a "major" issue. At least if election analysts are right.

They say it was a combination of local issues (education, unemployment, CDU scandals) plus general dissatisfaction with the (federal) Merkel government.
Here they cite the FDP problems (Westerwelle and "Roman decadence", donations from hotel owners and tax cuts for hotels) and the feeling that Merkel doesn´t seem to be in control of the coalition government.
Greece probably played a role when coupled with the "not in control" feeling.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 06:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The gutter press - normally reliable CDU boosters - has been waging a vicious campaign against aid for Greece. So a lot of those people probably (we'll need to see the polling data) stayed away or voted SPD.

Of course, if Merkel had bit the bullet 3 weeks ago, she would have had some breathing room in which to reconcile her disgruntled voters.

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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:52:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are reports that the CDU was hit mostly by abstention, and that in its rural bases.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 01:42:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I can see that.

Simply not going to the polls between church and the Sunday skat game in the pub.

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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clear winner on the night...

Please forgive my ignorance : if the SPD/Greens don't get an absolute majority, is there any reason they can't form a minority administration? The odds of the Linke joining the CDU to vote them down would seem remote...

Are there constitutional obstacles to this, or what? A "grand coalition" would surely be suicidal for the SPD.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 06:31:38 PM EST
The odds of the Linke joining the CDU to vote them down would seem remote...

Why? They could bet on new elections, or a better offer in another round of coalition talks.

One of the Left Party's designated double-head declared an hour ago that he doesn't support the minority government option, he wants government responsibility for his party. The SPD won't escape its identity crisis, it seems.

A "grand coalition" would surely be suicidal for the SPD.

Unfortunately, being suicidal was the normal mode for the SPD over the past five years...

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

by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 07:53:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would say it is a matter of political tradition. Germany has a strong tradition of majority government, which also means that Die Linke may very well vote down the government if they have not a deal with it.

Or as least that is how I understand it.

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

by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 03:47:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Essentially true. There was one case where a Red/Green minority government in Saxony was able to govern with the tacit acceptance of the PDS, but that is the only case ever AFAIK.

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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 04:44:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An SPD minority government tolerated by Joschka Fischer's troops preceded Germany's first Red-Green coalition in Hessen. Wikipedia names some other examples, I find one longer-lived: Richard von Weizsäcker's FDP-tolerated CDU minority government in Berlin, also in the eighties.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 01:49:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mike's minion: Merkel's CDU Gets Worst Post-War Result as Greece Derails Vote

With Merkel's Christian Democrats unexpectedly beaten into second place in a state election in North Rhine-Westphalia, the way is open for the opposition Social Democrats to take control of the state government in Dusseldorf, television projections showed. If confirmed, that would rob Merkel of her majority in the upper chamber, the Bundesrat, undermining her ability to cut taxes and extend the lifespan of nuclear-power plants.

Officials in Merkel's CDU blamed the party's showing on German loans for Greece of as much as 22.4 billion euros ($28.8 billion) passed by parliament on May 7 in the face of public opposition. Merkel was criticized at home and abroad for first refusing to rush to aid Greece, then pressing lawmakers to back Germany's contribution to a 110 billion-euro lifeline....

Hermann Groehe, general secretary of Merkel's party, in a ZDF television interview, attributed the loss in North Rhine- Westphalia to "concerns over the stability of the euro and the situation in Greece." The state's defeated CDU prime minister, Juergen Ruettgers, also blamed Greece for the results.

Read more...



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 06:34:29 PM EST
Officials in Merkel's CDU blamed the party's showing on German loans for Greece

And if the losers say so, it must be the truth.

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

by DoDo on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 07:54:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I was giving the English-language sources a benefit of doubt here. But checking some news this morning, for example SPIEGEL's article on the weakening of Merkel, I don't find any officials of the CDU blaming Greece. They all chose a more general talk about the bad start of the federal government, with focus on the tax cut conflict with the FDP. (The SPIEGEL article mentions Greece only as an additional trouble for Merkel's government.)

So, as Detlef indicated, this Greece meme in the English-language media is totally overblown.

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

by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:34:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure we're entirely done here. I think this might receive more attention in the postmortems:

Wahl in Nordrhein-Westfalen: Schwarz-Gelb abgewählt - Wahl in NRW - Politik - FAZ.NET
Vielmehr übernahm der nordrhein-westfälische Integrationsminister Armin Laschet (CDU) das Wort.Instead, North Rhine-Westphalian integration minister Armin Laschet (CDU) spoke for is party.
Laschet gab der Bundespartei eine Mitschuld an den herben Verlusten seiner Partei. Die nordrhein-westfälische CDU habe zwar eigene Fehler gemacht, aber auch keine Rückendeckung aus Berlin erhalten. In den vergangenen Tagen habe sich die Debatte wegen der Griechenland-Krise kaum noch um landespolitische Themen gedreht.Laschet assigned the national party organization a portion of the blame for his party's bitter losses. Although the NRW CDU had made mistakes of its own, he said, it received no backup from Berlin. In recent days, the debate had virtually ignored state-level political issues on account of the Greece 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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 04:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, Merkel's reaction to the election was in line with the focus on the FDP's tax cut madness:

Reaktion auf NRW-Wahl: Merkel streicht Steuersenkungen bis 2012 - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - PolitikReaction to the NRW election: Merkel cancels tax cuts until 2012 - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - Politics
...Ungewohnt deutlich gab die CDU-Chefin dann zu, dass die Union in NRW eine deftige Niederlage einstecken musste. Daran sei die schwarz-gelbe Bundesregierung nicht schuldlos, räumte sie bei dem Auftritt mit dem abgestraften Rüttgers ein: "Aus Berlin kam kein Rückenwind, sondern in den ersten Monaten sogar Gegenwind." Unverblümt sprach Merkel aus: "Alles in allem ein bitterer Tag gestern, eine herbe Niederlage."...Then, the CDU boss admitted with unusual clarity that the NRW CDU had to suffer a hefty defeat. In that, the black-yellow [CDU/CSU-FDP] federal government was not without guilt, she conceded in a joint appearance with the voter-punished Rüttgers: "There was no tailwind from Berlin, what's more, in the first months, even a headwind." Merkel put it bluntly: "All told a bitter day yesterday, a harsh defeat."
Aus der Schlappe an Rhein und Ruhr will die Kanzlerin nun die Konsequenzen ziehen. " Steuersenkungen werden auf absehbarer Zeit nicht durchsetzbar sein", sagte sie. "Das gilt für die Haushalte 2011 und 2012." Das heiße, "dass die Konsolidierung des Haushaltes Vorrang haben und Priorität haben wird". In den nächsten vier Wochen werde es dazu "entscheidende Weichenstellungen im Haushalt" geben.The chancellor now wants to draw consequences from the rout along on Rhein and Ruhr. "It won't be possible to push through tax cuts in the foreseeable future", she told. "This applies to the 2011 and 2012 budgets." That means "that the consolidation of the budget has and will have priority". With regard to this, there will be "decisive settings of the course in the budget" in the next four weeks.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:26:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's another example of Konsolidierung (funding) being translated as consolidation.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:29:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm? I may be misunderstanding the connotations of the English words here -- both "consolidation" and "funding". I take "consolidation" to mean to make solid, i.e. in effect make sustainable and stable by reducing the deficit.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:33:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. They can forget about tax cuts (I'm not sure the CDU states would have gotten in line on that, NRW or no).

Other things that are now out of reach are major changes in healthcare and extending the operating periods of nuclear power plants.

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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:43:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right after the elections, I was certain (and wrote on ET) that the CDU will play the FDP for fools and first delay the tax cuts in the coalition agreement, then find changed circumstances as reason to shelve them. But I was mistaken, Merkel gave in to introduce some of those cuts already before the NRW elections, and this playing the FDP for fools had too high a price for the CDU and Merkel personally.

extending the operating periods of nuclear power plants.

Speaking of that, a Green MP just got the government to put together a statistic for her, which shows clearly that older plants have more security-relevant incidents -- negating the government argument for extending lifespans.

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

by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:55:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
this playing the FDP for fools had too high a price for the CDU and Merkel personally.

Yes. And I'm definitely going to have to reassess Merkel. I too thought she was more astute than that.

This would never have happened to Helmut.

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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 03:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this Greece meme in the English-language media is totally overblown

So, no Greek effect either way on this election?

That was certainly worth wrecking the Euro for! Murkle must be pleased with herself.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 06:40:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think "no effect" would be the other extreme; but either way, Merkel blew it big time.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 01:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's in pretty much every headline I've seen here - I presume it's the wire agency spin. The idea that it might be anything else - unconstitutionally screwing with unemployment supports for instance - isn't admissible.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 07:06:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first take-away is that the FDP (so strange that Der Spiegel continues to punctuate FDP with either "pro-business" or "business-friendly" as if the other parties were what, anti-business, not as friendly, or frikin "socialist," or do they mean hotel tax relief friendly or what, i don't know, but surely Der Spiegel must have a reason for dictating to their minions that all written articles must contain the phrase business friendly, where was i?) o yeah.

the take-away is that the FDP got phucked.  if we don't analyze too deeply, it's almost as if there was some intelligence to the electorate.

It's a sweet feeling to see the resurgent strength of the Greens.  Imagine what might have occurred if the Greens had a coherent economic policy.

Expect E.on, RWE and the other political parties in NRW to go on a new offensive.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sun May 9th, 2010 at 08:22:40 PM EST
I think this has to count as the most prescient comment from the predecessor thread:

DoDo:

Walking into the Ypsilanti trap, IMO.

Shorthand for:

Andrea Ypsilanti - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Before the 2008 election, Ypsilanti had promised on many occasions to never work together with the Left Party. However, after a "grand coalition" with the CDU was ruled out, Ypsilanti ultimately decided to cooperate with the Left Party in order to be elected prime minister and overcome the deadlock. The first attempt was abandoned after Dagmar Metzger, one of her own party's representatives in the Landtag, declared she would not vote for Ypsilanti.

A second attempt to elect Ypsilanti prime minister was scheduled for 4 November 2008. However, one day prior to the election, three other SPD representatives - Carmen Everts, Silke Tesch, and Jürgen Walter (vice chairman of the Hesse SPD) - also announced that they would vote against her, making it impossible for Ypsilanti to gain the needed majority. This, in turn, forced the dissolution of the Landtag and the scheduling of new elections for 18 January 2009. On 8 November 2008, Ypsilanti withdrew her candidacy in favor of Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, who became the SPD's new lead candidate (Spitzenkandidat).



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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 07:07:30 AM EST
Macht-Optionen in NRW: SPD macht sich locker für den Linksschwenk - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Politik

Lange sahen Kraft und die SPD am Vorabend wie die Gewinner der Landtagswahl aus, mitten in der Nacht dann die böse Wendung: Die CDU von Ministerpräsident Jürgen Rüttgers lag am Ende mit gut 6000 Stimmen vor den Sozialdemokraten. "Wir sind in Düsseldorf eingeschlafen und in Wiesbaden aufgewacht", sagt Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel einem TV-Team im Willy-Brandt-Haus. Hessens SPD-Chef kann sich noch gut dran erinnern, wie seine Vorgängerin Andrea Ypsilanti im Januar 2008 einen Abend lang wie die baldige Ministerpräsidentin Wahlsieger aussah - und dann noch von der CDU überholt wurde.

Der Name Ypsilanti ist auch aus einem anderen Grund plötzlich wieder in aller Munde: Denn NRW-Spitzenfrau Kraft kann nach Lage der Dinge nur dann Ministerpräsidentin werden, wenn sie außer den Grünen auch die Linken mit ins Boot holt. Sich tolerieren lassen, wie Ypsilanti es in Hessen versuchte, das will Kraft allerdings nicht. Also eine richtige Koalition? "Das werden wir heute Abend in den Gremien besprechen", sagt Kraft im Willy-Brandt-Haus.

Short summary: said Schäfer-Gümbel joked that people went to bed in (NRW capital) Düsseldorf but waked up in (Hessen capital) Wiesbaden, and then the comparisons to Ypsilanti's situation follow. Asked whether, unlike Ypsilanti, Kraft will try an actual coalition with the Left Party, he says the SPD's leadership will discuss that tonight.

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

by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some media say that Kraft's pre-election rejection of the Left Party was weaker than Ypsilanti's, only amounting to a declaration that the NRW Left Party is a chaotic bunch not ready for government. I thought I read of something more decisive, have to look it up...

In the meantime, let me speculate: if the CDU has some clout, they will try a Grand Coalition by offering the post of PM to the SPD despite coming first.

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

by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:48:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be the last we ever see of Jürgen.

Earlier today I seem to recall seeing (hearing?) some remark to the effect that Red/Green would try to convince individual Lefties (or maybe a left-leaning FDPer) to switch parties (unfortunately I can't find it again).

They would only need just one...

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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 03:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hehehe, that would be truly ironic: importing the Romanian method to Düsseldorf...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 03:03:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stefan Reinecke of the taz suggests another possibility, the Israel model: a Grand Coalition, two and a half years with Armin as PM, two and a half years with Kraft. But deems the politica elite not ready for this.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 11th, 2010 at 04:23:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is going to be interesting indeed. Last night's microphone-shmoozing yielded a lot of remarks about "stability" and "keeping extremists out". (At least, these were two keywords that jumped out at me.)

The Left in NRW is still an untried quantity. Three weeks before the election the Left in Fail City had to swallow 56 resignations - all persons with migration background. (Though I have know idea whether this reflects the state of the party or just the usual Fail City way of doing things).

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 Mon May 10th, 2010 at 02:56:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How did Köln acquire that charming moniker anyway?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 10th, 2010 at 04:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To date this is only this blogger's opinion, but:

History Buried in the Rubble: Cologne Archive Building Collapses - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

The building housing Cologne's municipal archive collapsed on Tuesday, bringing parts of some surrounding structures down with it. At least two people are missing. Some of the documents housed in the archive date back to the year 922.

Need I say more? (I could though, believe me...)

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 Tue May 11th, 2010 at 03:02:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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