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German Elections Open Thread

by Frank Schnittger Sun Sep 24th, 2017 at 09:38:15 PM EST

Some discussion of the German election results has already taken place here buried deep within the 18 - 24 Sep 2017 discussion forum. However I think it merits a discussion forum all of its own. How will the results effect Germany, Europe and Merkel's continued leadership?

Historic rupture?

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has won the German federal election and a likely fourth term in office, amid a dramatic voter swing to the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

The four-year-old populist party will enter the German Bundestag as its third strongest party with around 90 seats, after tapping voter concerns over immigration and security to secure 13 per cent of the vote.

Support for Dr Merkel’s centre-right CDU collapsed eight points to around 33 per cent, according to preliminary results, the party’s worst result in almost 60 years.

“We have to win back the AfD voters by solving problems and by addressing their concerns through good politics,” said Dr Merkel to supporters in Berlin.

Her outgoing grand coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), appears headed for the opposition benches after winning just 20.6 per cent in projections, its worst result since 1949.

“This government is over, this grand coalition was dropped,” said SPD leader Martin Schulz, calling the AfD’s arrival in parliament a historical “rupture”.

Dr Merkel’s most likely option to remain in power is a three-way alliance with the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), back in parliament with a projected 10.5 per cent, and the centre-left Greens on around 9 per cent.

However, such an untested alliance would be an uneasy option for Dr Merkel, and risk increased uncertainty for Germany’s European allies.


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How will this result effect the Brexit negotiations if it results in Merkel adopting a stronger "Germany First" stance in an attempt to ward off the AfD?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 24th, 2017 at 09:45:59 PM EST
Brexit didn't play in this election. Everybody is (at least emotionally) indifferent though maybe they shouldn't be.

Should Jamaica come to pass then we have the following: FDP (neo)liberal they don't have a problem with FoM (actually nobody has). Greens are somewhat "Europe First". CDU/CSU will find it difficult to make concessions in the 2nd phase of negotiations (if they are even inclined to) and why should they? UK is still undecided and legal/practical realities are forcing their position into the EU's vice.

However, when it comes to the overall direction/reform of the EU we have internal conflict potential. Greens are open to financial integration. CDU/CSU/FDO are not. Especially the FDP; they dont even want a banking union. It's been said that the FDP would be Macron's nightmare. Well, here they are. Expect stagnation on that front - as always.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Sun Sep 24th, 2017 at 10:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel's poll win unlikely to make much difference to Brexit, analysts say - Guardian
The FDP may be more pro-business, but ... It will use its few bargaining chips "very carefully, and almost certainly not on Brexit"

... The idea that Germany would buy into something "because of the number of cars BMW sells is misleading" ... Kundnani said Germany was indeed driven by economic interest, but its economic interest was "long term rather than short term ... which means preserving the cohesion of the EU and the single market"

... But the shape of the new German cabinet means wholesale eurozone reforms are on balance unlikely, analysts say. ... The FDP leader, Christian Lindner, made clear on Sunday night that any eurozone reform that entailed major fiscal transfers as part of a eurozone budget and cost Germany money would be "a line in the sand". The idea that Merkel can "try to push through some big new initiative that may not be popular ... It's not going to happen," ... many in Berlin reject any suggestion that reform, no matter how good for Europe and Macron, should come at a cost to Germany.

Well if these guys say then it must be true...

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 at 06:03:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Jamaica flag
A bipartisan committee of the Jamaica House of Representatives designed the Jamaican Flag which consists of a diagonal cross with four triangles placed side by side. The diagonal cross is gold; the top and bottom triangles are green; and the hoist and fly (side) triangles are black.
While gold might be more appropriate for the FDP, I thought they were usually represented as yellow.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 at 07:04:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's really difficult for people in the US to figure out Germany. Electoral-vote.com
This is effectively going to compel Merkel to join with the left-wing FDP and lefter-wing Greens in what people are calling the "Jamaica coalition," because the colors of the three parties are black, yellow, and green, like the Jamaican flag.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 at 10:06:39 AM EST
"Merkel to join with the left-wing FDP and lefter-wing Greens"
As opposed to right-wing SPD and righter-wing Die Linke, I suppose?
by Bernard on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 at 06:30:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all parties other than the AfD are left wing...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 at 07:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're cracking me up.

Actually, euractiv indeed published

Whether the conservative CDU (whose colour is black) will choose a "Jamaican coalition" with the Greens (green) and the liberal FPD (yellow), or a "grand coalition" with the CSU and SPD, it will impact Macron's chances.

This matter of the pitiful punning has got to stop. Or The Trump will win.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 25th, 2017 at 11:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Der Postillon, Jamaica has changed its flag so as not to be blamed for the coalition. It will have to be a "Saxony" coalition now.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 12:17:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EuObserver | FDP dampens hopes for Jamaica coalition
[article pay-wall]
Xinhua | FDP and Greens dampen outlook for coalition in Germany
Some people were misguidedly glorifying a "Jamaica" coalition as a "romantic political project," Lindner told the newspaper "Welt." While it was true that the four parties involved enjoyed an arithmetic majority, they all had distinct mandates from their voters.

How about that! The first explanation of the "meme" of which I am aware. Which is not to say, this explanation corresponds to the political project of the Jamaican gov't or symbolic content of Jamaica's tricolor. ha.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 04:20:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Germany, it always refers to the colours of the flag. Just like Ampelkoalition would be a coalition of SPD (red), FDP (Yellow) and Greens (well, Green). It could also be a coalition of Linke/FDP/Grünen, but lets not be ridiculous.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 04:52:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm. From your link (above) Jamaica's gov't designed a flag to symbolize the independence of the nation from Britain in 1962.
"The sun shineth, the land is green and the people are strong and creative" is the symbolism of the colours of the flag. Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources.

As for the German Confederation, these two references color and "character" indicate various forms of flag iconography since 1848 denote which political groups have dominated the national identity of the people. The latter hagiographic explanation fits rather well --as the art historians would say, cautiously-- with Linder's understanding of "Romantic" idealism, doesn't it.

So now, "green" would usurp "white" except, well, that group doesn't seem to represent in that unity concept. At the moment, none of them do.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 09:02:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're rationalizing this too much. For most Germans, Jamaica probably means nothing beyond "a bunch of lazy people lying in the sun where we go on vacation".
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Sep 28th, 2017 at 06:52:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You noticed. "Rationalization" is a hazard in my profession. I spent the better part of 30 years employed as a graphic designer and art director in the advertising industry which, incidentally, is quite segregated by "race or ethnicity", value, and volume of ad sales and production. My BA is fine art, too.

Believe it or not: at one point the JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD was one of my clients. "One Love" campaign: remember that?

yep, back in the day, people actually, deliberately "colluded" in selecting which materials --word and image-- to assemble into a broadcast recommendation on purchase decision addressed to CONSUMERS.

Now, look at what you've done --mass "meme" manufacturing. And who is to "blame"?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Sep 28th, 2017 at 10:14:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I looked, they'd corrected it to "libertarian FDP and left-wing Greens", which are the most accurate labels US politics can provide.
by rifek on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 01:44:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Too many "co-leaders" in this one, I'll tell you wut.
Cracks emerge in AfD as co-leader quits party after election success
Commentators have predicted that its divisions could be amplified by its entry onto the national political stage.
[...]
Petry said the AfD, as an "anarchistic party", could be successful in opposition but would not be able to offer voters a credible option as a government. For this reason, she had decided not to take up her seat as part of the AfD group.

alrighty then. Time to open a pool, date of the first "Tough on Crime" speech. Any takers?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 05:13:29 PM EST
Does a "tough on immigrants" speech count, given that immigrants and crime are more or less synonymous in the minds of xenophobes and racist...?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 05:22:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bad comment, on the anniversary of the 1980 Oktoberfest terrorist attack. Hint: It wasn't a Muslim.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 05:59:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you misunderstand my comment...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 07:43:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course! You understand the ways of the world well.

Monday morning Breaking News inspired me. Think of it as a "trial run." (no pun intended)
4 Men on Trial in Germany Accused of Killings in Syria

"normal" parties closing ranks on AfD turf. The next step is choosing The Law & Order Guy.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 09:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in related creepy news, more 'merican than Russian meddling for money: the infection is spreading, according to schmiegel.

AfD Accuses Google of Sabotaging Campaign 19 Sep

As part of its digital campaign strategy, AfD has even brought on American consultants with the Harris Media advertising agency. The Texas consulting firm specializes in customers with "controversial" messages who range from Donald Trump and the gun lobby to France's far-right Front National. Their task is to adapt Kunkel's print campaign for the digital world. Two Harris employees have also embedded themselves in the digital "war room" inside the AfD's national headquarters in Berlin.

I can see the Saxony Coalition rolling in the gutter with AfD. But how soon?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 26th, 2017 at 09:46:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel is oversensitive to Israel. The same company also worked for Netanyahu and the Likud.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 06:43:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My read was in reference to 'merican consultants hired by the Tories, not only for the referendum project but also the trade negotiation project--it being well-publicized Tories had/have no bench for that game.

iirc, we both picked up stories along those lines.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 12:02:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Harris media certainly worked for Netanyahu, and the Spiegel article somehow avoided mentioning this fact.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 12:06:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't call it schmiegel for nothing. Yella Cake is taken.

The fourth estate is not reknown for spotting trends (or patterns in fact like Harris' operating footprint) but "publicizing" particular events, both real and imaginary, of interest to private parties. In this instance, the detail is engrossed by "prototypical fascist" GOOGLE and AfD connotations --trending in innerboob chatter.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 12:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Consider also the irony. Schmiegel story dated before the election. It may well have "influenced" turn-out and results in AfD favor. < reckless eyeballin' > Who's to say for CERTAIN?!!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 12:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The more insidious implication in this instance as with many others is, 'merican meddling for money --billed as avuncular expertise in "democratization"-- isn't all that beneficial.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Sep 27th, 2017 at 12:12:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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