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Stoiber Blows It

by DoDo Thu Aug 11th, 2005 at 03:50:17 PM EST

The Bavarian PM, head of the Bavarian regional party Christian Socialist Union (CSU), and failed 2002 candidate for chancellor of Germany: the infamous Edmund Stoiber spurted out the following during a campaign speech a week ago, speaking about the new Left Party and East German voters:

"It can't be that the frustated decide about the fate of Germany!"

Oh, East Germans shouldn't vote!?... By today, this quote grew into an incredible scandal in Germany - with SPD, Greens, Left Party, and East German conservative politicians denouncing it. But Stoiber is a buffoon enough to up it with an even more inflammatory line - today he told at another campaign event:

We don't have everywhere population parts as intelligent as here in Bavaria. And the more powerful have sometimes to pull the weaker along.

Heh, whenever the German Centre-Left is weak at the polls, they get help from Stoiber :-)

Below the fold, some deeper thoughts, fuller quotes, and the whole in German (taking a first step towards a multi-lingual EuroTrib)

The SPD-Greens government's 2002 victory is credited to four factors: Schröder's showmanship after the August floods, his anti-war stance, and resentment for Stoiber (these three gave the East German vote to the government by a landslide); and Stoiber's bad showing in the chancellor candidate's TV debates (which swayed West German voters too).

I watched those TV debates, but had mixed feelings about the result.

Stoiber is often viewed, especially outside Germany, as the most dangerous German politician - but that's not my impression. He is not like his great evil predecessor, Franz-Josef Strauß. He is a boring, wooden bureaucrat-type, privately not at all near the people, and as I see it, his populism is largely an effort to appear a man of the people. I don't mean to say that he isn't dangerous - right-populist talk is dangerous in itself, and his rightist-elitist policies are bad enough -, but for a real Haider-league crook, look for Roland Koch (PM of Hessen state).

Now Schröder "defeated" Stoiber in those TV debates not, unfortunately, with the better arguments, but by keeping up the appearance of calm self-confidence, and letting Stoiber show his true face - an annoying and arrogant nerd with a buffoonish use of the German language.

Similarly, reading fuller quotes, I think Stoiber was talking along the same line other campaign attackers of the Left Party did (plus some local patriotism), just one can find offensive quotes in his forced folkish so much better.

The first one was preceded by: "We produce 120 to 130 billion Euros each year as financial contribution for the propping up of the new member states. But it can't be, and this is a plea for all the sane people (in East Germany), it can't be that in the end the frustated decide about the fate of Germany!"

And the second:"PDS and WASG - as this pack is called - has no chance at all here (in Bavaria - he refers to poll numbers). If it would be like that everywhere, we would have no problem at all. Only, my Ladies and Gentlemen, regrettably, we don't have everywhere population parts as intelligent as here in Bavaria. And for that reason,  the more powerful have always to - have to sometimes pull the weaker along for a bit. It's like that."

Auf Deutsch

Während einer thüringischen Wahlveranstaltung vor einer Woche ließ Stoiber die folgenden aus seinem Mund, über die Linkspartei und Ostwähler sprechend:

"Es darf nicht sein, dass .. die Frustrierten über das Schicksal Deutschlands bestimmen!"

Ah, Ostdeutsche sollten nicht wählen dürfen!?... Bis heute wuchs aus diesem Zitat ein unglaublicher Skandal heraus - Politiker aus den Reihen der SPD, Grünen, Linkspartei, und auch ostdeutschen Konservative verurteilten es. Aber Stoiber ist ein Trottel genug, um noch einmal draufzulegen - heute sagte er bei einer anderen Wahlveranstaltung:

wir haben leider nicht überall so kluge Bevölkerungsteile wie in Bayern... die Stärkeren müssen manchmal die Schwächeren ein Stück mitziehen.

Heh, wann immer die Deutsche Linke schwache Umfragewerte hat, hilft ihnen Stoiber aus :-)

Etwas ernster.

Das Rot-Grüne Wahlsieg 2002 wird auf vier Gründe zurückgeführt: Schröders theatralischer Stand während der Flut, sein Stand gegen den Krieg, die generelle Abneigung gegenüber Stoiber (diese drei verhalfen die Regierung zu einem Erdrutschsieg im Osten), und Stoibers schechtes Abschneiden in den TV-Debatten der Kanzlerkandidaten (welcher auch westdeutsche Wähler umstimmte).

Ich sah diese TV-Debatten live, aber die gaben mir gemischte Gefühle.

Stoiber ist oft als der gefährlichste Politiker Deutschlands gesehen (besonders im Ausland) - aber das ist nicht mein Eindruck. Er ist nicht wie sein großer-böser Vorgänger, Franz-Josef Strauß. Er ist ein langweiliger, hölzerner Bürokrat-Typ, privat überhaupt nicht volksnah, und wie ich es sehe, ist sein Populismus zum größten Teil die Anstrengung, als volksnah zu erscheinen. Ich will nicht sagen, dass er nicht gefährlich ist - rechtspopulistisches Gerede ist gefährlich in sich, und seine konservativ-elitistische Politik im Praxis ist schlimm genug -, aber für jemand im Liga Haiders, würde ich in Richtung Kochs schauen.

Nun, Schröder schlag Stoiber leider nicht mit der STärke seiner Argumente, sondern weil er die Aura der ruhigen Selbstsicherheit aufrechterhalten konnte, und dabei Stoiber's wahres Gesicht hervorlockte - die eines langweiligen Strebers, der ziemlich holprig mit seiner Muttersprache umgeht.

Auch im diesen Fall, wenn ich mir längere Zitate ansehe, scheint es mir dass Stoiber nur die gleiche Linie vertritt als alle andere Wahlkämpfer-Kritiker der Linkspartei (abgesehen von Lokalpatriotismus), aber man kann in seiner angestrengten Volkstümelei so viel leichter offensive Zitate finden.

Der Erste:

..."Wir leisten jedes Jahr etwa 120 bis 130 Milliarden Euro Finanzausgleich zur Aufbausituation der neuen Länder. Aber es darf nicht sein, und das ist der Appell auch an alle Vernünftigen - es darf nicht sein, dass letztlich die Frustrierten über das Schicksal Deutschlands bestimmen."

Der Zweite:

"Bei uns hat die PDS und die WASG - und wie dieses Gschwerl heißt - überhaupt keine Chance. Wenn es überall so wäre hätten wir ja überhaupt keine Probleme. Nur, meine Damen und Herren, wir haben leider nicht überall so kluge Bevölkerungsteile wie in Bayern. Und deswegen müssen immer - die Stärkeren müssen manchmal die Schwächeren ein Stück mitziehen. Es ist halt einmal so."

What will be the effect of these gaffes on the elections?
. The conservatives' poll numbers will tank, government wins elections 0%
. The conservatives' poll numbers will fall strongly, hung parliament 50%
. The conservatives' numbers will fall only slightly, they win a slim majority 12%
. Nothing - storm in a bathtub 25%
. East German conservatives ignore it, West German voters like it - boosted poll numbers 0%
. Civil war in Germany 0%
. Who cares, a plague on all their houses! 0%
. Germany becomes a Turkish-speaking Muslim country, uaaargh!!! 0%
. What matches are next in the Bundesliga? 12%

Votes: 8
Results | Other Polls
Sieht so aus wie wenn sich das Blatt für Schröder wieder wendet. Wird spannend werden, dass zu beobachten.
by Fran on Thu Aug 11th, 2005 at 04:01:54 PM EST
I don't know anything about German politics, so my vote is valueless. But perhaps this is still a problem of reunification.

Question: Is migration of German citizens between the old East and West completely free? If so, why don't the unhappy East Germans move west?

Applying my "compare to America without bashing" theory: In the U.S., if you live in, say, Arkansas, and are poor and unhappy, you might move to North Carolina to get a better job. I can see why this is hard if you're moving from Turkey to Ireland, but within Germany, what is the mobility of the population?

by asdf on Thu Aug 11th, 2005 at 04:40:18 PM EST
It is maybe THE problem.

Much of the brightest moved off to the West (I don't have figures, but the population shift was in the millions - maybe a quarter or even third moved), and the exodus still continues today. The money pouring into the East is not only spent on a lot of expensive but stupid projects, but there is a weak basis left for high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs for the desired capitalist boom. It may have been better to do unification gradually, and without destroying structures in the East.

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

by DoDo on Thu Aug 11th, 2005 at 04:47:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm almost certain that it's a lot less. I seem to remember it being c. 1.5 mill - i.e. about 10%. Googling Bevoelkerungsentwicklung Ostdeutschland I got a little over a mill for 1990-2002

A different paper says the total from 1989-2001 is 1.4 million people of net East-West migration. Of that a good half in 1989-1990 with almost 400,000 net migrants each of those two years, explaining the difference between the two papers (first doesn't include 1989). Both have interesting details if you feel like learning more about the topic. (auf deutsch). They confirm that it is primarily young people (twenties, thirties) that leave and also note that after the initial surge women outnumber men almost 2:1 among the migrants.

by MarekNYC on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 12:01:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's net migration. Unfortunately, most of the back-migrants are seniors, so as a drain on the economy, I'd look at the total numbers - and those are much higher, more like the twice of that. I post figures if I find a good enough source (what I Googled so far only covers parts of the 1989-2004 range). On the other hand, 3 million is just one fifth (of the 1989 15 million), so I was off at any rate.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 06:35:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cobbled together from here,   here,  
and here:

Year    left    arrived    net
1989:    -388400    5100    -383300
1990:    -395343    36200    -359143
1991:    -249743    80267    -169476
1992:    -199170    111345    -87825
1993:    -172386    119100    -53286
1994:    -163034    135774    -27260
1995:    -168336    143063    -25273
1996:    -166007    151973    -14034
1997:    -167789    157348    -10441
1998:    -182478    151750    -30728
1999:    -195530    151943    -43587
2000:    -214456    153179    -61277
2001:    -192002    94441    -97561
2002:    -176700    95876    -80824
2003:    -155385    97035    -58350
2004:    no data yet
all:    -3186759 1684394 -1502365

So it must be over 3.3 million by now.

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

by DoDo on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 07:18:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any idea if a significant number of the west-east migrants are returning E. Germans? E.g. Students, people who moved but didn't find a job or whatever? I presume that most aren't considering the employment situation in the East. On the other hand plenty of W.German Beamte moved east. You've also gotten some internal mixing in Berlin with lots of W. Berliners moving to the suburbs or to the fun neighbourhoods in central E. Berlin.
by MarekNYC on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 03:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good points;sorry I don't have the numbers to quantify them.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 03:40:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spiegel is reporting that Oettinger, the CDU prime minister in Baden-Württemberg, which is right next Stoiber's Bavaria, likes to engage in some Eastern bashing as well: "The lefties and the those without courage in East Germany must not decide how Germany is governed."
by hesk on Thu Aug 11th, 2005 at 10:12:07 PM EST
Exactly, that's what I meant: others are doing it too, but say it with a, heh, 'better' choice of words.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 07:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Turns out he committed this blatant act of stupidity in the next big town over from mine, Schwandorf.  Wish I'd been there to see it.

Why doesn't the CDU put him out on a houseboat in the Bodensee and ask him to kindly stay there till 19 September?  Have the SPD sent him loads of red roses yet?  They should.

It's much more fun to be in the midst of someone else's high-stakes election than your own country's...

by Texmandie on Fri Aug 12th, 2005 at 05:21:29 AM EST

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