Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I am currently in Menden, Sauerland.  Maybe I will check out the SPD.  Although I have to confess that I think Sarah Wagenknecht is absolutely hot!  Last year I taught literature at Uni-Dortmund and I will probably enroll in Uni-Bochum's Theaterwissenshaft program in the spring for a second MA degree while I conduct my research for my Doctorsarbeit on Brecht.  Since you are from the Ruhrgebiet, I must say that I was very impressed by the Steinwache prison museum in Dortmund, indeed, this area is the heartland for the German left.  I'll call the SPD tomorrow and find out when is the next meeting.  I'm 39 so I can't be a young socialist - but I am sure that I will surprise them by being an Ami-Socialist!  Thanks for your suggestion, it gives me a little hope in the SPD.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"
by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed Nov 2nd, 2005 at 01:58:51 PM EST
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Menden is just a stone throw away from my city, which is Lünen. We must meet when I go back there for X-mas. I will probably cook at a dinner party at some friends house. Probably Italian food. I will bring some special beers from Belgium too (I live in Brussels). You are invited to it.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819
by Ritter on Wed Nov 2nd, 2005 at 02:34:44 PM EST
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Just to give you more info, I looked up the official election result (for 2002 too) in your election district (Märkischer Kreis II, not the most lefty in NRW):

Participation: 76.5% (2002 -2.4 percentage points)
Invalid: 1.3% on list votes, 1.5% on direct votes (both +.1)

Zweitstimmen (list votes; all above 1%):

  • SPD (Social Democrats) 39.8% (-3.3)
  • CDU (Christian Democrats) 36.8% (-0.2)
  • FDP (Free Democrats, market-liberals) 9.5% (+0.2)
  • Grüne (Greens) 5.2% (-0.8)
  • Die Linke (Left Party, hard left) 5.2% (2002 PDS +4.3)
  • NPD (National Democrats, far-right) 1.2 (+0.7) [another far-right, the Schill party, went from 1.4% to zero]

Erststimmen (direct candidate vote, all):

  • SPD (Dagmar Freitag) 47.5% (-2.2)
  • CDU (Thomas Gemke) 41.1% (+2.4)
  • FDP (Jochen Lipproß) 3.8 (-2.1)
  • Grüne (Bärbel Keiderling) 2.1 (-0.7)
  • Die Linke (Karsten Renfordt) 4.1% (2002 PDS +3.3)
  • NPD (Timo Pradel) 1.5 (+0.7)

BTW, I wonder how you manage so far that the decimal and millenal numerical signs are just the opposite outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere (say, €100.000.000,00 instead of your $100,000,000.00) :-)

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

by DoDo on Wed Nov 2nd, 2005 at 03:42:07 PM EST
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