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Good point about East German voting habits.  

My suspicion is that the swing is largely caused by protest voters in the West.  The PDS wasn't really an alternative there in the last election. so they voted CDU simply to vote against the party in power.  Now that the WASG has emerged and has a stronger opposition appeal than the CDU they switch to the Left Party.

by hesk on Sat Jul 23rd, 2005 at 09:38:52 PM EST
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have thre been any announcements about alliance on the left?

SPD/Greens/WASG?

What do the greens say about WASG/Linkspartei?

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2005 at 07:22:28 AM EST
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Berlin - SPD Head Franz Müntefering rules out a coalition with the alliance of Linkspartei and Wahlalternative WASG following parliamentary elections in  September. "On the federal level, we do not want to form a coalition with the PDS under any circumstances whatsoever (there have been state-level red-red coalitions in the east). And not with the PDS and their interns from the West either," said Müntefering on ZDF (one of the two nationwide TV channels). "That is definite." Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and SPD-Vice Chairman Kurt Beck had previously rejected any form of cooparation with the left-wing alliance. (dpa)(via link; xlation m.o.

The timestamp is 13:03.

I do not expect Oskar Lafontaine to be any more positive, given the long-standing emnity between him and Schröder.

It is slightly reminiscent of the waning years of Weimar. While the Nazis steadily gained ground, the progressive parties constantly proclaimed that "the enemy is on the left".

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

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Jul 24th, 2005 at 08:05:29 AM EST
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Parts of the left wing in the SPD have expressed a preference for a Red-Green-Red coalition over a SPD-CDU (Great) coalition should the numbers not add up to a CDU-FDP or SPD-Green coalition.  One Bundestag member (Schreiner) said that nothing is ruled out and another one (Skarpelis-Sperk) said that "a great coalition strengthens radical elements on the right and the left."  (Spiegel Online, sorry that it's in German)
by hesk on Sun Jul 24th, 2005 at 01:39:47 PM EST
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Well, Joschka Fischer, the unofficial head of the Greens and our vice chancellor, has been ranting a lot about the new Left Party and especially its head Lafontaine.  Today he said in a Spiegel interview "This party may do everything, except govern."  On the whole the Greens haven't protested much about the Left Party and are focussing on their own strategy.  It would be ironic to protest to much, though, considering their own history.

Curiously the unions and their spokes-persons have largely been welcoming the new party to the landscape and Bsirske, head of the largest union ver.di has said that "he's curious how things will develop."  He mentioned the effects on the SPD which has specified its program and the Greens which are profiling themselves more as a modern left party.

(Spiegel, German only)

by hesk on Sun Jul 24th, 2005 at 01:54:45 PM EST
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