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For those not able to watch German TV (the neighbors invited us over for wine and schadenfreude), it is difficult to communicate the way Gerhard Schröder is presenting himself on TV. In words, gestures and posture, he appears every inch the winner, and is laying claim to "four years of stable government under my leadership." Merkel came across more like a fractious child, claiming she should be chancellor because she leads the largest fraction. (As to that last, a look at the graphic above shows that that lead is minimal, and could change - particularly when the overhang seats are calculated.)

Interesting to note is that while the party heads are publicly asserting who they would not under any circumstances enter into a coalition with, the second tier are saying things like, "It is our duty to the voters to talk to all other parties and make an effort to carry on the government of the country." The only two exceptions to this pattern are the FDP and the Left. Traffic lights or Jamaica?

Another option is a minority government (elected by a plurality) that calls a new election.

Anyway you slice it, Angie seems to be the big loser tonight. I'm curious to see when those Christian Democratic knives will come out.

And I'm out of here for 2 weeks starting tomorrow morning. See you all in October!

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 Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:51:33 PM EST
You hit the nail!

The next days or weeks will be the time of the second tier. There are enough knives behind Merkel, Schröder and Westerwelle to open up a whole knives shop. The negotiations will be about who is best in playing off the second against the first tier in the opposite party.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:00:33 PM EST
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Friedrich Merz, CDU finance expert and a Merkel rival, is already criticizing his own party's campaign.
by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:03:48 PM EST
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Germans have the right to carry a knife, aren't they? :-)
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:05:15 PM EST
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