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I'm still at the level of trying to figure out, for instance with that chart above, parliamentary multi-party mathematics.  It would seem to with such large percentages over the SPD why Die Linke can't simply tell them to sit down and shut up as the grown-ups are in charge.  I know there's a reason, but I still do not understand the mathematics of parliamentary majorities/minorities/coalitions and power-sharing arrangements
It all comes down to who is likely to vote along with whom. Better than the vote totals, one should look at the seat count:

CDU 30
Linke 27
SPD 18
FDP 7
B90/G 6
Total: 88

A majority requires 45 seats, which can be achieved by
CDU + Linke: 57
CDU + SPD: 48
Linke + SPD: 45
Of these, CDU + Linke is unlikely, whereas the SPD is able to make deals with both of the other two, making them the more powerful party in the parliament. See Bahnzaf power index for more reading along these lines.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 01:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Migeru,

That link helps.  And thanks to dodo as well for his/her answer

Looking at who may vote with whom, then I see that despite a larger percentage, the Linke needs the SPD but the SPD doesn't need Die Linke.  I know this is basic stuff, really, so I appreciate people explaining it to me simply.

"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 Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 01:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD doesn't need Die Linke, but is the CDU any more (or less) likely to give the SPD the Ministerpräsident position than die Linke is, just to get into government? And, is the CDU any more likely to agree to give the SPD a blank cheque to appoint whoever they damn well please to the post? Both the CDU and Die Linke have more seats than the SPD so, while the SPD gets to be the kingmaker, they have no right to expect to be able to steamroll either of the two potential coalition partners.

However, if the SPD had come second ahead of Die Linke they could have bargained like they did. Fist try to strongarm Die Linke and if that fails, go for junior partner of a Grand Coalition.

So I'm going to put forward the hypothesis that the SPD had their post-election bargaining strategy already decided beforehand, on the assumption that they would come second, and played the different hand they were dealt in the same way. Gamesmanship FAIL.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 02:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD doesn't need Die Linke, but is the CDU any more (or less) likely to give the SPD the Ministerpräsident position than die Linke is

It is out of question that the CDU would let there be an SPD PM, much less an SPD PM chosen by the SPD without any input from the CDU. They can't use the acceptability argument on the CDU as they have used it against Ramelow.

So I'm going to put forward the hypothesis that the SPD had their post-election bargaining strategy already decided beforehand, on the assumption that they would come second, and played the different hand they were dealt in the same way.

No.

  1. The difference vs. the other two was just too big in polls for any such illusions.
  2. What they staged was not hard bargain for real gains that failed. After all, they already got most of what they wanted: Ramelow backing down, Greens in as third partner (would be no need for them for a majority) andacceptance of an SPD PM. There is no other interpretation than them staging negotiations meant to fail. (In fact, already the quite personal demands for Ramelow to back down and the Greens taken in might have been intended to get the Left Party to draw a line.)
  3. As per above, the SPD went much further against the Left Party that it could possibly go against the CDU.
  4. Why else would Matschie lie about the reasons of the failure such blatantly? It's not in the diary, but I note that it wasn't just a simple claim: Matschie went to the media afterwards and explained everywhere how untrustworthy the Left Party supposedly has been during the talks, wavering on the SPD PM issue.
  5. If the SPD had been serious about negotiating hard, then they would have ued the Greens whom they brought in as support, rather than get them riled, too.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:47:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the SPD were just trying to fool the public into believing Die Linke were unworthy of their vote at the next election?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:52:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One never knows what such stupid FAIL strategies were meant for, but I'd look for something much more short-term: fooling SPD voters and the party base into believing that the desired left-wing replacement of the longtime CDU government was impossible due to Die Linke. "Sorry, we couldn't toss the corrupt incumbents from power, the unreliable Leftists left us no other option than trying to constrain the pigs in a coalition."

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A further point: SPD+Greens vs. Left Party, that would have been a balance of 24:27, that's 8 to 9. But now the SPD has chosen 18 to 30 with the CDU, that's 3 to 5. Even if they would have more options than the CDU, they are in a weaker position to make excessive demands. Hence, even from a pure power calculation consideration, this was a very stupid choice -- but this was obviously not a power calculation...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:54:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're framing the Greens as a mere appendix of the SPD. On what logic?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:58:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the above, I'm framing the Greens from the viewpoint of the SPD that brought them in as third partner. That is, the SPD, if it had been serious: in practice, the Greens appear to have been nothing like the SPD's appendage, being more on ther same line with the Left Party when seeing the SPD's antics.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:04:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But was Die Linke opposed to bringing in the Greens to begin with? If not, the Greens owe nothing to the SPD for being allowd in the talks.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Left Party was careful not to oppose the demand when the SPD made it. But IIRC they started bilateral negotiations. Note that with the ex-apparatchniks on the Left Party list and the dissident movement roots of some of the Greens [B90 in the partyname standsfor Bündnis '90, that is the 1990 Alliance, a short-lived East German partyof dissidents not aligned with the "block parties"[] that united with the West German Greens], adding them was added conflict potential, and it is something that it did not errupt.

As for owing? You don't have to owe anything to be on the same platform with another partner in a future intra-coalition tussle. In fact, pure power self-interest suffices. And even if the Greens would not always have sided with the SPD, an occasional 8:9 (even if it's 6:11 at other times) is better than 2:3 all the time.

[] Block parties: thoroughly state-controlled remains of all-German parties in East Germany's fake multi-party democracy. It is a badly kept secret of the East German CDU and SPD that they were born by the absorbtion of tainted block parties.

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

by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Especially not as they seem to now be in favour of Jamaica in the Saar
Die Saar-Grünen haben sich offenbar entschieden: Ihr Chef wirbt in seiner Partei für eine Koalition mit CDU und FDP. Ein erstes Gespräch der drei Vorsitzenden wurde bereits vereinbart.

Die Grünen im Saarland haben sich offenbar für eine Koalition mit FDP und CDU entschieden. Im Saarland verdichten sich die Anzeichen für die Bildung der bundesweit ersten Jamaika-Koalition aus CDU, FDP und Grünen. Unmittelbar vor dem Parteitag der Grünen in Saarlouis, auf dem sie sich für ein Lager entscheiden wollen, rechnen nach Informationen des Saarländischen Rundfunks (SR) selbst Befürworter eines rot-rot-grünen Bündnisses mit einer Mehrheit für Jamaika. Laut SR ist für kommenden Mittwoch bereits ein erstes Treffen der Landesvorsitzenden vereinbart worden.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A stupid reaction at Lafontaine's decision to leave federal politics for Saarland politics...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't believe they give Müller another 5 years after he lost 13%, just to get back at Lafontaine. :facepalm:

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 02:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was hoping that the media crowing about the Saarland Greens being closer to the conservatives was wishful thinking on their part, turns out it was me wishful thinking...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 03:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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