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All I can say (besides a declaration of nausea) is that this sure is a funny moment in history to be electing a small-government, tax-cutting coalition.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I don't get is former SPD voters who stay home.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hostility to "communist" Link Partei, or "hippie" Greens, ie, accepting the common wisdom that these are unacceptable, extremist parties?

It should not apply to the Greens at all anymore (but maybe they are seen as jobs-unfriendly with the green policies?), but it might still prevent votes from going to Links?

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:43:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Greens are increasingly being seen as a party of relatively well-off urbanites with relatively little social competence.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:01:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Difficult question about "The Left".

I think it´s a mixture right now.

  • Some SPD members/voters probably are still angry about Lafontaine´s "departure".
  • In some/most West German states "The Left" consists mostly of former SPD members and union members so it seems unlikely that they themselves would be seen as extremist. Some "memory" of the old East German "SED" though probably still remains.
  • They wanted to establish the party everywhere in Germany as fast as possible. So in some regions the party organization includes (or included) a pretty high number of former (West German) communists. These small organized groups could get a majority locally. (And these remaining West German communists are hardcore.)

Anyway the Greens needed roughly 20 years. First outsiders, then coalition partners at state level. And finally coalition partners at federal level. Always with the SPD back then.
And now coalition partner with the CDU at local and state level too.

"The Left" are a pretty "new" party. Only a few years old. And there are already red-red coalitions in Eastern Germany at the state level. The next step might be one in Western Germany.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Understanding Linke is realizing there is not one house.  The west version is very different from the East version.  You could even make the argument that there's a third house, the LaFontaine house.  But i am certain that a great minority of their votes were protest votes.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 04:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The party has been in government for 11 years and hasn't waged the clearest of campaigns, so I do get it. As Jerome indicates, the Left is seen as either too extreme or as dirty because of implied ties to the former East German regime, and the Greens are positioning themselves as a bourgeouis party too much.

There's little motivation among SPD voters and little desire to go elsewhere, and apparently little organisational attention from the SPD to get people to vote.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:55:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still don't get why the part of the SPD electorate that dislikes the Greens and the Left Party for the reasons you name isn't at least afraid of the FDP.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously the FDP doesn't campaign on the things it intends to do to workers, and the other parties haven't done enough to communicate how bad a CDU/FDP government would be. The main thing the Greens campaigned on against 'Schwarz Gelb' was nuclear energy, and the Left were mainly playing up their own overton window effect, whereas the SPD campaign was unfocused.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 01:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lesser-evilism oly gets you so far. And if voting for the SPD will result in another Grand Coalition and Third-Way business-as-usual, why bother?

En un viejo pas ineficiente, algo as como Espaa entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 at 04:17:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what the weather is like in Germany right now.  Sometimes low turnout can be explained by something as simple as rain or cold weather.  Particularly for elderly voters, and less so for those without vehicles.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was sunny. And there is actually an opposite effect common in Europe: on a sunny Sunday, people might rather go on a full-day excursion...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:58:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The weather's fantastic today.

At least something is.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt t gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

A center-right alliance led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared on course for a narrow victory in Germany's national elections Sunday, potentially putting it in a position to relaunch Germany's stalled economic overhaul at a time of growing demands for Europe's biggest economy to do more for global growth.

Ms. Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union and its pro-business ally, the Free Democratic Party, were set to win a slim majority in Germany's lower house of parliament, according to early exit polls.

See - the WSJ says so...

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 12:47:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is Josef Joffe. :)


"The national mood and the whole party spectrum has shifted to the left," says Josef Joffe, one of Germany's leading political commentators, who teaches international studies at Stanford University and publishes German weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

"Neither the FDP nor the CDU will attack the kind of issues that Germany needs to attack, to get off its sclerotic average economic growth of 1.5% in the last decade," Mr. Joffe says.

And yes, I can´t stand him! He´s a neo-con and an id*ot.
But I sure hope he is right here. :)

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 at 05:05:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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