Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Countdown Germany: Day -7 (2nd Edition)

by Saturday Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 05:12:15 AM EST

promoted by Jerome. I'll just add a link to the big FT article this morning, using the title in the paper edition: Christian Democrats sideline Kirchhof

As the campaigns are going into the last week, poll numbers are changing wildly and - mostly - in favour of the governing SPD. Distance between both big parties is shrinking, and suddenly the number of possible coaltion alternatives multiplies. I am expecting seven hot days to come.

  • What is a Zweitstimmenkampagne?
  • Kirchhof is on his way back to the ivory tower
  • Fun stuff: Your projections might win you a trip to the Reichstag

Hi DoDo, I see you also have a diary up. Putting this up as a diary, too, because it seems a bit too long to become a comment. Hope you don't mind.


What is a Zweitstimmenkampagne?

I suppose that many of you are not entirely familiar with the German election system, so I am going to explain: "Zweitstimme" means "second vote." On our ballots, we have two votes. With our first vote (Erststimme), we elect the direct candidate of our electoral district by majority vote. With our second vote, we vote for a party list. The percentage of second votes a party achieves, determines the share of seats it gets in the Bundestag. So, strangely, the "second vote" is much more important than the "first vote."

This weekend, the Free Democrats announced a "second vote campaign." That means, they make an appeal to all CDU voters who want a CDU-FDP coalition to vote for FDP instead of CDU. For, in the case the FDP drops below the 5 % threshold, no Free Democrat will become MP, which means: no conservative-liberal coalition. Looks like the emergency bells are ringing among the Free Democrats...

The Social Democrats have already made the logical counter-move: This weekend, Sigmar Gabriel, party executive member and one of the most-discussed figures of a post-Schröder era, announced that a "traffic light coalition" - SPD (red), FDP (yellow), Green - would be a possible alternative. But the question is if anybody believes him. After a campaign in which the SPD drifted to the left, and the FPD made a clear point in saying that they only wanted to form a coalition with the CDU, I am inclined to take Gabriel's all-too obvious move as a bad joke. On the other hand: You cannot know what will go on inside the FDP when there is no black-yellow majority (black is for CDU).


Kirchhof is on his way back to the ivory tower

Now it is common knowledge that the CDU's drop in poll numbers is caused by the appointment of Paul Kirchhof as finance minister-to-become. No wonder that he is running out of supporters. Even the free-market, pro-business, anti-tax FPD now demands from Merkel to distance herself from him. Today, party leader Guido Westerwelle said "that this is not about an academic tax discussion but about the creation of new jobs." One must be deaf to not identify Westerwelle's statement as an echo of Schröder's "Professor from Heidelberg"-rhetoric.

Even Angela Merkel seems to prepare Kirchhof's dropping. This weekend, you could hear her praising her long-standing enemy Friedrich Merz, the CDU's accustomed tax expert.


Fun stuff: Your projection might win you a trip to the Reichstag

If you think you know the outcome of the election, go to Ard-Wahltipp. You can make your guess until September 17. The best three guesses win a trip to Berlin where you can witness the Bundestag's election of chancellor. Click on "Spielstand" reveals the current average of all guesses. By clicking on "hier", you can make your own guess. Enjoy!


There are many more topics of interest in this election campaign that I would love to write about if I had the time. I'm thinking about issues like the role of the Internet or the (very small) role of European topics in this campaign. If anybody wants to step in, he/she is very welcome! (PeWi, you out there?)


By the way: Greetings from jandsm! He had even less spare time in the past two weeks, but is looking forward to post again in the near future.

Display:
Thanks for your ongoing work on these elction updates!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 04:32:12 PM EST
Not bloody likely. FDP and Greens are natural competitors - put them in a coalition and both of them are forced to fight for survival. So these alliances are extremely unstable. Not obvious what the FDP would stand to gain, even if it looked as though another few years in the oppositon might be a serios threat to them as well (which it doesn't, I think, as they have been doing relatively well on the state level by their standards recently).  

Schroeder's end game is a last-minute, come-from-behind surprise victory. I don't expect that to happen, but it's not impossible. The SPD is almost within striking distance now, and the news coverage of the home stretch continues to be nothing short of disastrous for Merkel.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)

by brainwave on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 05:04:25 PM EST
Btw there is a historic precedent for an unexpected come-from-behind victory of the SPD in federal elections - Willi Brand pulled that off in 1972. I haven't seen anyone explore the parallel yet; but then again, I don't have that much access to German news media and blogs from this side of the Atlantic.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 05:25:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2002 also was a come-from-behind victory by Schröder.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 05:43:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In 2002, SPD and CDU had been going neck-and-neck in the polls for weeks before the election. It really wasn't that much of a surprise anymore on election day (at least not to me).

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 06:16:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
agreed. Absolutely not likely. That's why Gabriel's move is some sort of kindergarten tactics.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 05:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gabriel's been stirring the pot. His target are potential SPD voters who might be swayed provided they can be convinced that there are plausible scenarios for Schroeder to stay in office.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 06:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi DoDo, I see you also have a diary up. Putting this up as a diary, too, because it seems a bit too long to become a comment. Hope you don't mind.

Oh no, not at all - in fact, I'm sorry for assuming in late afternoon that you won't post one today...

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 11th, 2005 at 05:05:44 PM EST
This is something I've been wondering for a long time now. Why is it that the conservative coalition was(?) favored to win this election when: one of the major problems voters had with Schroeder is that he was pushing liberalish (in the European sense) reforms that were unpopular; yet, the opposition is pushing an even more "extreme" version of these very reforms? What do voters expect Merkel is going to do? Magically transform herself into an anti-globalization social democrat?

Is part of my problem here that it wasn't so much that voters were switching from Schroeder to Merkel but from Schroeder to the Linke Party or leaving the process altogether?

Secondly, why do people keep saying a "grand coalition" is a "bad thing" and "undemocratic." Firstly, I can't imagine it will last long; secondly, it will almost certainly temper the degree to which a Merkel-led government will be able to venture to the right.

Finally, what will the upshot be of a conservative chancellor (likely) when the parties that could best be described as "of the right" are likely to get less votes than those "of the left"?

And as a postscirpt, and editorial comment: what this German election strikes me as making bleedingly clear is that the traditional "left-right" divide in German politics is dysfunctional and that what needs to happen is that some kind of "social liberal" party like Zapatero's brand of Socialism or a kind centrist christian democracy like Blairism needs to emerge as the natural party of government. The problem is is that neither of these parties exist in Germany right now. This is what Germany seems to need and my hope is that Schroeder is trying to transform the Social Democrats into the former (ie a social liberal party). What Germany does not need is a kind of "poor woman's Thatcherism," which Merkel seems to want to be. If Merkel were a centrist chirsitian democrat in the model of New Labour, I'd be much more inclined to back her.

Ben P

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 01:46:16 AM EST
Der Reihe nach:

Paragraph 1: I put it down mainly to voter stupidity - sorry. But it can be rationalised this way: in the upper chamber of the German federal parliamentary system (whose members are delegated by the state governments), the CDU/CSU gained a large majority - so lately, the two chambers block each other, and some people want that resolved. But what may really be behind for many people is an ideology-less longing for unity, the belief that all would go fine if only politicians wouldn't bicker (something I noticed in a part of the people both during my residence in Germany and in the German media since).

Paragraph 2: That's a good idea you had. Yes, this is part of the explanation, tough not all of it - after all, there is a much smaller pool of non-voters than in the USA.

Paragraph 3: People used to say it's undemocratic because most voters of either party preferred something else in polls - but that's not true this time for SPD voters. But it's certainly bad: it takes away the identity of the two participants, blocks reform policies of both, and empowers extremists. But, I don't know, but I feel it may be the lesser evil this time.

Paragraph 4: Nothing. Parties still count more than sides.

Paragraph 5: I wouldn't characterise Bliarism as centrist christian democracy - that definition belongs to the old CDU; Bliarism is market-liberal spinocracy parading as social liberalism (indeed a poor man's Thatcherism combined with the poor man's Keynesianism). There is no democracy when there is a 'natural' party of government, and I most certainly don't want one to appear in any country with a proportional election system (not to speak of having to vote for one). Differing opinions must be there to compete, more than two of them, and in case one party gets too corrupted there has to be a replacement. Schröder was once put in the same rubric with Bliar as "Third Wayists", and indeed their policies and methods have striking similarities, but the Iraq war made people forget that. What Germany does need in my opinion is a move back to 'boring' argument-based politics and discourse, away from the yellow press and spin and leaders' machoism.

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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 03:27:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the comments.

I guess I just differ with you on the idea of competing parties. I think this is something I filter through the US and Canadian context. The US used to be characterized by consensual politics: not since the New Right started gathering steam 40 years ago. Bush is the culmination of a rejection of consensual politics on the part of the right, and it is a major reason me (and many others) so strongly dislike Bush. He has "Italianized" American politics, although the process began before Bush - he has pushed it to an extreme.

Canada is a study in contrast, as the Liberal Party (a centrist party) is the natural party of government and it is very hard to dislodge them from power at the national/federal level. This has its problems, but the Liberal Party quite closely mirrors my own belifes about politics - basically social liberal, pro-welfare state capitalist, technocratic, averse to ideology. This certainly has its problems, but right now, I would take this system - by a long shot - over what American politics has become.

I also think conflictual politics no longer benefits the left. Frankly, if you put a gun to the head of voters, particularly relatively affluent voters, who now mostly see themselves as consumers, not producers, they are going to choose the free market fundamentalist over the unreconstructed social democrat more often. I don't know if the British model is relevant or not, but Margaret Thatcher basically dominated British politics - while never winning close to a majority of the popular vote, or being personally popular - by playing this game of "chicken" with the British voters for 10 years. I see this process now repeating itself - potentially - in both Germany and France.

Ben P

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 03:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He has "Italianized" American politics

Hm, maybe you meant "Berlusconized"? Italian politics, the partitocracy, was long characterised by the established parties slicing up the landscape as their own turf, and cooperating in ensuring the continuation of the system - no real confrontation.

This has its problems, but the Liberal Party quite closely mirrors my own belifes about politics

You see, that's the point. (Hooray for the New Democratic Party! They got 15.7% despite FPTP.)

they are going to choose the free market fundamentalist over the unreconstructed social democrat more often.

Or not. Polls in Britain I saw showed most of the population way to the left of New Labour on issues involving public services and taxation.

The problems with your British-German comparison are several; a central one is that Britain has a first-past-the-post system like you in the USA (and most of Canada) - and the left vote was split for most of the time Thatcher was in. If the election system had been like in Germany, she wouldn't have been PM: a Labour/Liberal coalition in 1979 and a Labour/Alliance one in the eighties would have had majority.

In France, what I see is a shift to the left, not right - unless the left undercuts itself with internal divisions again. (Even Chirac's victory was the result of a catastrophic miscalcualtion both on the part of Left politicians and voters, who assumed the first round's result is a given and they only need to concentrate on the runoff - and then some people gave the benefit of the doubt to the Right and wanted to avoid cohabitation, but quickly regretted it.)

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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 04:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe you meant "Berlusconized"?

Perhaps. It wasn't the best analogy, maybe. What I mean is that Bush's strategy is based on a zero-sum analysis of the  American body politic. Divide the electorate to your advantage by stigmatizing and marginalizing large segments when it suits you. Do whatever you have to do to get just enough votes, then govern in such a way that completely ignores the constituencies who didn't vote for you and even many those who did vote in fact vote for you insofar as you can get away with it.
Then pursue a rigidly ideological agenda. When the next election comes around, don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do but just use attack and polarization to force just enough voters to your side.

In this sense, I see the New Right version of the Republican Party as kind of like a Communist or Fascist Party - hence my Italian analogy, because both groups have been very strong and have essentially fought a kind of "cold civil war" since at least WWII - not ideologically, but in that it thinks its agenda is more important than governing the country in an effective way. Its premised on a vision of the country that excludes many if not a majority of its inhabitants.

Or not. Polls in Britain I saw showed most of the population way to the left of New Labour on issues involving public services and taxation.

Yes, and this was true when Thatcher was in power too. But these polls don't vote. People do. And the voter on election day tends to take a much more cynical view of affairs. Again, this is perhaps not true in Germany. But I do see some analogies.

The problems with your British-German comparison are several; a central one is that Britain has a first-past-the-post system like you in the USA (and most of Canada) - and the left vote was split for most of the time Thatcher was in. If the election system had been like in Germany, she wouldn't have been PM: a Labour/Liberal coalition in 1979 and a Labour/Alliance one in the eighties would have had majority.

Good points. I would add that the splits between Labour and the Liberals was/is more significant than it may seem on the surface. A coalition was never on the cards. Even more so with the Alliance in the context of 1983.

In France, what I see is a shift to the left, not right - unless the left undercuts itself

Yes, and this is a prospect I see a very likely. What with the aftermath of the Euro referendum and the splits within the Socialist Party. I see a good chunk of the Socialist Party lining up behind some "popular front" anti-liberal left with the various Communist and Trotskyite groups. I don't know if the social liberals (PS tendance droite) have large enough numbers to get into a second round under such circumstances. It could well be Le Pen and Sarkozy in the run off.

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 05:02:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour and the Liberals... A coalition was never on the cards.

Well DUH - they had FPFP. Proportional elections force coalition thinking. (BTW, historically, there has been a Liberla-Labour coalition.)

I don't know if the social liberals (PS tendance droite) have large enough numbers to get into a second round

Well, maybe this time the social socialists get a candidate into the second round, and PS tendance droite will refrain from sabotage!

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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 05:43:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The left in much of Europe has a problem with an increasing divide between its moderate and left wings. The problem for the moderates is that the hard left people are likely to bolt to any available hard left party rather than vote for them. The problem for the lefties is that given the choice between something like the Linkspartei, the Trotskyists, or Respect - and the mainstream right, many on the center left see the latter as a lesser evil.

It's a major problem, but it is no more sabotage for people like myself to oppose the hard left than it is for you to oppose people like Blair.  But cheer up, it could be worse - think of the old divide between the Communists and the Socialists.

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 01:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry Marek that you took this on yourself - I'm actually more tolerant, that about 'sabotage' was an insufficiently ironic jibe intended for Ben to imply that the left side of the PS can feel the same about the right side re: lost election chances as vice versa :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 02:46:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you, except for the very last sentence. The situation in France (and, from the look of it, in Germany) is just as bad as it was in the early 20th century. It's exactly the same divide coming up today.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 05:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well we don't want to literally kill each  other. The life expectancy of Menesheviks under Lenin and my old compatriot Feliks wasn't too good.  Roza and Karl didn't live that long under Ebert and co.  On the other hand if you're saying pre WWI, then yes. The divide between the Bernstein types and the Luksemburg ones or between the PPS and the SDKPiL was pretty ugly in Germany and Poland respectively. (Just to name the two Roza was directly involved in.)
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 08:46:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Roza and Karl didn't live that long under Ebert and co.

Well that's true, but as far as I know, their deaths weren't due to anything Ebert & co did :-)

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

by DoDo on Tue Sep 13th, 2005 at 05:31:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should clarify my discussion of American politics.

What I mean is that the modern Republican Party (essentially what used to be known as the "New Right" or sometimes now called "movement conservatism," in institutional form), particularly the Republican Party run by Karl Rove, defines dissent or disagreement from its policy choices as "un-American." Sometimes this claim is subtle, sometimes it is explicit. But nevertheless, today's Republican Party in many cases defines views disagreeing within its agenda as being outside an acceptable definition of the American nation.

This, IMO, is a sinister development and reminds me of the kind of thinking of Communist Parties around the world, democratic and not - ie if you aren't a friend of the revolution, you are its enemy. Accordingly, you will play no role in a country governed by a Communist government, and in a non-democratic Communist take over, you either "get with the program," or go to jail. The same is true of many far right parties as well. And because Italy has a strong Fascist and Communist traditions which have effectively played out a kind of "cold civil war" even when the Christian Democratic Party was dominant, I make the analogy.

Ben P

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 05:15:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see what you mean.

However, in Italy's partitocracy, both post-fascists and communists were marginalised (the system wasn't just the Christian Democrats, but the Socialists too); and as far as I know, Italian communists were of a different tradition from what we had here in Central-Eastern Europe, not one aiming for non-democratic takeover. (Quite the contrary: Western intelligence services had a grand operation after WWII - e.g. Gladio et al - to prevent a democratic victory of the party, quite nasty tough less nasty than what went on in Greece.)

Meanwhile, what Rove does has a US tradition too, anti-Vietnam-war protesters and earlier those leftists witch-hunted by McCarthy and even earlier by the FBI (and the media and the public going along with authorities) had to feel it. Or, even further back, there is Rove's role model, that was a certain Mark Hanna, spinmeister for the founder of the US Empire, President McKinley (who rates higher than Bush on my personal list of worst US Presidents). Going yet again earlier, tough not fully relevant (no explicit "un-American" quote here), the following description of a Republican campaign when Gorver Cleveland was elected, from Cuban poet José Martí, is hauntingly familiar:

"It's brutal, and nauseating, a presidential campaign in the United States. The mud comes up to the chairs. The white beards of the newspapers forget all about the decorum of old age. They dump buckets of mud on all our heads. They knowingly lie and exaggerate. They stab each other in the belly and the back. Any defamation is treated as legitimate. Every blow is good, as long as it staggers the enemy. He who invents an effective slander proudly struts ... . A good faith observer has no idea how to analyze a battle in which everyone considers it legitimate to campaign in bad faith.

...The evil was very grave: the Republicans, entrenched in power, cynically abused it; they subverted the integrity of the vote, and of the press; they mocked the spirit of the Constitution through partisan legislation, and copying the tactics of tyrants, used overseas wars to deflect attention from their actions. Who had a chance to compete against them? Defeat them? -- if elections are won by the force of money, if the Republicans have a free hand with the national coffers?



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 06:11:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Re: your voter stupidity comment

There is a solid base of around forty percent for both left and right in Germany. The left has been in power for two terms and have not done an outstanding job, nothing strange about their problems. Also, in 2002 the elections were very close, the vote for the SPD and CDU/CSU were virtually identical. If it weren't for the creation of the Linkspartei this election would be shaping up as quite similar since the SPD would be looking at about 3-4% more in the polls.  As for Ben's question - well that answers it. The solid 40% of the electorate which is on the right doesn't have a problem with liberal reforms - many want more. Many on the middle are sympathetic as well. The SPD's base on the other hand is quite upset leading some among them to think of voting for the LP. No voter stupidity here.

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 01:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The solid 40% of the electorate which is on the right doesn't have a problem with liberal reforms - many want more.

I will dispute that. This is true of the party elite and supportive media, but not such strong bases as conservative public workers or the rural population.

Moreover, the dissatisfaction with the SPD/Greens government is from a time that government tried economic-liberal reforms itself. I don't see popular support for these reforms.

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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 02:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was generalizing about the right's support for reforms - of course it isn't unanimous, economic policy is not the sole reason for party preference. But that goes both ways - I'm sure that plenty of Green and SPD voters support the reforms, particularly among the upper middle class social liberal types.
You say you don't see popular support, I could swear that I remember plenty from polls on the subject at the time of the anti-Hartz demos.
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 04:04:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe I remember different polls, or misremember entirely :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 13th, 2005 at 05:32:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW:

what this German election strikes me as making bleedingly clear is that the traditional "left-right" divide in German politics is dysfunctional

I didn't understand this. Where is the divide dysfunctional?

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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 03:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See my above comments.

I also think the potential for a "grand coalition" is somewhat indicative of this, too.

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 03:59:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(PeWi, you out there?)

By the way: Greetings from jandsm! He had even less spare time in the past two weeks, but is looking forward to post again in the near future.
I am very glad that jandsm is going to post again, as a Auslandsdeutscher, I feel a little inhibited to report on matters that go on in Germany, I can only translate from the papers, no first hand "feeling".
Will write about those things, though if they strike me as relevant.

by PeWi on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 04:42:23 AM EST
Didn't mean to push you :)

Take it easy!

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 05:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First a plug-in for my post on the four other recent polls.

Today Forsa, the polling institute associated with SPD, released its latest:

CDU/CSU 42% (+-0)
SPD 35% (+1)
Greens 7% (+
-0)
FDP 6% (+/-0)
Left Party 7% (-1%)

Hence the two blocks unchanged:
CDU/CSU+FDP 48%
SPD+Greens+Left Party 49%

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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 06:30:14 AM EST
Also, the direct mandates prediction has been updated on the Bundestagswahl 2005 site on Saturday. The prediction for seats (on the main page, right), with the so-called overhang mandates in parantheses:

SPD    214    (4)
CDU/CSU 258    (5)
Greens    43     
FDP    43     
Left P.    49   



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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 06:43:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Explanations:

On the map,
strong/light color: certain/weak lead
blue: CDU/CSU lead
red: SPD lead
green: Greens lead (look at central district of Berlin)
purple: Left Party lead

Overhang mandate:
In the German system, each state has a certain number of election districts, but twice as many seats to be distributed among parties. Normally, the latter is done according to votes on party lists. That is, for example, if a party wins 40% of the vote and 2 direct mandates in a state with 10 seats, two more people drawn from the party list will enter parliament. However, when a party wins more direct mandates than its share in the list vote, the Parliament increases accordingly and the difference is called overhang mandate. I.e., if say a party wins 5 direct mandates with 40% of the vote in a state with 10 seats to fill, there is one overhang.

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

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 07:04:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is interesting to compare the secure seats between CDU and SPD, there seem to be more "secure" CDU/CSU seats than SPD - and equally more advantage SPD, than Advantage CDU/CSU, of course, one has to consider the population in those areas as well.
by PeWi on Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 08:41:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]