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CDU and the Turkish-German vote

by whataboutbob Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 11:27:41 AM EST

There's a story up now over at A Fistfull of Euros that is a recommended read, titled: Unwanted. Here's a piece of it:

There's nothing better for livening up all this dull, wonkish chatter about the German elections than a bit of CDU-bashing. So, how shall I bash them today? Oh, I know! How about this: they're a shower of xenophobe racists.

Yes, yes; not exactly news, is it? What is news, though, is that the Union appears to value xenophobia even more than it does winning elections.(...)

...a few years ago, the SPD/Green government modified the embarrassingly racialist citizenship law, ...and a fair few of these new Germans -- about 700,000 of them -- are entitled to vote this Sunday. They would never have become Germans at all, if the Union had been able to do anything about it. It's a no-brainer, isn't it, that German voters of Turkish descent are going to mark their ballot papers overwhelmingly in favour of the SPD?

It is. The Spiegel reports on a poll by Hürriyet that shows the following breakdown among Turkish-descended voters:

SPD              77.0%

Green             9.2%

Left Party        7.8%

CDU/CSU           4.8%

FDP               1.2%

(...)With relatively little effort, the Union could attract a lot of votes from Germans of Turkish extraction. Apparently, though, this number would be outweighed by the number of current Union voters who'd be angered to see their party treating these 700,000 like the German citizens they are.

Read the whole article, it's good. Do you think there will be a big turn-out of the Turkish-German vote? There might be motivation...

700,000 votes is quite a voting block...and I assume they will be voting their interests. As I've said elsewhere, I'm "going out on a limb" and predicting a Schröder win. Let's see...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 11:29:47 AM EST
700,000 citizens, not eligible voters - some are kids. Not that big a voting block c. one percent of the population.  Also note that many German 'Turks' are actually Kurds.  
There's been considerable conflict in the CDU over whether to court the Turkish vote. On the one hand they're pretty damn socially conservative - natural CDU constitutency. On the other hand... CDU doesn't like foreigners. Though on the third hand I suspect that the minority of 'Turks' that are citizens aren't perfectly representative of the Turkish and Kurdish population of Germany - probably more assimilated for one thing.

I didn't post on it at the time but I remember reading last week that some CDU leaders were explicitly calling this election one between the 'Christian West' and multiculturalism.  
Rub eyes, replace 'multiculturalism' by 'Asiatic Bolshevik hordes' and you're straight back to fifties CDU.

by MarekNYC on Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 12:42:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Says this Spiegel article.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 03:59:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a Trojan-horse situation to me. It does seem dumb that the CDU is ostracizing a decent sized voting bloc. But that's what many thought about the Republican Strategy in the United States. The author would do well to read up on that. Sometimes even subconscious though deeply held feelings about racial minorities infect the political process and cause people to vote against their own interests. We're battling it in the US. If Germany is anything like the US, Germany may have its own version of a Southern Strategy brewing here.
by Upstate NY on Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 01:25:38 PM EST
The Republican southern strategy would not have worked anywhere near as well if America had PR rather than winner takes all.  On the other hand as I noted in my earlier comment, non-whites make up a tiny part of the German voting population.  If non-whites were the over twenty percent of all voters that they are here, it would do strange things to German politics.
by MarekNYC on Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 03:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
very well for the CDU in the past. A xenophobic campaign against dual citizenship was how they dislodged the SPD in the state of Hessia in 1999, just months after Schroeder took office. It was a ridiculous ploy, since the issue had very little to do with the state elections - but it worked.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 04:02:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point, hadn't thought of that. From the post below it does seem it can have some local effect.
by Upstate NY on Fri Sep 16th, 2005 at 04:49:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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