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German Elections Thread II - Cliffhanger!

by Jerome a Paris Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:26:29 PM EST

Ok. Thanks to all for the input in the first thread. Here's the new one, with the latest results I could find.

(Update [2005-9-18 18:59:42 by Jerome a Paris]: Latest numbers from this site):

CDU/CSU: 35.2%
SPD: 34.2%
FDP: 9.8%
LP: 8.7%
Greens: 8.1%

Update [2005-9-18 18:10:57 by Jerome a Paris]: The latest estimates give both the CDU and the SPD 222 seats each...

Update [2005-9-18 18:10:57 by Jerome a Paris]: See here (Yahoo.de) for results (both votes and seats) updated every 10 minutes. (Hat Tip: A fistful of euros). Now at 225 CDU / 222 SPD.


Display:
I had a look at the American Sites, and there was nothing - almost - just this thread here on Kos

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/18/125722/144

should we bump it a bit?

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:36:01 PM EST
heh, in terms of comments we outnumbered them about 5:1

:)

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:52:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but even with lots of input from people, I'd feel like an idiot, because I couldn't answer anyone's questions.
by Plutonium Page (page dot vlinders at gmail dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course I am always proud of my brother, but today again, he did his democratic duty and became Wahlvorstand (head counter, election president??) here. This is his result:
http://www.wuppertal.de/allg_dienste/wahlen/bw05_www/statistik.phtml?wahlbez=98
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:45:25 PM EST
ahahaha, I didn't know he had Peter Hintze on his voting form, I would not have been able to have a straight face, he makes me puke and laugh, whenever I see his name...
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:47:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and the person I voted for got in with 52%.
hurray

http://stat.tagesschau.de/wahlarchiv/wid246/wkregion1051.shtml

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its only me here

<looks around>

hallo

anybody here

...

hallo(-:

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:50:21 PM EST
What, has everyone gone to bed? Good night!

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 04:52:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
still around

<waving>

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:53:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
still around and by the time I go to sleep you guys in Deutschland will be waking up :)
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:59:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]


If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
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
[ Parent ]
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
[ Parent ]
Germans have the right to carry a knife, aren't they? :-)
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where can I find official results?

Not that I can read German, but I can get enough of an idea...

by IdiotSavant on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:58:14 PM EST
they are still counting the current prognosis is the introduction to this thread, and it might be, that the official result will not be known till after they finished voting in Dresden in October.
ha
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:04:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can get a continually updated district by district map of the official results at:
Spiegel electoral map
As of right now the majority of the districts have reported. In B-W, Saarland, R-P, N-S, Thuringia and Hamburg have complete results.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:09:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In speculative knife mode: if there are new elections is Angie still the Kanzlerkandidatin of the Union?
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:04:50 PM EST
No, Friedrich Merz,

is he catholic?

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:05:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, he is
Sexual orientation: Straight

folofol

http://www.nndb.com/people/064/000098767/

who needs to know?

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:07:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know exactly, but he must be. He is from Sauerland.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no,no, no, the area he is from in Sauerland, Brilon, is Catholic, but not the whole of the Sauerland is Catholic. Hochsauerland, yes,
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:30:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Recent numbers (ARD), percent/mandates (including overhang):

SPD  34,2/222
CDU  35,2/224
GRE   8,1/50
FDP   9,9/62
LEF   8,6/54

FDP is below 10!!!

SPD lost some ground in comparison to the projections before. But that does not change the basic facts.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:15:01 PM EST
So that could make that seat that needs to be re-run in Saxony vital to determine who gets to be Kanzler in a grand coalition? That should be interesting...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:20:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Feels like German Elections Floridienne. I think that the result is horrifying.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as far as I know, there are no voting machines in Dresden. Thank god.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:36:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, but how much will those voters get pressured? I am just worried.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:42:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
District 160 (Dresden) will vote on October 2.

And, according to the electoral-math-pundits, it could cause a maximum change of 3 seats between SPD and CDU.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:32:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm more and more confident that the SPD will come up tops tonight, even without that final seat in Dresden. We'll see. The thing is, most of the districts that are still counting are going for the SPD, so their share can basically only grow from here on out. Alas, it won't be enough for a continuation of the red-green coalition. So if my prediction is borne out, Schroeder will be commissioned with forming a new government, but his only options are "traffic lights" (SPD-FDP-Greens) or "elephant wedding" (SPD-CDU), with the latter the far more likely scenario. Too bad for Joshka Fischer and the Greens :-( They really don't deserve this. Easily ninety percent of the old government's screw-ups were the SPD's fault, IMO.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:34:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And on a different note: any idea if Martin Hohmann - he of the Jews had it coming persuasion - managed to retain his seat? I know he's from Hesse but haven't a clue which district. Also, I read that if he does win the (CDU) zweitstimme of his voters don't count.  
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:15:26 PM EST
Looks like Fulda went for the CDU candidate Michael Brand with 39.1%.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fulda district.

It goes to Michael Brand (CDU), 39,1 %.

But I don't know how Hohmann did.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:26:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there is an Andere with: 21,5%.
which means he came in at least third after 29,7 (SPD)    39,1    (CDU)
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:36:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is good news. F*** Hohmann.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:49:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hermann Otto Solms (FPD party executive):

"We gained more votes than the Union lost."

Meaning: That many of our votes are "borrowed" from the CDU/CSU, will not prevent us from using them for a coalition with SPD and Greens.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:22:36 PM EST
Saturday,
any guess, who is going to get Friedrichshain?
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:34:36 PM EST
I don't have a clue.

But I'm surprised that here in Neukölln, Dietmar Staffelt (SPD) won against former Berlin mayor Eberhard Diepgen.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:46:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by the way, what's your district?
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
my town gave 19 votes to the MLPD and Renate Höhne, proper, proper
my district is: Hagen -- Ennepe-Ruhr-Kreis I - Wahlkreis 139
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LP jumped from 1,1 to 5,8 in your district. And FDP lost 0,2 %. Wow.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:17:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My neighbour town used to have a member of the DKP in the city parliament. getting about 20% of the vote
That is proper working-class, subborder Kohlenpot in Reinkultur.
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:22:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Left will get it.
by Xanthippe on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:03:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
links or green?
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:07:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah

43.2% plus 11%
http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/bundestagswahl2005/ergebnisse/wahlkreisergebnisse/l11/wk084/grafik_st immenanteile_84-1.html

Bundesland Berlin Wahlkreis 084 - Berlin-Friedrichshain - Kreuzberg - Prenzlauer Berg Ost

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:36:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, I buggered the thread.
can someone fix this?
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at the ARD coverage, it seems that the postponed Dresden district election (death of a candidate) could be crucial, since it could determine which party gets the most seats in parliament.

If the SPD gets mosts seats, they can claim to be the biggest party, and thus have a right to provide the kanzler in a grand coalition. If the CDU/CSU gets most seats, this question is open: they can claim they are the biggest, but Merkel's position has been weakened a lot.

I wonder how the election result will influence the people in Dresden, especially if they know they could piush the SPD to have the most seats. My first thought is that, since Schroeder is more popular than Merkel as a person, the voters there might want him as a kanzler in a grand coalition rather than Merkel, and would be inclined to go for the SPD.

I also understand that the FDP has said they wouldn't take part in an Ampel/Jamaica coalition, but they probably will reverse that statement..

by Frank (wijsneus-aht-gmail-doht-com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:34:47 PM EST
Hey Frank, if you're around, could you ask Page to check her e-mail, I sent her something...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:39:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I told you here that angst-driven Germans will agree to a grand coalition. From the English site of "Der Spiegel".

+++ Germans Want a Grand Coalition +++

(10:40 p.m.) Forty-two percent of Germans believe that a grand coalition between left and right -- the SPD and the CDU -- would be "best for Germany". That's according to the results of a poll conducted by ARD. Another 20 percent favor a so-called "Jamaica Coalition," consisting of the (black) CDU, (yellow, business-friendly) FDP, and the Green Party. Eighteen percent are in favor of a so-called "stoplight coalition" of the (red) SPD, (yellow) FDP, and Greens.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:39:51 PM EST
21:37 UTC
Does Dresden Decide?
The head of Germany's Emnid polling organization has predicted that a provisional final result will not differ greatly from current predictions, but the winner could still remain undecided until a late election in the eastern German city of Dresden takes place on Oct. 2.
Under Germany's complicated system of calculating
parliamentary seats, Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats could yet win more seats in parliament than the opposition Christian Democrats, despite receiving fewer votes overall.
With the so-called overhang seats, the SPD and CDU both have 222 seats. The 219,000 registered voters in Dresden could in the end be the tie-breaker.

20:40 UTC
222 Seats for SPD and CDU
According to a prediction by the Forsa opinion institute, a parliamentary parity between SPD and CDU is quite possible with both parties having 222 seats. In terms of votes, Forsa put the CDU ahead with 35.0 percent and the SPD with 34.0. The FDP received 10.0 percent and the Greens 8.2 percent. The Left Party came in with 8.5 percent.

http://www9.dw-world.de/ticker/index.php?lang=en

by Greco on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:53:11 PM EST
Seats according to latest ZDF projection: 224 to CDU-CSU, 221 for SPD, 51 for Greens, 62 for FDP libs, 54 for Lafontaine.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:54:51 PM EST
Isn't it strange that ZDF comes to different results than ARD?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This morning on the Washington Journal (C-SPAN) they had two correspondents from "Die Welt" and from the "German Press Agency" to talk about the German elections. Considering the current election results one remark, which I think most Americans are not aware of, seems now even stranger.

One of the two correspondents said that in comparison to the US the elections in Germany are really just about economics and none of the issues that divide the US, like gun control, death penalty, abortion rights, gay rights are of any importance in German elections, because those issues have been mostly settled in Germany. So the election is just about taxes, pensions, economics etc.

Nevertheless the votes are highly spread out between several third parties aside from being equally divided between the two Volksparteien CDU and SPD.

One wonders why in Germany we have much more and clearer ideological diversity in the parties, but so much fewer social, cultural and ideologically relevant issues we really would have to vote on whereas one doesn't have any diverse party system ideologically speaking in the US but tons of diverse and divisive cultural and social issues Americans vote on with a passion. Shouldn't the US have more diverse parties, as they have much more divisive issues they vote on?

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:58:43 PM EST
I think there is a cultural issue out there which affects German politics...
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:04:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if I understand what you mean. The fact that the German women don't produce enough babies? Not an issue you would vote on. No German seems to be concerned about it. What about Inder? Immigration policies? I guess immigration is an issue. I am not in the loop who is for what in Germany. I know who the racists are, though, and those, who are afraid to touch the issue, because they are scared to be viewed as racist, I guess. So, can you explain what you meant and fill me in? Thanks.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:55:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kinder statt Inder was an anti-immigration slogan the CDU used in the statewide elections in Northrhine-Westfalia in 2000. The SPD had proposed a package of laws that would make immigration more attractive for highly trained professionals from countries such as India. The idea behind the CDU slogan was to improve education at home instead.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 09:05:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was an election slogan of the CDU, alluding to the fact that the gov-t invited software specialists from India, to help alleviate a shortage in qualified personnel. Hence this rather nasty slogan, which was stupid, too. I mean, if universities could admit more informatics students in year X, that would mean more home-grown specialists in in year X+5, the earliest. Or, if Germans started producing babies like crazy, I can't see how these babies could become software specialists overnight...

I recall Merkel making a comparably stupid remark about Turkish guest workers having to become knowledgeable in German culture. The big problem is to define German culture: if it is the Great Classics, then many Germans would fall short of the mark. Not to mention that it is simply absurd to tell people what to read, what to listen to, and so on. If G. culture is defined as whatever Germans themselves are reading or consuming, one gets a hopelessly cosmopolitan picture. Hopeless from Merkel's point of view, that is. (Not to mention Turkish intellectuals in Germany, who bring their own stuff into the mix.)

A dog's a dog. A Cat's a Cat. (T.S. Eliot)

by BFA (agnes at ims dot uni-stuttgart dot de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 09:15:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you, BFA. I wasn't aware of that slogan, but it doesn't surprise me, including Merkels comments about Turkish guest workers.

Gastarbeiter "problematization" is something US religious groups invading Germany under the radar are doing quite effectively. I wonder if that is realized by Germans. I did run more than expected into Mormons in the US who did their missions in Germany with an obvious interest in our "immigration problems". I think they do more than their missionary duties would ask them to do, but obviously you can't say that aloud, because it would mean I discriminate against Mormons.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 09:49:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alas, I don't know about Mormons in Germany, but I can ask my colleagues here in Stuttgart (I'm Hungarian and a workaholic, so my 1st hand knowledge of things here is not so good). My impressions about Germans and Turkish guest workers are mixed: I think they don't like them, but on the other hand Turks are becoming better and better integrated, and they are just part of the landscape, period. Germany's favourite fast food joints are all Turkish, for instance. (And they are remarkably secular, they serve alcohol, e.g.)

There is at least one Turkish TV-station, and everywhere you go you see Turkish signs and inscriptions, too.

Even relatively conservative Stuttgart, btw, is incredibly mixed ethnically: Russians and other Slavs, Albanians, Chinese and Koreans, you name it. I think there is also a considerable US presence (with banks, corporations). "Real"  Germans here are slow in accepting for'ners (including Germans from elsewhere), but things improve with time.

Back to your initial observation: it's intriguing that Mormons should seek to discreetly stir up things.
Why would they do that? But I think the presence of immigrants is just a given -- and quite a few Germans can see the benefits of immigration, if only in the form of nice food.

A dog's a dog. A Cat's a Cat. (T.S. Eliot)

by BFA (agnes at ims dot uni-stuttgart dot de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 10:14:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to be careful to draw conclusdions, but I was astonished to learn that Mormons send a lot of their followers to Germany for their missions and the couples I got to know had definitely quite "clear" opinions about our immigration problems and their own in the US. They drew comparisons and used rhetoric I don't appreciate. I know that in Germany such a rhetoric I heard would be clearly put into the right-wing neo-nazi corner. May be it was just a coincidence, but my fear is that religious sects and churches are quite active in Germany beneath the radar. May be I am just hysterical. I shouldn't make a generalization, because I have no proof.

So, take my observations with cautions and forget my generalizations. They might just not be fair and unfounded.

by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 07:38:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no need to apologise. I would not be very surprised about this. In fact when I was young - ha, a mere 16 years ago, I went to a number of tent-missions and some such, not that I was particularly pious, I simply wanted to save my then girlfriend from becoming a christian fundamentalist, and so I had to go along to disprove all the indoctrination she experienced. I sort of succeded, although she then left me for a horse, but that is a different story altogether...

But at that time, there were quite a number of Americans on the "circus" (tent, making the rounds, eh) as well. Don;t think many of the once I visited were mormons, come to think of it, probably none, but even than, in the late 80ies, Germany was seen as prime missionary target. So there were probably quite a numbe of Mormons out there as well, but even for my Girlfriend they were too patently absurd.

Now to get the step from missionary to being against imigrants, in this particular case, it is more likely to be the against Muslim imigrants, bingo, Germany prime candidate of "Defender of the Christian Faith" medal.

However, as I will explain in my still forthoming magnum opus diary - Religion in Germany, the fundamentalist impetus does not rattle quite a bell as it does in the States, both Catholic and Protestant Mainstreams are to strong for that.

by PeWi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 07:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I looking forward to your magnum opus diary :-). Thanks for responding so kindly.
by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 08:12:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The journalist's statement is a bit oversimplyfied. There are many conflicting non-economic issues, like European integration (Turkey!), status and role of immigrants in Germany, energy policy, internal security and civil rights etc. etc...

The main difference is the election system: first-past-the-post versus relative majority system.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:12:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, energy policies and internal security are IMO subsets of economic issues. Turkey's integration into the European Union, well ... so what. Germans vote for one party versus the other because of this specific issue? I would be surprised. Civil rights? So what's the raging civil rights issue in Germany these days, which would cause the Germans to hit the streets and protest about and die for?

You have to see that I didn't mean to say there aren't other issues, but I compared to the hateful divisity many social and culture and "value" issues cause in the US.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 09:01:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First off, the culture wars don't rage nearly as venomously in Germany as they do in the US, but that doesn't mean there's no political/ideological polarization. A hefty portion of the vote is determined by religion and class. If you're catholic you're way more likely to vote CDU, unless you're lower or lower-middle class and preferably a member of a labor union. If you're protestant or have no official religious affiliation (as many people in the east do) and/or are unionized, you're far more likely to vote SPD. This is why the SPD gained a huge structural advantage from the reunification (what with catholics becoming a minority nationwide), even as it has been steadily loosing union support, as the power of organized labor has been on the decline just as it has in the US.

Secondly, it's true though that Germany isn't nearly as polarized as the US. There are currently way more swing voters in Germany than in the US (especially when you take the 2004 elections as a standard). I would guestimate the percentage of swing voters in the current elections anywhere between 20% and 40%.

Final point, ideological diversity is hampered by the parliamentary system - especially the fact that parties mostly vote as blocs. So the views and votes of the individual representative matter far less than they do in the US. Which makes the system less democratic, in the sense that there's less room for individual views; but at the same time, it also makes German politics less personality-driven.

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

by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Final point, ideological diversity is hampered by the parliamentary system - especially the fact that parties mostly vote as blocs. So the views and votes of the individual representative matter far less than they do in the US. Which makes the system less democratic, in the sense that there's less room for individual views; but at the same time, it also makes German politics less personality-driven.

You really think that the individual views, that matter so much in the US system, and don't matter so much in the German system, really makes the German system less democratic? As the individual representative's views matter so much in the US system, that individual is also much more likely to be lobbied, pressured, bought, bribed and therefore less accountable and more of a lose canon than a MdB in Germany. The party as a whole, because it votes en bloc, is also therefore tighter hold to accountability to its platform and as most Germans vote for more for the platform first and only second for the individual, I feel our system is more democratic. In the US you never know who all of the sudden kisses up to what kind of legislation for what kind of dubious reasons.

May be I miss something in the German system. I obviously have some unfounded unreasonable rosy nostalgic memories about everything German ... :-)

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 09:16:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the longer I live in the States the more I feel that nostalgia myself. But, back to the issue of the individual Rep./Senator's vote mattering more - I think it's more democratic in theory. In practice, most if not all the advantages of the American system are erased by the absolutely lethal combination of three factors:

  • the extent to which so many people have been brainwashed by the fundamentalists (and their increasing grip on the MSM)

  • the incredible amount of money a candidate needs to muster in order to compete in any election

  • the influence of lobbyists.


If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Tue Sep 20th, 2005 at 01:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
agree very much.
by mimi on Tue Sep 20th, 2005 at 10:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shouldn't the US have more diverse parties, as they have much more divisive issues they vote on?

1.  There are 3 minor parties in the USA
(a) the Libertarian Party
(b) The Green Party
(c) The Constitution Party
(d) other parties (socialist, communist, etc don't show up on the radar screen)

2.  (a) The US has a "winner-take-all" system. In other words, in a local Congressional or Senate election, if you get the majority vote vote, you get the seat.  So, if the Libertarians got 8%, The Greens got 7%, the Constitution Party got 6%, they don't get a seat in the House of Representatives. You need to win the majority of the votes to get a seat.

(b) In the US  the President, which is elected in a separate election, forms the cabinet.  So, Bill Clinton was the Dem President and formed a Dem. administration (ministers in Europe or secretaries in the US), despite the fact, that the Congress was Rep.

So you had a Dem executive branch - administration, Rep. legislature.

3.  Like many things in life - winner-take-all is good and bad.
(a)  Its good, because it creates a stability.  You don't have to enter into  a coalition with the other parties to form a government.  
(b)) Its bad, because the third parties do not have real voice in the government.  

(c)
However, recently, the 3rd parties in close elections have been playing a crucial role.

Presidential Candidate     Vote Total     Pct     Party
George W. Bush (W)     2,912,790     48.850     Rep
Al Gore     2,912,253             48.841     Dem
Ralph Nader     97,421     1.633                     Green
Patrick J. Buchanan     17,412     0.292             Reform
Harry Browne     16,102     0.270               Libertarian

Some argue, and the Greens disagree, that if the Greens voted for Gore, he would have won.   Greens further argue, that Al Gore "sold-out" the progressive politics and therefore, lost.  (Its another topic)

Similary, recently in the state of Washington, if the Libertarians voted for the Rep. candidate, the Dem governor would have lost.

4.  The state of New York has the following parties:
a. Dem
b. Rep
c. Conservative
d.  Liberal
e. Libertarian
f. (maybe others)

by ilg37c on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 12:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't answer right now, because I have to go to work. But thanks so far. What I need to understand exactly in comparison between the US system and the German one, in how far the proportional representation of our parlamentary system with some winner take all components for the direct mandates (I think) compares to the winner take all (and that not for all 50 states in the same manner in the US) reflects the fairness of the intention to represent the people's will of having one man one vote, equally weighted. I know I still haven't thought this through.
by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 08:39:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Worst showing since 1849 for the CSU, down 9% since 2002, to 49,3%. At least they got a pope.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:08:02 PM EST
Bavaria, slowly but surely, is changing.  Due to its relatively booming economy, people from other parts of Germany are moving in.  Sort of like the Southwest US.

Or maybe Bavarians themselves are doing a bit of the changing, too.  Young Bavarians are far more secular than their parents and grandparents.  

Here's what I've seen in a small Central Bavarian town, between Regensburg and Nuremberg:

Elderly Bavarians - very Catholic; my little town's church bells ring repeatedly at 6am (to wake all decent people up) and again at 7:15am (because morning Mass is at 7:30am).  Both of these times are very important for old Bavarians.  Several of my landlady's Gasthaus patrons, when asked who they wanted for chancellor, said Stoiber (very conservative head of the CSU).

Middle-aged Bavarians - still pretty Catholic; generally make it to Sunday Mass, quite scandalized when someone gets a divorce (but somewhat less scandalized by someone having a child out of wedlock).  Mixed on the election, with a surprising number who were fans of Schroeder, if not his party.

Young Bavarians - living with their significant others (marriage is for people over 30) and popping birth control pills with even more eagerness than their American agemates (with good results) and making it in for church on Christmas and Easter, mostly for family reasons.  Apathetic towards election, many considering voting Linkspartei as a protest.

by Texmandie on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 02:38:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lafontaine has not gotten in directly either, he came in third after the SPD and the CDU
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:11:46 PM EST
21:52 UTC
CDU, SPD Racing for Photo Finish
With 80 percent of the vote already counted the results are as follows:

CDU: 35.2
SPD: 34.2
Greens: 8.1
FDP: 9.8
Left Party 8.7

In terms of Bundestag seats:

CDU: 225
SPD: 221
FDP: 61
Left Party: 54
Greens: 51

http://www9.dw-world.de/ticker/index.php?lang=en

by Greco on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:16:59 PM EST
SDP is now at 222 seats to the CDU's 225.

Ben P

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
at least the F.D.P. seems to be under 10% now,

yeh, that was really too scary.

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:17:15 PM EST
why is it that in the whole of east the three that went SPD had the least right wing vote? all below 3.2% while (with one exception in Wahlkreis 65 Elbe-Elster, where they got 5%)

with almost no exception, those that went CDU had a right wing vote of between 3.5 and 7%

WHY?

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:33:36 PM EST
Don't understand. What do you mean by 'right wing vote' - are you referring to the extreme right? I don't think there is any place in Germany where the CDU got single digits.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:42:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I do mean the far right wing, NPD.

It is just a strange observance, the mostly social democrat areas have less far right wing votes than the the CDU area's

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:46:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not quite as significant in Thuringia, but it is the same in Saxonia, and  M-V
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:49:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as far as I can see, there are only two districts that are still counting - Berlin Reinickendorf and Elbe-Havel-Gebiet in Sachsen-Anhalt. I think both are going for the SPD (they won every single district in Sachsen-Anhalt). Then it's down to Dresden I...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:36:17 PM EST
Yes the SPD did win the last two districts that were still counting. And Berlin-Reinickendorf is apparently the only district the SPD newly gained this time around. We should get a preliminary official result any moment now...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD snatched Berlin-Reinickendorf from the CDU. That's the only district they gained (rather than defended) in this election.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:54:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPD 34.3% - 214 seats currently projected
CDU 35.2% - 219 seats currently projected
Greens 8.1% - 50 seats
FDP 9.8% - 61 seats
Linke 8.7% - 54 seats

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:58:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
223 (SPD) / 225 (CDU) as per ARD (rest unchanged)

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:20:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stoiber's floating the traffic light solution according to Spiegel.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:55:22 PM EST
the CDU seems to have mostly lost due to low turnout.
I am more cautious now

they lost 740.000 voters. due to low voter turnout, they gained more from SPD and Greens but lost 1.25 million to the FDP.

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:59:38 PM EST
the strongest showing for the Linke is among the "slightly senior members", well 45-59. the "Wende verlierer"
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:01:57 PM EST
Saturday,

I am not sure if you are still about, but according to the Spiegel Schroeder insists that it is parties and not Bundestagsfraktionen that lead the coalition talks:
"Kanzler Gerhard Schröder beharrte darauf, dass Parteien die Koalitionsverhandlungen führen, CDU und CSU also getrennt betrachtet werden müssten."

sooooo

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:09:13 PM EST
went to bed at about 1 a.m.

but before I went to sleep, I also heard the "CDU/CSU is not a party"-torpedoe explode. That will be the tune of today and tomorrow.

Damn. How am I supposed to get some work done when I look at news sites every 15 minutes???

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 03:30:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, same here (in Britain)

Well, it would only be fair, Stoiber always sits next to Merkel, so they have to be treated as two parties. They made a contract with each other not to compeat in each others territory, but I know they used to try and also the CSU got mightly burned, when they tried to establish the DSU after the Wende. One of my professors was a founding member of the DSU, it was very interesting...

So Parties or Factions? Big question.

But I don't think, it has sunk through to everybody yet, it might still be just a theoretical one.

by PeWi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 03:42:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the moment, the SPD contesting the CDU/CSU's status looks more like a theoretical experiment designed to put pressure on Merkel. But maybe the Bundesverfassungsgericht will have to decide again (for the uptenth time this year... This election is really turning into a law class).

But still, despite the DSU-story, Schröder can't get around the fact that CDU and CSU are not competing.

However, the two-parties-argument is nothing but a formal legitimation for Schröder to do what he will do anyway: Trying to build a coalition.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 05:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the CDU and the CSU are considered two parties, then the CSU wouldn't be a nationwide party and I wonder what this means. There is no CDU in Bavaria, so I guess the CSU is the limited edition of the CDU for Bavarians only. CSU = CDU for (Dummies) Bavarians.

If the CSU is not represented in all the Bundeslaender, what kind of legal consequences does that have?

Completely confused. What a mess all that.

by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 08:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've now followed links to half a dozen different German electoral sites.  None feature national vote totals (only national exit polls, predicted Bundestag seats, and -- very occasionally -- local vote totals). Even local/Staat vote totals are a bit hard to find.

Now I know that the national vote total is not the way this election is decided. But neither is it the way we decide our presidential elections, yet we display national vote totals all the time.  What gives? Why are we still seeing (what appear to be modified) exit poll numbers?

by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:20:02 PM EST
The percentages that are being bandied about here are all from the actual vote count. We in fact already have a "preliminary official" (i.e., certified) result - I just posted it upthread.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well a number of sites (e.g. Deutsche Welle) are still listing their results by exit poll projection (as late as 21:06).

And none of the sites I've been to show national vote totals in terms of number of votes, just percent (though I believe you that the latest numbers, such as the ones from Yahoo.de are from actual counts, not exit polls). Nor do these sites indicate how many votes have been counted and how many are left to count.

by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:37:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all votes are counted except Dresden 160
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
do you mean the total number of individual votes each party got?

if you are looking for that, well I cannot really help you but I can say , that there are 61,597,724 people eligible to vote out of which 78% went and voted and 34.3 of those voted SPD and 35.2 voted CDU.

There is a proportional representation in Germany, You can almost say every (second) vote counts the same way.

I found your site:
here

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that I've found them, let me ask again: why aren't these numbers featured more prominently in election coverage?

This is really, I think, a question of the culture of election reporting, which varies widely from country to country.

I've noticed that in UK election coverage, for example, there is enormous emphasis placed on "swing" (percentage change from one party to another...reported in these German elections, but less prominently; and even less prominently reported, at least on election night, in the U.S.), as well as what the British somewhat misleading call "majority" (which we in the U.S. would call margin of victory) in each constituency.

by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:54:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I find the swingometer ludicrous,

again, Germany has proportional representation, that means the percentage is sufficient, you know there are about 70mio eligible to vot, you know there were 80% that went to the election and the SPD got 34%, get you own calculator.

The whole election is mouch more straight forward, because every (second) vote (almost) counts the same unlike the US or Britain

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because you don't have a pure PR system, that first vote matters, too. And yet, as far as I can tell, what gets reported upfront is just the percentage of Zweitstimmen, no?
by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that's right. The percentage you get is the second vote, but the distribution of seats includes the first vote induced overhang votes (and I have see this in the past as 315+3 or some such
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This may sound stupid, but I'm guessing we just don't see the point in dealing with very large numbers - percentages are so much easier to process.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:11:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD won in Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Saarland, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, and very narrowly Thüringen.

The CDU/CSU won Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, and Sachsen.

I can't find the preliminary official result of Rheinland-Pfalz (it could have gone either way, but I predict it narrowly went SPD).

But you can see that if you go state by state, the SPD did very well. It's kinda ludicrous to think the CDU wants to lead the country, having won a majority in only three states.

 

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

by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 07:48:42 PM EST
Well, we have proportional representation and NOT first past the post and the CDU/CSU together got more votes

16148240(SPD)<=    13096556(CDU)     + 3494564 (CSU)

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:01:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know - that wasn't my point though. The fact of the matter is, the geographic spread of the vote is very uneven - the CDU/CSU won in only three states, but in these three they won by decisive margins. The SPD won everywhere else, but by comparatively narrower margins. Which means, because the system is proportional, that you have three conservative southern states dictating German politics against the will of a majority of the voters everywhere else.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:16:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry,

Well, I donlt think it is so clear cut,

have a look this map on the tagesschau site
http://stat.tagesschau.de/wahlarchiv/wid246/index.shtml

it shows there are more black areas - overall, CDU/ CSU have also more first votes than the SPD,
It also means that theoretically more Laender should be run by Social Democratic governments, like infuriatingly NRW, which they are not.

Well, that might change again...

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:24:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to be adopting an American perspective here. I personally don't see why there's anything wrong with having a party that wins by a large majority in a few areas and loses by a small majority in others, ends up running the show. In fact I far prefer it to the American system which effectively makes voters in most parts of the country irrelevant as only swing states count - i.e. a Republican candidate doesn't care whether he loses by ten points or fifteen in NY or RI, the reverse is true as well.  On the other hand, while the SPD hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of winning Bavaria or BW the margin matters a lot.  And of course you can't get the perverse Bush 2000 style 'victory.' However, all electoral systems have their flaws. In this case it is basically certain that voters won't get the government they were voting for - no chance of a straight red-green or black-yellow coalition.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where to begin? First off, it's not the existence of swing states that's a problem with a more federalist electoral system. What is a problem in the States is that there are fewer and fewer swing states, as polarization of the electorate has been steadily increasing. But you can't blame that on the federalist system. And under any kind of electoral system, there is always a particular segment of the population that is more in play than others - it just so happens that under a federalist election systems, that sought-after segment has a geographic definition. And you're saying that the swing states wield more power in a federalist system - well gee, doesn't that mean in the worst possible case you're replacing one geography-based imbalance - the one I'm complaining about here, which heavily favors the German conservatives, with another? Meaning, in the worst possible case at least you're not doing any worse than you're doing now? What's more, swing states at least gain there special status because their vote is not a foregone conclusion. The German system gives disproportionate power to a few states whose vote is absolutely predictable. I would not consider that a structural advantage - nor would I consider it more democratic. And then, the fact is, if Germany had an electoral college - and please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it should adopt one, see below - Schroeder would have crushed Merkel tonight. Now do you consider that a bad outcome? Just asking.

But all this is a discussion I didn't really mean to get into. I wasn't making a point about Germany's electoral system - I was just trying to point out that I'm really pretty darn impressed with the SPD's performance in these elections, and I think there's something to be said for the legitimacy of Schroeder's claim of a mandate.

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

by brainwave on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 01:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The German system gives disproportionate power to a few states whose vote is absolutely predictable.

No it doesn't. And I have no idea why you think it does.

And then, the fact is, if Germany had an electoral college - and please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it should adopt one, see below - Schroeder would have crushed Merkel tonight. Now do you consider that a bad outcome? Just asking

Yes, I would absolutely consider that a bad outcome. Very bad! I have this quaint idea that in a democracy you should not be able to 'crush' an opponent who gets more votes than you do.  

As to the EC in America, the main problem I have is with the winner takes all rule, not the minor distortions in the number of electoral votes.

by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 03:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CDU got the most votes in Rheinland-Pfalz.

36,9 - 34,6

(12 - 11 seats)

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 03:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think that a party like this has a future or is a short-term protest at the current conditions in Germany?  It has been over a decade since the Wall fell, will a party that is still mostly concentrated in East Germany be able to nationalize itself?  Can Germany contain three competing left-wing parties, and the much-harder road to effective governments?
by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:02:35 PM EST
Well the Links party is keen to say, that they nearly got there in the West 4.9% and it was the East with its 25% that got them up to their margin.
They have markedly improved and are the real winners of this election - not the FDP.

One thought on them and the declining CDU, there is a bigger lefty half in Germany than righty half, but I still think, this is not going to be sustainable in the West, They hope to enter some of the Laender parliaments, and that will really be the test form. So the Jury is still out I think.

Also, their biggest voter potential was the 45-59 year old, those that lost out in the Wende - accross the board, of those that went to the election for the first time it wsa the SPD that got most with 39% and Links is in fifth place, below their potential, if you think about radical youth and such.

I don;t know, I think their policy questions are right, their policy practices are Janus-headed and their party as such, well , well, they build the Wall.

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:13:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably, but all small parties in Germany find themselves occasionally flirting with the 5% mark.  I also think that they benefited somewhat from the perception that Red-Green was dead anyways. In a tight race some potential Linke voters would presumably hesitate about de-facto voting for either a grand coalition or a right wing one.

In general the Linkspartei throws a spanner into the functioning of parliamentary politics: it's harder to get to fifty out of 92 than out of 100.

by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is going to be my last post for today, but before I go, have a look at this page

http://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/bundestagswahl2005/onlineatlas/btwClientKarte.htm

all the results you want to know.

Thanks

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 08:27:35 PM EST
the result is that we don't have a result. Awful.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 09:51:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least you didn't have corrupt local election officials trying to suppress one of your party's votes. Nor will you now have a month in which the CDU and/or SPD try desperately to affect the results of the election through a selective use of recounts, court cases, and phony popular demonstrations.

So the view from America is that this result, while not ideal, looks pretty good. At least it appears to reflect the actual will of the voters.

by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 10:16:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It could be worse, yes, but it doesn't reflect the will of the voters. The vast majority of those voters were casting their ballots for either a continuation of the current govt. or a black-yellow one. That's not going to happen.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:29:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
right, but the kind of problems you had in Florida, is just one set of problems you can have. We have just a completely different kind of problem at hand right now. As to wether the result reflects the will of the voters, yes most probably, but then in this case not. Or let's say it reflects that the voters themselves don't know exactly what they want.

But I think no voter intended to create a situation which is not clear, they hoped for a either a black-yellow take-over or for continuation of red-green, I guess. The fact that the vote ended up to create a situation that seems to indicate that neither of the two solutions is wanted without replacing them with a new clear-cut coalition is a problem.

You simply don't know, if the voters would rather have a black-yellow-green coaltion under Merkel or a grand coalition under Merkel or Schroeder or a red-green-yellow coalition under Schroeder.

So, what is the will of the voter? It's not clear. That's the problem.

by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 08:26:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But officials trying to thwart the will of the voters seems to me orders of magnitude different than a murky picture that no individual voter wanted.

And surely the 12 or 13% who voted for parties other than CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP or Greens did not want either red-green or black-yellow.

The will of the people is truly unclear, and this is fairly represented in the results. Now it's up to the people's elected representatives to figure out the mess. That's representative democracy.

Two other thoughts about this situation as it now stands:

  1. Such a divided parliament is very dangerous in a system in which sizable numbers of seats belong to parties opposed to the very system of government.  This is, of course, what happened to Germany in the early 1930s, and to Italy in the 1920s.  But, despite all the blather about die Linke not being a democratic party, that's simply not the case today. The NPD got nowhere near the 5% needed to take their seats.

  2. My attitude toward the German result is very American, in that our system of government, with its checks and balances, is more or less designed not to run smoothly and efficiently for the majority of the moment.  Over the years I've come to value that aspect of the U.S. system. Of course, that's not the case now, with the Republicans in control of the White House, both Houses of Congress, and the federal courts, a situation which makes me long for divided government. There are worse things than a period of governmental stasis.
by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 08:58:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who succeeds her?  I'm not exaxtly her biggest fan but compared to Koch...
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:31:29 PM EST


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