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German elections Thread

by Jerome a Paris Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 09:57:15 AM EST

I did not want to choose between the several good diaries about the German elections to promote one on the front page, so I am creating this one. Let's use this one for the rest of the day (unless we are so active that we need a new one!). I'll ask those of you that have posted interesting links in other diaries to post them again in this one. Ifthere are some that you especially recommend, flag them so that we can put them above the fold.

Here are links provided by Saturday:

The Returning Federal Officer: Official results from the election districts as they come in.

Tageschau: Here, public TV channel ARD provides an internet live stream of its election coverage.

ARD

Phoenix

n-tv


Display:
One and a half hours to go.

Around four o'clock, exit poll numbers are being provided for the party organisations. From that point on, news spreads quickly among politicians and media. But no one is allowed to air any information before 18.00.

But, still, a n-24 news channel commentator announced that "at six o'clock, there will be a big surprise." What ever that means.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 10:31:59 AM EST
I guess speculating is pointless but i'll do it anyway. Would it really be a "big surprise" if Merkel wins? I don't think. Unless she wins a majority

Join The Community - the voices must be heard Voices In The Wilderness
by The Voice on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:02:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here are the links I also posted in my diary:

  • The Federal Returning Officer: Official results from the election districts as they come in.

  • election.de: Really nice electoral maps (Java). I do not know how often they will be updated; just try!

  • Tagesschau: Here, public TV channel ARD provides an internet live stream of its election coverage.

The following links provide the most recent projections, as they are made public by the TV channels.


by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 10:34:10 AM EST
ok guys. I just received two calls from people who know the exit polls that were conducted until about one hour ago. But I promised to remain quiet until about 18.00 (under any circumstances, I want to prevent them from getting trouble out of this, for publishing exit polls before 18.00 is not allowed).

All I can say: There will be a surprise.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:03:55 AM EST
You are naughty!!!!!
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:10:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or not naughty enough as it stands, why don;t you tell me, and I tell them, who know who I am ....
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:11:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
send me your email.

geckes(at)gmx.net

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:13:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
unterwegs
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:22:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and hmm

Sagen wir es mal so, die ersten Exit-Polls kurz nach 16:00 Uhr brachten ein für Frau Koch-Mehrin durchaus überraschendes Ergebnis. Zwischenzeitlich haben sich die Werte aber wieder - nun - normalisiert. Mmh, war das verschlüsselt genug? Ich hoffe es mal ...

quoted via lautgeben

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:43:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PeWi das ist pervers. :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:47:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean the naughty secrecy and not telling. :-) This election is really a nailbiting thing and it looks like it is still not over - I mean the nailbiting.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:19:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A poster on the same thread you're quoting from says Koch-Mehrin's post is actually from last night, apparently she was just running scenarios.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:48:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks, I don;t read her blogs, am just running around headless and reading other blogs thats all....
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:50:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Torture is uncalled for

Join The Community - the voices must be heard Voices In The Wilderness
by The Voice on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:15:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about a hint - is the surprise good or bad for, well, Schroeder or Merkel (take one)? Ah, well, 18 minutes now...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, apparently I have missed that the FDP has been a murky lot during the last twenty years or so. What then could be the surprise? Red/Green/MoreRed ?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:29:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A weaker-than-expected CDU finish creating a Grand Coalition government.  But then again, what do I know?
by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:09:41 AM EST
you know about as much as the rest of us...except for Saturday.

I need a good surprise...

by gradinski chai on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:41:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I predicted the German election!  Weaker-than-expected CDU-led coalition government.
by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
would be FDP at 4.8%.

But we'll know in 20 minutes.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:41:32 AM EST
I've been hoping for twenty years for that lot to go under. But, as they say, lots of nasty stuff floats...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I know, but we can still dream.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:52:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
has already over 10.5 percent.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:30:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the dream lives on..

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:47:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5 minutes until polling stations close.

Exit polls from around 16.00 MEST:

SPD   32-44

CDU   36-38

FDP      11

Green 6,5-8

Left  6,5-8,5

(2 independent sources quoting from the exit poll numbers which all parties have been provided with)

This looks good for a CDU/FDP coalition. Big surprise: FDP receiving more than 10% !!!

Shame on you, pollsters!!!

But after 16.00, new numbers are rumored to have a tendency against CDU/FDP. (But beware: This info could also be some sort of last-minute-spin)

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:55:14 AM EST
That would suggest a massive Zweitstimmenkampagne of CDU voters on behalf of the FDP. Weird - why would they? Normally that sort of thing happens when the FDP is rumored to be in trouble ahead of elections. That wasn't the case here, was it?

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:58:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CDU-voter who wanted to prevent a grand coalition
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:00:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPD between 32-44?  That's a pretty bad spread for an exit poll.  FDP 11% is shocking, and the rough tie between the Greens and the Left is rather surprising to me too.
by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:59:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
must be 32 to 34... (sigh... ;-))

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
argh! sorry! 32-34.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:01:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBc is just saying CDU/FDP leading by 2%
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:01:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...by the way:

Greetings from jandsm!

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:55:50 AM EST
thanks, say hello back!
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:03:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Infratest-Dimap, 18.00:

SPD  34
CDU  35,5
Gre  8,5
FDP  10,5
Left 7,5

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:02:43 PM EST
voter turnout according to infratest:

about 79 %

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:04:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who would have believed that even 4 weeks ago?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I would have thought that Schroeder might benefit a little more from her meltdown...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:16:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Forsa, 18.00:

SPD  33,6
CDU  35,9
Gre   8,4
FDP  10,6
Lef   8,6

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:12:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First projection, by ARD:

SPD 34%
CDU 35.5% (OMG!)
Greens 8.5% (yay!)
FDP 10.5% (yikes!)
Linke 7.5%

That is one bizarro result! This means basically anything is still possible...

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

by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:05:54 PM EST

FDP 10.5% (yikes!)

where are they coming from????

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:07:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the most successful second-vote-campaign ever.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:09:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember that kind of thing happening back in the 70s (unless I'm having another senior moment here).

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:13:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1980?
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:02:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
where are they coming from????

Maybe the Stefan Raab election special yesterday evening?

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:19:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why yickes ???? Don't get it.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:41:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CDU + FDP 46% - 2% (plus 1 vote - see below) short of what they need
SPD + Greens 42.5% - even less likely
SPD + Greens + Linke 50% - this is what CDU + FDP have to overcome (take two percentage points from them and add one vote)

If CDU and FDP can claw themselves up another 2%, they have a majority. If they don't, it'll most likely be a "big coalition" (CDU + SPD) or a revote. The truly amazing thing is, though, that the CDU is doing so bad in this projection that they might not even finish first - in which case we might even get an SPD-led big coalition, possibly even under Schroder. But, that's not likely to hold up...

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

by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:12:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well with this result the SPD is the biggest fraction in the Bundestag afterall CDU and CSU is a coalition.
so big coalition with Schroeder as Kanzler???
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
no. CDU/CSU is not a coaltion. It is a common faction.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:20:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
f CDU and FDP can claw themselves up another 2%, they have a majority.

For long the rule of the thumb was that city people typically vote later, but vote more to the Left. This meant SPD/Greens beating the exit polls in 2002 too, I hope this time it will mean even less for CDU/CSU+FDP than in the exit polls.

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:31:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ZDF projection:

SPD 33%
CDU/CSU 37%
FDP 10.5%
Greens 8%
Left Party 8%

RTL exit poll:

SPD 33.5%
CDU/CSU 36%
FDP 10.5%
Greens 8.5%
Left Party 8.5%

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:16:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Presently CDU is down to 35.2 on ARD.

FDP down to 10.2

Greens down to 8.2

SPD unchanged

The only one going up is the Linke up to 8.4

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPD 34
CDU 35.5
Green 8.5
FDP 10.5
Left 7.5
Other 4

It has seats at

212 SPD
221 CDU
53 Green
65 FDP
47 Left

I don't know the number of seats in the Bundestag.  Would the CDU/FDP be able to form a government with that?

by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:06:39 PM EST
nope. It's a stalemate.

We'll have to wait for results coming in.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:08:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you need 290 or 300 seats  - which neither the CDU/FDP coalition nor the SPD/Greens accomplish.
by Xanthippe on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:24:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
598 seats + possible "overhang" mandates.
So you´d need at least 300 seats.
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:25:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CDU MEMBERS ON TV: SHOCKED.

SPD: SATISFIED.

FDP. SINGING AND DANCING.

GREENS: no reaction I know of.

LEFT: MIXED FEELINGS.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:07:11 PM EST

Walter, writing in Berlin's Die Tageszeitung newspaper, predicted an SPD-Greens-FDP government as  
the most likely result on Sunday.

:::

(Schroeder) can only survive and indeed triumph alone through this Red-Green-Yellow constellation

This seems possible now or am I missing something? (I am no expert on the German electoral process)

source

Join The Community - the voices must be heard Voices In The Wilderness

by The Voice on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:14:16 PM EST
A majority for a red-yellow-green ("traffic lights") coalition has always been virtually assured. And with equal certainty, such an alliance isn't going to happen. Greens and FDP are incompatible - neither party stands anything to gain and both have a lot to loose if they were to sign off on such a deal.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:20:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so, hwo refuses to work with whom? The greens deny cooperation with the FDP or the FDP denies cooperation with the greens? They are idiots both, if they can't compromise to work together with each other and both with the SPD, IMO.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:47:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a lot of eating of words has got to happen before any coalition can get off the ground.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are idiots both, if they can't compromise to work together with each other and both with the SPD, IMO.

Heh, based on what common ground do you imagine them to go into a coalition? I can't see any. (Civil rights could have been one, but FDP is rather silent about those lately...)

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:55:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't watch the FDP. My feeling about the FDP is that of thei mid seventies. Apparently they had a lot of crappy guys messing with the party during the last 15 years or so.

Well, what a weird situation.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And for a good reason. What you have to keep in mind is, the small parties (Greens and FDP) have to constantly fight for survival, since there is a 5% threshold on federal and most statewide elections - fall short of that threshold even by one vote, and you ain't gonna be represented in parliament at all. And FDP and Greens are direct competitors. So entering a coalition together is a highly dangerous move for both of them. It's almost a death match - if one of them were to benefit from such an alliance, the other would likely go under.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:55:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for asking, but how in their right mind could think that the Greens and the Free Democrats have something that would justify any of them to opposing competitors. That's a case of delusional grandstanding that neither party can show reasons for.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, politics is as much about ego's as it is about guiding the state it wants to govern to a better future....
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:57:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like, judging by the other exit polls and the infratest extrapolation that just got adjusted, that the CDU will gain a little as the night goes on. But not enough to pull off a CDU/FDP coalition, so it won't matter. Or that's what it looks like.

But hey, I remember the previous elections, so saying anything before the night is over is probably a bad idea :-)

by Frank (wijsneus-aht-gmail-doht-com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:23:39 PM EST
No, the CDU moves up probably because 1) conservatives typically vote earlier and 2) rural people are more conservative, and counting goes facter in small villages. The count moved the same way in 2002: first CDU up above the exit poll numbers, a few hours later slowly back, and in the end Red/Green outdid the exit poll numbers.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:34:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's my expectation as well. The SPD might still come up tops...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd never expected that that's a possibility... now I probably won't be able to sleep and will stay up the night for the final result like last time :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:50:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one advantage of living in Upstate NY - bright daylight over here (and a beautiful day to boot!). My fear is that I'm not gonna get much work done today (yeah I know it's Sunday but I gotta prepare classes for tomorrow).

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:57:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nonetheless, "traffic lights" is being discussed intensely on ARD.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:26:03 PM EST
SPD-chairman Franz Müntefering:

"Schröder will remain chancellor!"

Meaning: SPD will try to arrange for a traffic lights coalition.

That is also what my source from within the SPD (he is currently at a party with science and education minister Edelgard Bulmahn) tells me.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:34:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Müntefering:

"There will be no cooperation with the Left Party."

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:35:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They should ask Wowereit about how likely that project would be to succeed...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:36:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Traffic Lights? Which one is that?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPD (red), FDP (yellow) and Greens.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:41:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, figured it by now. I hope they build this coalition.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yikes!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:52:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPD = red
FDP = yellow
Green = you get the idea :-)

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:42:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Say some more about FDP...why would they interested in a left coalition?

"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 18th, 2005 at 12:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They wouldn't. They have a lot more to loose than to gain from such a deal. I think the reason Muentefering (the SPD Chairman) is floating this option right now is to prop up the mood of the faithful until we see more tangible results.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:47:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, agreed, it is not a very likely proposition, but then...
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:50:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they USED to be in coalition with the SPD on Federal level, before they changed over to the CDU in 1982 (Genscher and Lambsdorf fabrication)

but there were some social liberals (Darendorf), not just the national, economic liberals leading the party now.

They had at one time, some decent politicians, Leutheuser-Schnarrenberg f.e,

but most left, are silenced, or changed to the SPD, Verheugen f.e European Vice President used to be a FDP or F.D.P. member

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:49:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, yeah, just didn't know FDP are yellow...:-)

I associate yellow meanwhile with yellow elephants and needed to ajust my wiring.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yello, green, red

aeh

red, yello , green

SPD, Liberals - FDP, Greens

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:44:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would the FDP do that? Why support a highly instable government that's assured to have the wheels coming off at the first turn, knowing they're only going to get punished for it afterwards? The FDP would enter a traffic lights coalition only if their survival were at stake. Sadly, there's no evidence that it is (obviously I'm not exactly a fan of that lot)...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:40:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, who thinks the FDP they are. As far as I am concerned they are nothing and they have only a life in a coalition with another party. They are dead if the go into coalition with the CDU. It's so tremendously boring. If the FDP goes into coalition with CDU, they can just become CDU themselves. Gosh, it's awful, I am not interested in German policies anymore other than that I don't trust the CDU/CSU to be honest brokers for the people's good. Merkel is another case. I think she isn't that conservative in her heart, she might just be a lose canon in foreign policies and may be also too unexperienced.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:57:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any chance FDP will accept coalition with SPD and the Greens?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:37:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About zero.

FDP is a neoliberal party, in permanent assault of any environmental issue that would limit business.

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the fuck is that?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:58:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, uh, because that's the nature of the party. What fucking part seems incomprehensible to you?

On second thought, because you're an American, maybe you are misled by the US meaning of the nomer 'liberal'. But, it was only in the USA that 'liberal' became associated with Big Government and social programs like the New Deal. Elsewhere, liberalism remained to be focused on freedoms (especially where those weren't yet achieved).

In the seventies, US economist Milton Friedman et al, the so-called 'Chicago school' who 'helped' Pinochet, created the theory that 1) the smaller the state and the more private the economy the better ('markets regulate themselves'), and 2) economic 'freedom' should be there first, it will create political freedoms second. This is called 'neoliberalism' world-wide, but in the US, used less often.

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:07:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, you really equate the FDP to the libertarians?  (Neoliberalism - is that comparable to right-wing libertarianism or more to left-wing libertarianism?)

I am actually German, but have lost track with German politics big time since 1980. I apparently have no clue what the FDP is all about these days. I am lost.
Also, from across the Atlantic, I couldn't get the divide between East and West Germans. I had to watch reunification on the TV set and have these days to host interns in their twenties from both parts of Germany, which made it clear to me that I have lost the capability to understand what's going on in Germany. I even don't vote anymore in Germany because of that.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mimi,

I am a German too and the FDP is definitely NOT libertarian in the American sense.
(Hmm, you could probably compare them to center to right-wing Democrats in the USA?)

Pro-market yes, but if they ran on a "libertarian" platform they´d be lucky to even get 5% of the vote.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:52:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I am getting so confused with the libertarians in the US. They seem to be center-left liberals, but then they are also outrageous right-wing extremist libertarians. I have no clue why both groups run under the umbrella of the libertarian category. I hate politics, nothing but an obfuscating fuzzy mess. Or let's say I am too dumb and too lazy to really try to understand their minds. :-)
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:20:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I am getting so confused with the libertarians in the US.

1.  The reason you are confused is because most people, and alsmost everyone in the media, gives inaccurate and incomplete labels and/or descriptions to the political/economic theories or parties.

Its absolutely inaccurate, very confusing and even foolish, to divide the political spectrum into left and right.

  1.  There are no libertarians on this site.  I believe I am the only libertarian voice.  Maybe there are others, who just don't post, in part because they are afraid of being ridiculed, since some here would rather dismiss you, instead of debate the facts and theories.

  2.  Here is the link to the The US National Libertarian Party - http://www.lp.org/issues/issues.shtml, where you can learn and educate yourself about the libertarians party issues.  

  3.  Here is a Libertarian Purity Test - http://www.bcaplan.com/cgi/purity.cgi

Be reminded that the libertarians are not uniform and they come in different forms - haha.  However, in general they believe in more economic and personal freedoms for an individual, and less economic and personal power to the  all-knowing, all-understanding, all-generous, all-providing, all-caring state.  

The ultimate question is the individual freedom vs. state control.

5.  This site has the world's smallest political quiz - http://www.theadvocates.org/index.html

Look at the upper right portion.

(a) In essence there are 5 positions:

  1.  Libertarian;
  2.  Liberal;
  3.  Conservative;
  4.  Centrist;
  5.  Authoritarian.

(b)  now you can see that dividing people into right and left is incomplete, inaccurate and misleading.
by ilg37c on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:00:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, but does sound exactly like the FDP version of liberal. (maybe apart from Gun control issues) but then there is a different culture they are liberal to.
by PeWi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 03:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see the FDP calling for the

(1) the abolition of the income tax.  On the contrary, 2 American parties have it in their platform.

(a) the Libertarian Party
(b) the Constitution Party.

(b) the free trade.

(c) abolition of inheritance taxes, capital gain taxes.

(2) taking the state out of the education.

In sum, there are few libertarians, but no libertarian party.  Of course, in France, there is
Sabine Herold
who is a libertarian and got 80,000 people to protest against the unions.

by ilg37c on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 10:18:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, I have read a bit about the Libertarian's way of dividing not into groups from left to right, but from top to bottom on the scale of how much "authoritarianism" each group got in his guts.

I have to admit that I don't like it. You can have restrictive (ie authoritarian) rules concerning taxes for example to ensure a fairer distribution of wealth among the population, which would end up in the best case szenario as giving more people more freedoms.

You have to defend freedom of press and freedom of opinion against authoritarian hate speech to ensure that everybody feels comfortable to voice their opinion and not be bullied into silence. These would be authoritarian measures to protect freedoms.

So, I have my doubts about the top to bottom kind of scale. A fundamentalist libertarian can allow freedoms to be destroyed for the sake of staying truely libertarian and that doesn't make sense to me.

by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 07:54:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  The most important point is that dividing the political spectrum into 5 groups (the square spectrum) gives a more accurate depiction and provides less confusion that dividing people between the left and the right.

  2.   I have to admit that I don't like it.
You don't have to like it.  If everyone thought the same way, there won't be any disagreement or elections would there? :-)

3. You have to defend freedom of press and freedom of opinion against authoritarian hate speech to ensure that everybody feels comfortable to voice their opinion and not be bullied into silence.

(a) THere is an American Nazi party.  Big deal. They can print hate speech.  They can march and protest.  Big deal. They are miniscule.  Plus, once you have their opinions aired, you can debate them, show them how irrational or dangerous they are.

(b) same goes for the KKK.

4. Give me an example where your version of protecting against the hate speech provides more freedoms.

Cheers

There is no evidence taht the Libertarians do not want freedom of press or opinion.  The question is
(a) which method provides the most individual freedom;
(b) which method is more productive.

by ilg37c on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 10:12:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1.  I don't know much about the FDP's internal politics, and the personalities that drive the party.  Its probably the only party that comes close to the Libertarian Party.

However, there is no principled libertarian party in Germany.

(a) It appears to me that the most likely scenario is the  SDP & CDU grand coalition.  It means there will never be a radical economic reform in Germany.  The concept of aboliting the income tax (the most hideous tax) is absolutely foreign to them.  The next close thing was the flat tax, but that is nowhere to be seen either.  So, they are left with (i) a complicated tax system, which probably is 14,593 pages (I am being sarcastic), which only tax lawyers and accountant can understand.  So the little people are screwed, because they can't afford to hire tax lawyers and CPAs to find loopholes in the tax code, (ii) state spending a large portion of the GDP with promises to the future generation that the state will pay for the health care and pension (of course the state has to steal ...ooops tax the money from individuals to pay for the services), (iii) labor market which is not free, but regulated and encourages higher unemployment, (iv) taxes on capital formation, which discourages creation of jobs and business.

Its the same old, same old.

Q:  Why would the FDP want to be associated with a failure?

(b) the second likely scenario is SDP/LP/Green coalition.  See above, except with a much terrible outcome.  

2. Maybe the FDP should sit and watch how Germany is slowly crumbling (low competitiveness, high unemployment, lower state benefits, lower economic growth, higher trade barriers, protectionism, more power to the trade unions, more strikes, etc).

Then, hopefully, either the CDU will adopt free-market, libertarian positions, or maybe (not likely) the voters will vote for the FDP and accept some austere measures for the sake of the future generation.

3.  Full disclosure - the FDP has not paid me for this consultation (haha).  They can hire Nobel Prize economists from the University of Chicago, or the CATO Institute.

by ilg37c on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:20:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
after this could please also explain the difference between Manchester Capitalism and Rheinland Capitalism?

(Sorry, it is a slightly snarky request, and I smirkingly accept, that you might be the only L voter in these rows)

by PeWi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 03:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  I am not an expert either in the "Manchester School of Economics" or in "Rheinland Capitalism."

  2. (a) The Manchester School originated in the 19th Century, because of the desire  for free trade.  I do not believe they had a platform for monetary or tax or fiscal policies; I might be wrong about the latter part, and if so, someone will point it out.  As

(b) I was asked to post a diary about a free trade, and I should spend time to organize it, which I haven't done.  Jerome also thinks a debate about free trade will be good.  There are always two sides of a coin (not equally right), and free trade has its good and its bad.  The question is whether free trade overall is good or bad for more people most of the time. In other words, if the free trade benefits 80 people and hurts 20, on balance its good.  

(c) Sometime, in the past, I posted links that gave three different perspectives in favor of free trade
(i) liberal (minority view, even though Bill Clinton signed and Dems voted for NAFTA), (ii) conservative (majority view, even though Pat Buchanan and others oppose it), (iii) libertarian (overwhelming view).

You can check back at my comments and find out, if you are interested.

(d) My short answer for free trade is simple:  Let Africa and Latin America and Asia (large part) live in  the industrial and agricultural age, and let's move to the information age (space, biotech, nanotech, genetic engineering, health care, internet, etc).  Most people in these industries will make a lot more money than if they worked in metallurgy or meat factories.  

It also means that education (and creative thinking) will become more important because we live in the information age.

by ilg37c on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 11:11:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rheinland kapitalism means that a company shows resonsibility for the wellfare of its workforce from the cradle to the grave and not just qhile they worked at a plant, Things such as:

Building and providing houses, pension, 13th Salary at Christmas, cheap holidays, sports facilities, medical facilities.

A tradition that used to be very strong in Germany - introduced not by the state, but by the industrialists themselves.

by PeWi on Tue Sep 20th, 2005 at 12:32:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, unless you just want to tease me, I am very interested to find a strong economic theorist, who brings the University Schoold of Economics opinions to its knees. I think outside the US the concept of libertarianism in economic theory is misunderstood as being liberal-leftist and a beacon of freedom and fairness. I am so laywomanish and uneducated when it comes to that specific school, but I don't trust them for a minute.

They could go on too long to confuse people. To me they are wolves in sheep clothes (or whatever you call it). And if the FDP falls for those theories I just think that they don't know what they are dealing with.

by mimi on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 08:04:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Instead of studying in the university for economic theories, here are 2 short cuts (but you don't get a degree - haha):

1.  Read this book by Milton Friedman -
FREE TO CHOOSE
Its a fast read.

  1.  Ask yourself a simple question:   Who can solve this economic problem better - an individual (or a group of individuals associated on the basis of freedom) or a state (through its political machinations and bureaucracy)?

  2.   "Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned."  :-)

Right on.  Next time, use this observation, when a bureaucrat impedes any freedom or progress.  It works every time its tried.
by ilg37c on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 10:34:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And don't forget the really important question: will this allow me to justify acting in my own self interest without regard for any one else's interests while pretending that its for their own good?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 11:11:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1. When a baker bakes bread, he does not think about you or me. He doesn't even know about you or me.  

(a) He acts for his self interest - bake bread, make money, to support himself and his family.  Its called the invisible hand.
(b) I take the baker any time over any government bureaucrat.

2. When Bill Gates (or Microsoft) programs a software, he/she doesn't know you or me and doesn't do for our good.  
(a) He did it to have fame, or money, or success, or all of the above.  Or maybe, he was a geek, and couldn't get a date, and now he can.  The end result was a product or service.

(b) I take Bill Gates any time over any government bureaucrat.  Or if you are an Apple fan, I go with Steve Jobs.

  1. The communists had "lofty and noble" goals.  See what it brought too.  Ask Mao, ask Castro, ask Lenin, ask Stalin, ask Pol Pot, ask, ask, ask.

  2.  I let Schroeder and his government programs solve the Germany's social and economic problems.  That of course assumes that the government knows better than the individual.  He believes in it and I salute him.  I want more power and more control under Herr Schroeder.  (smile)
by ilg37c on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 10:53:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
grr ARD livestream just collapsed...
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:33:58 PM EST
Help. I am so far away from being really interested in German elections, so my stupid question now:

Has there been already made a committment made by the FDP to go into a coalition with the CDU?

Or could the SPD, the FDP and the Green Party go altogether into a Coalition?

Geesh, strange result. Certainly not a good result for the CDU.

How do you interpret that the FDP had such an increase in votes? Isn't that just to show that there are a lot of people, who are unsatisfied with either SPD or CDU and for lack of an alternative they voted FDP, because there wasn't anything else for them to show their discontent?

Unfortunately I can't view or hear video or audio clips right now.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:35:18 PM EST
But then, all sorts of folks have made commitments that mean jackshit in the face of these results...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:43:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Possible effects:

A) Germany has a (predominantly) proportional system, but parties get in on list votes only if they pass 5%. Seing its poll numbers sink, FDP campaigned for CDU voters to give their list vote to the FDP - maybe with overwhelming success.

B) Last night, popular German talk-show host Stefan Raab did his own election show. I don't have a very high opinion of him, yet he is very popuzlar among a certain section of the youth. Meanwhile, in recent years, the FDP has tried to attract just this clientele. Yesterday, in the show, they held a mock telephone voting of viewers, and the FDP of course did rather well. Maybe this had a lasting effect on some young people who would have voted for CDU.

C) IMO most likely: on the TV channel ARD, polls showed a dramatic swing in preferred coalitions: the popularity of a CDU/SPD Grand Coalition slumped, that of a CDU/FDP one rose. Maybe a lot of CDU voters wanted to prevent a Grand Coalition.

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

by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't imagine that Schroeder would have ever accepted a CDU/SPD coalition. Had he given any such indications that he would? That would be really strange.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But this is not about what Schröder likes. If a Grand Coalition is the only possibility, the SPD (led by its ministers) will dump Schröder and join a Merkel-led government.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:11:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh ... SPD/CDU coalition under Merkel's leadership?
hmm ... why is it that I don't think that's too bad?
For some reason I don't believe Merkel to be a conservative by ideology, so it may actually work, because the extreme conservative opportunists at the CDU might be "controlled and checked" efficiently enough then by the SPD, or not?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has there been already made a commitment made by the FDP to go into a coalition with the CDU?

Nothing written of course. :)
But there was always the public assumption that this would be the "natural" coalition.

Or could the SPD, the FDP and the Green Party go altogether into a Coalition?

In principle yes. It happened in states already.
But on the federal level there are "tensions" - to say it politely - between the Greens and the FDP.

How do you interpret that the FDP had such an increase in votes? Isn't that just to show that there are a lot of people, who are unsatisfied with either SPD or CDU and for lack of an alternative they voted FDP, because there wasn't anything else for them to show their discontent?

I think nobody right now can really interpret the results. Certainly not the pollsters. :)
But personally I don´t think it were dissatisfied voters. Looks more like people were assuming that the CDU was safely above 40% and giving their "second vote" to the FDP to bolster them. Kind of tactical voting.

I really, really don´t like this result!
It´s either a big coalition or some sort of three party coalition.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:54:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the FDP thinks their "natural" coalition partner is the CDU and their "natural" unacceptable coalition partner are the greens then the FDP has no idea what the meaning of a liberal (=free) democratic party means.

Arggh such pinshitters.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:03:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:07:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
also, they have been known to be too friendly with Haider's FPO in Austria and with Anti-Semites in Germany.
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:09:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Omigosh. Then forget it.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:17:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you talking about Moellemann?

I have no great love for the FDP but to put them into the anti-semitic corner is IMHO unfair.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am getting scared. This is a somewhat dangerous result so far. Too many votes to too many third parties, or not? Reminds me of the 1920ies.

Has Schroeder or the SPD in general ever given a hint that they would agree to go into a SPD/CDU coalition?

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:41:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It´s an awful result!

It´s either a "grand coalition" or some three party coalition. And both options probably won´t produce a government able to really govern.
Not to mention the possibility of another federal election not that far away...

Thank you, Schroeder, for insisting on early elections!!!

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:15:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I was referering to the (now dead) Moelleman, and o.k maybe it is a little bit unfair, but they do have had unpleasant involvments (including attempts to overtake and vote out of the current leadership) with right wingish characters.
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with your comment.

Although "attempts to overtake and vote out of the current leadership" seems to indicate that the current leadership doesn´t support such "involvements".
(By the way media articles before the election reported that neo-nazis were trying to infiltrate the "Linkspartei" too.)

But you should realize that people could make equally unfair comparisons about Schroeder.
Like his "friendship" with Putin. Democracy in Russia anyone? Weapons sales to China?
Are these pleasant involvements?

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My hunch is that many "naive" youngsters of the "Linkspartei" don't realize that they come easily close to neo-nazi-like argumentations. I was pretty stunned about that.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:23:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention the fact that IIRC the "Linkspartei" already declared before the election that they would be an opposition party regardless of the outcome of the election.

Why vote for a party that simply says that they´re opposed to something and wouldn´t try to fix it?

It´s an awful result!
To repeat myself. :)

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:22:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Angela Merkel:

"Red/Green has been put out of office. We have received the mandate to build a government. It is not sufficient for a coalition with the FDP. We would have wanted a better result. But still, we are the strongest political force in Germany, and that means: Red/Green is over."

Meaning: Trying to arrange for a grand coalition.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:40:17 PM EST
The results aren't in...sounds like posturing. How can she makes such a statement yet?

"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 18th, 2005 at 12:42:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
she has no choice. A grand coalition is the only way she could become chancellor.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May be she would go into it, but would Schroeder be willing? Hey, nobody can shed some light on Schroeder's willingness to go into a CDU/SPD coalition?

Well, I know one thing, the US won't support Merkel if she accepts to go into coalition with Schroeder. My golly, Rummy and Condi have really pampered her with love and wouldn't forgive her, if she goes "hand in hand" with this ... Schroeder guy. I hear Cheney whispering: "That's a no, no, Angela..."

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:15:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, unless they invade they can´t do much about it. :)
Getting support from the Bush administration is a liability!
by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:39:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they have invaded already ... it's just that the Germans are not religious enough to realize it ... luckily.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:43:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mimi,

Do you comment too at DailyKos?
Asking for information about the German election system?
If yes, then we might have been in contact there too. :)

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guido Westerwelle (FDP):

"We want a real change. We will not participate in a traffic lights coaltion."

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:49:08 PM EST
Yeah, but what do the real FDP politicians say? </snark>

Right now it looks like the traffic light is their only ticket back into power.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 12:57:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is Westerwelle anyway? Bloedmann
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:05:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Black-Green-Yellow coalition?  Would the Greens join up with the CDU/FDP?
by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What???? If they do I emigrate to the US... :-)
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:10:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  If you are an entrepreuner - you are welcome to the USA.  Come, build a business, create jobs, and keep more of your money to yourself, your family, your church, your charity, instead of giving the all-knowing, all-generous, all-efficient state.

  2. You may also go to Hong Kong and Singapore.

  3. Or stay in Germany and promote free-market.

  4.  Ahh, on the last thought - welcome to America! :-)
by ilg37c on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 11:28:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not really.

Although this situation is so amazingly in suspension, I'd say: No way.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:14:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there are no historical parallels, but some people have thought about it already, especially in Baden Wuertemberg where both FDP and Greens have a strong tradition.

ARD also just reported that the Bavarian environment minister thought about it aloud

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:18:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Merkel:

"We will also talk with the Greens"

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:24:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which just proves that Merkel is not a true conservative. Merkel should join the FDP in the long run. Wasn't it anyway just a matter of circumstances that she ended up to be a protege of Kohl? Not a matter of ideology?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don´t know....

What I do know is that some commenters here will disagree with my comment below. :)

But IMO the CDU - the conservatives - is a center-right party. And the SPD a center-left party.
With overlap in the "center", the "moderate" position.

A lot of German "conservatives" would be considered wild-eyed leftist radicals in the USA. :)

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greens:

We would have nothing to say to them

I was watching it on BBCNews and it doesn't seem like the greens want anything to do with CDU

Join The Community - the voices must be heard Voices In The Wilderness

by The Voice on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:01:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You shouldn´t write such things when I´m sitting in front of my computer and drinking a beer!
I nearly ruined my keyboard! :)

To answer your question.
No.
Such a coalition would require a real miracle (with direct "heavenly" intervention).

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:23:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah. not plausible. Under the right circumstances I could just possibly imagine a black-green coalition (i.e. if there was a black green majority but no black yellow or red green one) But a black-green-yellow coalition just doesn't make any sense.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:39:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's plausible enough for the newsweenies to give it a catchy name.

Since the first results came out, the lightweights of the airwaves have been calling this the "Jamaica coalition".

Poor Bob Marley must be rolling over in his grave.

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

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:30:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So with the FDP refusing to do a coalition with the SPD/Greens and the Left/PDS refusing/being refused to do a coalition with the SPD/Greens and the CDU/FDP being not able to form a majority...

the only way to get a functioning government out of this would be a Grand Coalition - which seems to be not exactly fit the definition of "functioning government"

by Xanthippe on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:00:04 PM EST
exactly. SPD/CDU coalition is the same as trying to obfuscate policies in a photo lab's darkroom. Nothing there to hide in a black-out.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The greens are celebrating!
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:10:40 PM EST
say more...

"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 18th, 2005 at 01:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but there is movement, CDU and SPD is getting closer .... SPD is at 34%
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:19:40 PM EST
Stoiber has lost 8% in Bavaria!
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:21:44 PM EST
he is only at 50% ....
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:22:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WTF?  50% here in Bavaria?!?!?  That's like saying the Republican only got 50-55% in Utah.  Seriously.  This place is so CSU it hurts.  

(Currently listening to rural Bavarians scream at each other in Oberpfalzer dialect at the town Stammtisch.  If you weren't born somewhere between Nuremberg, Regensburg and Weiden, forget understanding them, even if your German is excellent.)

by Texmandie on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:37:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, no propper results are in, but that's what they said.
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:38:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:39:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
now they are at 48.9%

yeah!!!

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The world must be coming to an end :-)

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In parliamentary seats getting less than 50% of the vote in Bavaria could actually help the Union since it they'd probably get an overhang seat or two.

But this is simply stunning - when's the last time the CSU came under 50% in Bavaria.  I remember that when Stoiber was shooting off his mouth about the Ossis, many commentators said there was method in his madness - rack up massive vote totals in CSU/CDU strongholds that would outweigh any loss in the East. Well, if it really was a deliberate strategy, looks like  it didn't work too well.

by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes - this is just so cool.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:31:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why is it that in the US the Reds are conservative and in Germany the Reds are socialists?

Who is the colorblind nation here?

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:32:30 PM EST
the reds are always to the left,

I understand that the coulours used to swap over in the states before every election and then one time they just got stuck the wrong way round

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:34:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Red: traditional colour of the European workers' movements.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:42:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know, but ... isn't it that in the US the conservatives are Red, because they are Rednecks? But how does that make sense, because Rednecks should be very hardworking workers? How come the Rednecks, who work so hard under the sun, became conservatives instead of "worker" oriented? They should be more red than red ... life is so difficult to understand, don't you think?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:52:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Howard Dean:

"I want to be the guy for people with pickup trucks and confederation flags."

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:05:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, but wasn't that Dean's wishful thinking only? :-)
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't actually know the history of the political colors in the US. But I have a strong hunch the red-blue business is historically "shallow". As far as I can see, the only significance this color code has is in marking electoral maps on TV and the internet. (The generalizaton to "red states" and "blue states" is fairly recent for sure.) So my guess is this code may not even predate the era of TV. The political colors in Europe, on the other hand, go back to the 19th century, and they have a much wider currency. Black is the color of the (catholic) church; that's where the conservatives got it from. Red has been the color of the socialist movement from its inception. I don't know why they went for red, but a good guess is they wanted something as different from the conservative color as possible.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:15:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do believe that the current Red/Blue breakdown is only around a decade old (though it has taken root like an old oak tree).  And it is reversed from what it should be.  I like the British system, with Red for Labour and Blue for the Tories.
by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:33:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. TV networks (and others who present election information graphically) have colored their electoral maps red and blue for decades, but neither color was firmly attached to either major party.  Thus, for example, Dave Leip's very helpful Presidential Election Atlas site, which goes back to the early 1990s, uses red as the Dem color, blue as the GOP color.

This in part because both major political parties use red-white-and-blue as their color scheme (which actually tells you a fair bit about American politics and is suggestive of the differences -- or lack thereof -- between the two major parties). Thus neither party has a "natural" color that distinguishes it from the other.

However, entirely by chance AFAIK, the networks were using red as the Republican color and blue as the Democratic color on election night in 2000. The long, drawn-out drama of that night has, for the moment at least, turned red into the Republican color and blue into the Democratic color.

by GreenSooner (greensooner@NOSPAMintergate.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The mainstream "liberal" media in the States decided it would not possibly show their true commie colors, so it decided that the commies in the States would be red.

I must say I have no idea how the switch occurred by it has to be the result of decision made by the three major television channels.  Red=REpublican?


Ein Land ist nicht nur das, was es tut -- es ist auch das, was es verträgt, was es duldet.

by MoDem on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stabile Regierung unter meiner fuehrung (schroeder)
Stable government under my leadership.
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:32:35 PM EST
oh, oh ...
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 01:53:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I got that line without looking at the translation.  Probably because politicians sound the same worldwide.
by Rick in TX on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:35:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks to everyone for this great discussion...you have been quite patient with those of us who are trying to figure out what the heck is going on. So...back to the action...is SPD still holding steady/gaining in percentage, as someone noted up thread?

"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 18th, 2005 at 01:58:36 PM EST
The voters have decided - but it is hard to understand them.

Here are the seats as projected by ARD and ZDF, about 30 minutes ago:

ARD

SPD  212
CDU  219
GRE   51
FDP   64
LEF   52

ZDF

SPD  210
CDU  219
GRE   51
FDP   65
LEF   53

CDU/FDP are 16 or 15 seats short of absolute majority (299). It is probable that CDU wins more overhang mandates than SPD, but it is practically impossible that such big a gap can be closed by that.

Right now, almost everything is being put on the table:

CDU+SPD
SPD+FDP+Greens
CDU+FDP+Greens (!)

Formally, Merkel has the right to start with coalition building. But Schröder will, simultaneously, talk with the FDP, no matter what Westerwelle said.

A grand coalition would make Schröder a pensioner, a traffic lights coalition would cost Westerwelle's head.

The next days will be very interesting. Merkel will have a hard time, and we will have to see if she survives this defeat (I know CDU has gained the most votes, but still: it's a defeat). For her internal enemies are strong and numerous.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:00:46 PM EST
Forgive the ignorance on the subject but what are the LEF policies like? I have come to understand that they were newly formed just prior to the election being called (pretty good result under the circumstances)

Join The Community - the voices must be heard Voices In The Wilderness
by The Voice on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are the leftists. Socialists. More support for the common man, higher taxes for the corporations and wealthy people.
by Xanthippe on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:29:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"More support for the common man"  

I think that should read 'More support for the white common man.' Evil minorities brought to Germany by the evil capitalists to take jobs away from good German family father are a different story.

by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
SPD just gained another seat on ARD while the others are unchanged.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:11:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, not true - FDP got one seat less.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you elaborate who you think are her most persistent internal enemies?
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:51:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stoiber in Bavaria and Koch in Hessia just pop up in my mind. :)

Stoiber probably didn´t want her to succeed where he failed in 2002. Koch is probably looking forward to the next federal election.

The problem with Merkel and the (West German) CDU is that she didn´t advance through the ranks from the bottom.
If you do that, you´ll have contacts, friends, in short a network of people supporting you. As we say in German, a "Hausmacht".
 

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, it will be the Greens who decide, right? Because, if the CDU, as some have said, will look at a black traffic light coalition (black, yellow, green) the Greens would have to accept that and I would really be amazed if they would.

If the FDP denies to get into a coalition with the SPD (geesh, what kind of jokers are sitting in the FDP these days?), the SPD has only the Greens and the PDS to form a coalition and Schroeder said, he will not go into a coalition with the PDS. He also said he will not go into a coalition with CDU.

So, darn, what are these guys going to do then?

I guess it will be a SPD/CDU coalition, because Merkel isn't really too much opposed to it, which may be the deciding factor in the end.

What's your thinking right now?

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:02:32 PM EST
It's Poker time now. And nearly all the major candidates' heads are at stake. Schröder will not be part of a grand coaltion. Westerwelle might not survive a traffic lights coaltion. Merkel is weakened and has strong internal enemies, so no matter what combination emerges, her chair is also jiggling.

There are too many personal and political interests involved to be able to predict any outcome right now.

Who will become chancellor? - The answer is: I do not know. And I doubt that anybody knows.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:20:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Simply spoken, that is then a very scary and dangerous situation. An unstable government in Germany in a weak European Union is not what you want to wish for.

It feels so 1920-ish ... Too many votes gone to too many third parties that are lose canons without spine and character.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gotta love media spin. Popped over to the FAZ (excellent but very conservative daily for those unfamiliar with Germany). This is how they describe the situation:

title: Red Green voted out, no majority black green - ok fair enough.

The Union has become the strongest political force in the Bundestag but according to projections failed to reach its 2002 total. The SPD lost a lot of ground...

All true of course. But the big news on this electoral evening is the stunningly poor performance of the Union.

by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:08:58 PM EST
The big news is that because of these early elections Germany probably won´t have a government able to really govern.

We either face a "grand coalition" or some sort of three party coalition. Both options don´t exactly inspire confidence...

Of course, there´s always the option of yet another round of federal elections coming soon to my door-step.

It´s an awful result!

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:26:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One thing to remember. This is not just a stunning electoral result relative to expectations. It is also a historic defeat for the two Volksparteien.  At some point in the next couple days somebody should graph the combined total of the SPD and Union over the course of the Bundesrepublik. I strongly suspect that with the possible exception of 1949 this is the lowest vote total they have ever had.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:18:09 PM EST
exactly!

I don't know the exact numbers right now, but I think you are right. The irony is: The outcome could well be a grand coalition!

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:26:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering that the German people is a people with a well developed Angst-syndrome it might end up to be a grand coalition, because anything else seems to be unstable, ie. ungovernable and may be angst-driven Germans reluctantly put up with a grand coalition.

How do SPD Bundestagsabgeordnete see Angela Merkel? I kind of hope she has an independent, more scientific oriented mind and does not dwell on rhetoric, but then I have no guts feeling whatsoever about her.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks it's going to be a long night. At this very moment, red-green is at 42.3% and black-yellow at 45.4%.  The SPD has been steadily gaining on the CDU. A 1.55% shift between the camps would put red-green over the top. That's still within the realm of possibility tonight. And until we know that it's not going to happen, all speculation about other coalitions is moot.  

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:23:18 PM EST
Scratch that - even if red-green were to overtake black-yellow, that of course wouldn't ensure them a majority...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:25:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yep. It's not gonna be a long night. You can also go to bed now. But it's gonna be some long weeks now!
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:28:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uhm, going to bed sounds a bit whacky - it's early afternoon over here :-) Also, I'm really not so sure the rest of the night over on your side of the pond will be boring.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, I admit: I will have the TV turned on quite some time tonight.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:43:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Westerwelle to Schroeder: I might be younger, but I am not more stupid ...
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:40:51 PM EST
but Schröder was right: He really did not seem to know the history of the socilal-liberal coaltion.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:44:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well in his "defense" he became a member of the F.D.P. (drei punkt partei) in 1980 when he was just 19
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's no excuse.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:06:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, I should explain, he became a member of the FDP, when they were still part of the Social Liberal Coalition after the 1980 election.

As I said earlier, there used to be two "wings" of the party, the social-liberals and the economic-liberals. Currently the economic liberals have the stronghold and the others left to join the Greens and the SPD

The FDP had been in power as a Coalition partner since from 1961 to 1998 - swaping to SPD and back to CDU  in 1969 and 1982 respectively.

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My favourite word of the evening:

"Jamaica coalition"

Meaning: CDU+FDP+Greens (black-yellow-green)

LOL

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:41:44 PM EST
I just got to the Deutsche Welle program.  The reporter is talking about how little attention in the States was paid to this results.  He noted only the "think tanks."

Bigger space was given in the US papers to Afghanistan.

It will be interested to see how the US papers report that the parties closer to Bush, expected to win, did not do nearly as well as expected.

Ein Land ist nicht nur das, was es tut -- es ist auch das, was es verträgt, was es duldet.

by MoDem on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:44:15 PM EST
In their defense (why???) mayber because there is no clear result.

aeh, no not really, just cannot be bothered.
but then how much did we hear about Norway and New Zealand, if we did not have http://www2.Eurotrib.com

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:49:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I find strange is that Hessen on the ARD website is still displaying the result from 2002.
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 02:53:39 PM EST
Schroeder says he ain't going to play with Merkel:
 Schröder will nicht mit Merkel +++

[20.40] In der gemeinsamen ARD/ZDF-Sendung lehnte ein aufgekratzter Schröder Gespräche mit der Union unter der Prämisse von Merkel als Kanzlerin ab. Das kriegen Sie nicht hin", sagte der SPD-Politiker in der "Berliner Runde". "Die Deutschen haben in der Kandidatenfrage eindeutig votiert", fügte er hinzu. Kanzler könne nur er sein.


... Schroeder opposes talks with the CDU under the premise of Merkel becoming Chancellor. "You can't make that happen", he says in the "Berliner Runde" "The Germans have voted clearly with regards to the Chancellor candidature," he added. He is the only one who could be Chancellor.

That seems to be a hot and spicy love-hate relationship ... ?

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:04:36 PM EST
two things

it is still mathematically possible that the get equal seats.

and Schroeder would not be in a Grand coaltion

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like it's just a question if this will be a grand coalition under Schroeder's or under Merkel's leadership.

Is it possible that the final results will be so close that the possible coalition combinations are all dependent on the 200 000 votes from the district in Dresden that vote only in two weeks?

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:12:44 PM EST
In the extreme circumstance, that SPD gets 10 ueberhangmandate and the CDU 3, and they'd achieve a seat tie, welll
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:16:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, and look at the English site of "Der Spiegel". Fischer says he is against the Greens going into coalition with CDU, whereas Butikofer says:
Reinhard Bütikofer, the head of the Green Party, has not ruled out the possibility of his party participating in a "stoplight coalition", in which the Greens would partner with the CDU and the FDP. In a television interview on public broadcaster ARD, he said that the election has proven, first of all, that the CDU has earned the most votes. The Greens, he continued, would listen to what Merkel has to say regarding coalitions. Bütikofer spoke just as openly in favor of a coalition consisting of the SPD and the FDP. In any case, the Greens will go to all the talks with self-confidence. "Opposition is also an option," he said.

arghhh ... characterless flip-flopping no good for nothing kind of guys - a disaster.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, as you guys over in Germany have to get some sleep, I will leave with the prediction that it will be a grand coalition. I am not ready to predict who will be Chancellor. If Schroeder is fighting it hard, I guess Merkel has "no bock" to fight back yet.

May be we just get a disaster for a change.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:20:59 PM EST
hmm, ARD says that there will be tie between CDU and SPD in the Bundestag due to the higher number of Ueberhangmandaten of the SPD. The Greens say they have got "amazing offers" from Merkel and Zastrow from the FDP thinks that the new election might be necessary in the "near future".

Well, looks we get a disaster.

by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:27:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks for your caring, but I'm going to stay awake for another two hours or so. I want to get a better view on the Überhangmandate. Strangely, SPD is predicted more than CDU (which I really don't understand. it collides with my understanding of German electoral maths. Usually, the party that has handed over more Zweitstimmen, gets more Überhangmandate.).
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I glanced at the Spiegel Wahlkreis map. Most Laender are far from complete, but in Saarland the SPD got a sweep in spite of getting only around 1/3 of the vote. That's one  overhang seats right there. That interesting result is courtesy of the Linkspartei pulling down the total SPD vote but not preventing the SPD from getting all the seats. Perversely under certain circumstances a party is better off getting less zweitstimme.
by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The good people over at the Spiegel are now reporting that Forsa has the SPD ahead of the Union, 223 seats to 220. Yesssssssss! :-):-):-)

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:37:41 PM EST
Don't get exited too soon... The Greens don't know if they see red or black, ohmigosh. What a mess.
by mimi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:41:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A "Jamaica" coaltion and a "traffic lights" coalition are equally unlikely. The FDP would look marginally more favorable upon the former, while still rejecting it, and the Greens would look marginally more favorable upon the latter, while still rejecting it. Basically neither of these two alliances works for the two "old" small parties.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:59:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If this happens, what does Schroeder do? I think it would paralyze him politically to include the Linke in his coalition, but I wonder how many Linke seats are held by former Lafontaine's SPD folks as opposed to ex-PDSers? Could the former join Schroeder's coalition, or at least "tolerate," to give him a working majority?

Conversely, what could the CDU offer the Greens that would make a "Jamaica coalition" feasible?

by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:42:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Before the election I tried to google the "Linkspartei" in the different states.

According to those articles former PDS members occupied three of the first four places on the Bavarian "Linkspartei" election list?

If that is true in conservative Bavaria, then I suspect that most seats will be held by former PDS members and NOT former SPD members.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:11:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither Red - Green nor Black - Yellow got a majority.

That is awful!

Simply put, it means that we Germans will either face weeks of negotiations to "organize" a simple government compromising on the lowest level of common ground (either a "grand coalition" or some three party coalition) or face the prospect of another round of federal elections.

Forgive me but I don´t think that´s a good result for Germany.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:54:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, can someone explain to me once more how these are allotted ? I've been trying to figure out how this works since 02 and still don't quite follow?
by desmoulins (gsb6@lycos.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 03:56:41 PM EST
Half of the 598 parliament members are elected by direct vote on a "first past the post basis". But the other half is elected on the basis of party lists for each of Germany's 16 federal states. This second ballot is more important for the national outcome because it decides on the basis of proportional representation how remaining seats are distributed.
Under the system of "Ueberhangmandate" or over-hang mandates, a party which gains more direct mandate seats, for example 35, than proportional seats, say 32, would be entitled to a bonus of three extra overhang seats.
by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:13:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Bundestag is being elected over regional lists (Landeslisten). Every regional state (Land) has a certain number of mandates. Every party gets the percentage of mandates according to the percentage of second votes it received. If a party wins more direct mandates in this Land than it should get in accordance to its percentage of second votes, the number of direct mandates exceeding the number of mandates it should get according to second votes is the number of Überhangmandate it gets.

Example:

In Rheinland-Pfalz, 30 mandates are available.

Here the percentages of second votes and the number of mandates resulting from that:
SPD  34,6% --> 10 mandates
CDU  36,9% --> 11 mandates

It is possible that CDU wins 12 direct mandates: 1 more than it should get according to its relative majority. This 1 mandate would be an Überhang mandate.

by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:14:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Half of the seats of the Bundestag are decided winner-takes-all in the districts according to the "first vote" (Erststimme). The other half is divided proportionally over the party lists according to the "second vote" (Zweitstimme). If a party wins a greater share of the districts (Direktmandate "direct mandates") than of the proportional vote, the number of seats in the Bundestags increases by those Ueberhangsmandate. There is of course a fixed number of districts, so you would expect that the number of seats in the Bundestag is that number times two. But it so happens that that's not the way they do it. Don't ask me why...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:26:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there you go then - the reason they don't go with a fixed number of seats (twice the number of voting districts) is that they couldn't guarantee each state a certain share of the proportional vote (the Zweitstimmen) that way. Note though that people have been fussing about the fairness and constitutionality of the Ueberhangsmandate forever.

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because it benefits the big parties.....

no, that is not the reason. but it is disproportionally more difficult for the smaller parties to get a ueberhangmandat, than for the biguns

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD separates the votes for east and west Germany. Interesting the difference. The Linke in east Germany gets over 25%.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:22:53 PM EST
that it's mostly the eastern districts that are still counting. And those are mostly going for the SPD...

If you can't convince them, confuse them. (Harry S. Truman)
by brainwave on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New Thread Open

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2005/9/18/162629/424

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:30:21 PM EST
Playing around with Spiegel's nifty Wahlkreis map I clicked on the 2002 results, shaded according to which party won a plurality of zweitstimme (party preference votes). Wow! I thought the US had solid colours. Talk about a north south divide (or should I say prot-catholic) divide. Southern and Catholic Germany is basically solid CDU with the exception of the industrial areas of NRW and Saarland. The reverse is also true, with the exception of Saxony, the East is solid or almost solid red. So, more interestingly, is S-H and NS which bring to mind the Prot-Catholic divide. And while I may be misremembering this, my impression was the Saxony has more Catholics than typical of the East courtesy of expellees from neighbouring (mixed)Silesia and the (Catholic) Sudetenland.

Wahlkreis map

 

by MarekNYC on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 04:37:32 PM EST
Yeah, it is quite a divide and well the old confessional lines are certainly important here (CDU as the former Catholic Zentrum) - maybe one reason why they are so bad this time round. It is the first Protestant, daughter of a minister, afterall, they ever put on the ballot paper, to become Kanzler.

Sachsen is more Protestant, but it is also the most "Christian" of the 5 new laender and I think for them it was the Christian - element that was the important factor. They are the only Land as well that had a solely CDU government.

by PeWi on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 05:00:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You should see the New Zealand map. Literally - all the urban seats went for Labour and all the rural seats went for the National (mainstream conservatives). Very few exceptions.

IMO, the fundamental divide in global politics today is this one - between cosmpolitanism and tradition. You saw this divide in the French referendum. You see it also in Quebec politics vis-a-vis questions about sovreignty, PQ vs. Liberal.

Ben P

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:06:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps this distinction - between cosmopolitanism and tradition - isn't the best one to make in an election like Germany's, however, when the issues turned around economics primarily. Still, my sense is that the Bavarian voters are more sociall conservative than those in the rest of Germany? Or is this a wrong impression?
by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, that's true for the rural parts of Bavaria (i.e.: the most parts). But Munich is an SPD-city.
by Saturday (geckes(at)gmx.net) on Sun Sep 18th, 2005 at 06:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Will there be anothe election soon or will they try to live with this result?

Well we first have to get through the delayed  Dresden poll in early October, which could swing three seats one way or another.

I have been going through the preliminary result summaries Laend by Laend and this is my Monday morning impression.

Turnout very high generally in the ABL (Alte Bundeslaender ie previous West Germany) - seems to be edging over 80%

Turnout in the NBL (Neue Bundeslaender, ie previous East Germany) is a lot lower, in line with the turnout last time. Lower 70s percent in general in NDL and in at least one case high 60's. In these Laender the combined left vote is proportionally the highest in the nation.

The biggers fall in the right-wing Union vote is in Bayern (Bavaria) - 9.3 percent down with the biggest gain by the FPD which doubled its vote and broke the 5% barrier here having come under it in 2002.  Turnout UP in Bayern.

My comment:

Bavaria is what sunk the Union nationally  and I do suspect it is because of antipathy to the prospect of a Woman Chancellor. I note that the more cosmopolitan Laender such as Hamburg, Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein show small increases in the CDU percentage rather than actual drops as recorded elsewhere.

The national Left vote is split OK, but may also be understated because of the lower turnout in the NDL . Actual CDU votes seem to have held up in the NDL.

So...

If there was a new election would the NDL turn out in heavier numbers, and would they  show a bigger total for the Left overall? And for which of the Lefter parties?

If the CDU ditched Merkel and ran with a male Chancellor candidate would it recoup its losses amongst Bavarian voters?

On these results there is a 'leftwards' shift within each of the main coalition networks:

LEFT:
SPD now outflanked on the left by substantial Socialist bloc.
Greens just about standing pat.

RIGHT
Most right-wing part of the 'Union' permanent coalition (the Bavarian CSU) sharply drops in weight.
FPD gains in weigh - traditionally has a role in any Union-FPD coalition neutralising the extremes of the Bavarians.

The CSU will NOT live quietly with this!!!

NO seats gained by the NDP or the 'Republicans', the extreme right semi-fascistic parties which have caused trouble in the NDL in recent years. My hypothesis here is that the New Left has mopped up the extremist curse-on-all-establishment 'dustbin' votes which might have gone to far right parties.

Edis

by saugatojas on Mon Sep 19th, 2005 at 07:40:21 AM EST


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