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Why Social Democrats are just unfit for power

by DoDo Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 08:36:13 AM EST

In Germany, the big loss of the Social Democrats (SPD) in the federal elections last month heralded the end of the centrist, third-wayist, Schröderite leadership. Or did it?

Four weeks earlier, there have been regional elections in three German states. In Thuringia state, the conservative CDU lost its absolute majority, opening the way for a tripartite left-wing coalition. Such a change would have been good for the federal SPD, because the second house of the German federal parliament, the Bundesrat, is composed of representatives of the 16 state governments. However, it didn't came to be.

The talks centered on the question of who shall be prime minister: the SPD insisted on giving the PM, even though it came third behind the CDU and the prospective main coalition partner, the Left Party. There seemed to be progress when first Thuringia's Left Party leader Bodo Ramelow, then his SPD counterpart Christoph Matschie gave up their personal power aspirations. However, last week, Matschie and the regional SPD leadership made a shocking declaration: the SPD was to start coalition talks with the CDU. Confronting an outraged party base, Matschie blamed the failure of negotiations on the Left Party's and Ramelow's rejection of an SPD PM.

However, now Ramelow had his revenge -- and exposed yet another display of incomprehensibly stupid centrist Social Democrat maneuvering.

promoted by nanne


Ramelow put the Left Party's protocols of the last day of coalition talks on-line. They show that Matschie lied: there was acceptance of an SPD prime minister; what was rejected was an extra demand, one transparently designed to be provocative. Worse: after the SPD insinuated that the Left Party's protocols are a falsification, its contents were confirmed by the third partner to the talks, the Greens.

First, for scale, the results of the Thuringian regional elections (diagram from German Wikipedia):


(Die Linke = Left Party, Grüne = Greens, Sonstige = Others.)

So now you see who's talking. And here is Matschie's version:

Thüringen: Linke vs. SPD - Ramelow: ''SPD-Chef Matschie lügt'' - Landtagswahl Thüringen - sueddeutsche.de  Thuringia: Left Party vs SPD - Ramelow: "SPD leader Matschie is lying''- Thuringia regional elections - sueddeutsche.de
...Auf Matschies Internetseite heißt es wörtlich: "Die Linke hat in den Verhandlungen nicht zugestimmt, dass die SPD den MP (Ministerpräsidenten, d. Red.) stellt."...On Matschie's website, it's literally: "During the negotiations, the Left Party did not agree to the SPD giving the PM (Prime Minister; Ed. note)."

...and in contrast, here is the real Left Party position according to their protocol:

"Es gibt kein Ausschlusskriterium in Sachen Parteibuch! Die Linke kann sich vorstellen, eine Person mit SPD-Parteibuch zu wählen, wenn sich alle drei Parteien gemeinsam auf eine solche Person verständigt haben.""There is no exclusion criterion in terms of party card! The Left Party can imagine to elect a person with an SPD party card if all three parties together agree on such a person."

Why the emphasis on the tripartite agreement on the person? Because of the real demand from the SPD that was unacceptable for the partners:

Der SPD sei das aber nicht genug gewesen. Sie habe Grüne und Linke mehrfach dazu aufgefordert, einen Satz "zu unterschreiben"...But that was not enough for the SPD. They repeatedly asked Greens and Leftists "to sign" a [certain] sentence ...
Im Linken-Protokoll heißt es, von Matschie sei "immer wieder die Frage gestellt" worden: "Seid ihr bereit, jetzt zu unterschreiben, dass wir die Koalition führen und Ihr einen SPD-MP wählt, den wir aussuchen?"The Left Party's protocol says that Matschie "repeatedly asked the question: Are you ready to sign it now that we will lead the coalition and that you will elect an SPD-PM of our choice?"

That is: the party that would have given only 18 of the 51 members of parliament in the prospective coalition wanted its overlordship declared in advance, and a blanket approval of any candidate they'd pick in advance. Really, who would have accepted such a demand?... And isn't it transparent in hindsight that this demand must have been intended to give Matschie an excuse to declare the negotiations failed?

As I see it, this is extremely stupid maneuvering -- and also all too typical of the way the leaders of the European centre-left are operating today. They hate their left flank more than the Right, go into coalitions and cooperations with the Right that destroy them, try to get the support of the base and voters with spin and intrigues, and are amateurish doing so; and just don't get why they fail. FAIL.


Credibility

Matschie's attempt to insinuate a falsification or creative editing of the protocols on the Left Party's part also turned into an own goal. He forgot about the third party...

...Der Inhalt ist - anders als bei vorherigen Sitzungen - nicht mit SPD und Grünen abgestimmt. Aus der SPD heißt es deshalb, es handle sich um ein "Scheindokument". Landeschef Christoph Matschie sagt: "Ich halte es für fragwürdig, im Nachhinein mit zurechtgeschusterten Protokollen die Wirklichkeit im eigenen Sinne umzudeuten."...Unlike in previous meetings, the content was not harmonized with the SPD and Greens. Hence, in the SPD, they call it a "sham document". Regional boss Christoph Matschie says: "I think it is a questionable practice to retroactively reinterpret reality in their own terms with tailored protocols."
Doch auch die Grünen haben Protokoll geführt. Ein Auszug liegt sueddeutsche.de vor. Darin wird Ramelows Version der Geschichte bestätigt.However, the Greens logged their own protocol. An excerpt is available to sueddeutsche.de. It confirms Ramelow's version of the story.
Die Grünen-Landesvorsitzende Astrid Rothe-Beinlich sagte zu sueddeutsche.de: "Die SPD schiebt den anderen Parteien den Schwarzen Peter zu. Herr Ramelow hat mehrfach gesagt, dass die Linke bereit sei, einen SPD-Politiker, einen Grünen-Politiker oder auch einen Parteilosen zum Ministerpräsidenten zu wählen."The regional chairwoman of the Greens, Astrid Rothe-Beinlich, told sueddeutsche.de: "The SPD passes the buck to the other parties. [But] Mr. Ramelow said several times that the Left Party was ready to elect an SPD politician, a Green politician or a non-partisan as Prime Minister."

Matschie also claimed that the sentence the SPD wanted signed by the Left Party and Greens was just that "The prime minister shall come from the SPD". But, again:

...Ramelow ...habe sich an dem "Führungsprinzip" gestört: "Die Koalition wäre ja nicht von der SPD geführt worden, sondern von einer Person. Genau wie die Grünen wollten wir wissen, um welche Person es geht." Astrid Rothe-Beinlich bestätigt auch das - wieder stehen zwei Aussagen gegen eine....Ramelow ... was disturbed by the "leadership [Führer] principle": "After all, the coalition would not have been led by the SPD, but by one person. Just like the Greens we wanted to know which person this is all about." Astrid Rothe-Beinlich confirmed this, too - again, there are two testimonies against one.

Two to one? Well, for that to be really the case, the SPD should have published its own protocols of the failed negotiations, too. But no...

Auch Matschie hat ein SPD-eigenes Gesprächsprotokoll der entscheidenden Sitzung in der Schublade. Veröffentlichen will er es nicht. Es sei "verlogen", das ohne Abstimmung mit den anderen Parteien zu tun.Matschie, too, has the SPD's own protocol of the talks of the decisive meeting in the drawer. [However,] he does not want to publish it. It would be "hypocritical" to do so without coordination with the other parties.

LOL.


What now?

Inside the Thuringia SPD, a mutiny is prepared by a group around Andreas Bausewein, the mayor of Erfurt, to stop the colaition with the CDU. Will it succeed? At this point, knowing the infinite resourcefulness of the SPD to undercut itself, I doubt anything good will come out of it.

Display:
Meanwhile, CDU/CSU and FDP are debating tax cuts, and traditional energy companies are celebrating.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 05:58:02 AM EST
... declare themselves a right-wing party and be done with it?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 07:26:07 AM EST
  1. The centrists (or, to be precise: the conservative "Seeheim Circle" and the more Third Wayist "Networkers" wings of the party, plus the Schröderite clique and the ladder climbers they promoted) are/were in dominant position in leadership positions, but not everywhere, not to speak of the party base. The new federal leadership includes a strong Andrea Nahles, leader of the left wing.

  2. Would the centrists in the SPD realise their conservative-ness, there would be no reason left for them to not join the CDU or the FDP...


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 08:13:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would the centrists in the SPD realise their conservative-ness, there would be no reason left for them to not join the CDU or the FDP...

Wrong golf buddies.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 08:25:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think in France vote fraud within the PS is (used to be) such that the leadership didn't depend at all from the will of the base...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 08:26:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Would the centrists in the SPD realise their conservative-ness, there would be no reason left for them to not join the CDU or the FDP...
Political parties represent patronage networks as much as they do ideologies.

The SPD centrist leadership wouldn't join the CDU or FDP patronage networks at a high enough rank.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't bet on it -- remember Jack Lang.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:24:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more about Kouchner, Besson, Hirsch, Amara. They got promoted when joining the UMP, unlike Lang, Rocard, who didn't really get important positions...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:36:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's because Sarkozy does run his party like a private firm...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The new federal leadership includes a strong Andrea Nahles, leader of the left wing.

Oh, and I should have emphasized: it seems that someone whose name I hope I made familiar with most on ET, Andrea Ypsilanti, the left-winger who failed as Hessen PM after some right-wingers rebelled, has risen as the speaker of the inner-party opposition. It was reported that at the meetings preceding and following the leadership change, she scolded the behind-the-scenes games and demanded an open primary, and then abstained during the vote.

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

by DoDo on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 11:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Why Social Democrats are just unfit for power
Inside the Thuringia SPD, a mutiny is prepared by a group around Andreas Bausewein, the mayor of Erfurt, to stop the colaition with the CDU. Will it succeed? At this point, knowing the infinite resourcefulness of the SPD to undercut itself, I doubt anything good will come out of it.
How about a minotiry CDU cabinet?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:06:20 AM EST
How is that something good?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:24:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crippled government is good government.

A lesson we are re-leaning in NZ having given the present lot too easy a coalition.

by IdiotSavant on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 05:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I prefer red-red-green to a CDU minority government any time.

In fact, I'd prefer a Grand Coalition to a CDU+FDP minority government any time...

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

by DoDo on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 05:20:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not so sure I'd prefer a Grosse Koalition over Schwartz-Gelb. Grand Coalitions tend to be losing propositions. Both in the polls and on matters of policy. At least a Trefoil Coalition will stab you in the front.

But then, I guess I'm a shock therapist here: Sharp, limited pain as opposed to chronic pain.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:51:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I prefer red-red-green to a CDU minority government any time.

Absolutely.  But if that (stupidly) isn't possible, a minority government which has to go begging to other parties on every single policy is a fairly good option.

by IdiotSavant on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 05:41:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't they just form into a solid leftist block (still consisting of three different parties) before the election, with a designated PM and a joint political program for the coming administration, which is then shifted somewhat depending on the relative election results of the parties?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 10:11:55 AM EST
Because that would be even harder to agree on than a post-electoral coalition government.

And neither the SPD nor the Greens are "solid leftist".

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 10:14:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't matter that they aren't solid leftists, it still just requires a will to compromise.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 10:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you re-read that question, you will notice that it answers itself.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 11:13:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Economist (n): A physicist who assumes away friction to make it easier to explain the motion of a wheel.

-- is that yours or a quote from someone else?
either way, it's good.

by rootless2 on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 08:08:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's my own, although undoubtedly other people have said similar things before.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 04:17:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would say that the behaviour described here by the SPD is consistent with the will to occupy office (and many offices, and the most important offices), rather then to actually do anything in particular with those offices. From that perspective it is better for SPD to stand free (knowing that an CDU+Linke is impossible) and try to deal with both sides.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 04:51:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would say that the behaviour described here by the SPD is consistent with the will to occupy office

I don't see how.

  1. Whether Grand Coalition or red-red-green, the SPD would have been part of the government in Thuringia; what's more, only in the red-red-green wersion would they have had the PM post -- that wasn't what Matschie's choice was about.

  2. Just like in the federal government, the SPD as junior partner in a Grand Coalition would stand to lose votes. No offices then, especially if the CDU can exchange them for the FDP (as happened in the federal government, as well as Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein states).

  3. What Matschie orchestrates doesn't look like an intention to stand free - more like only pretending to consider one of the two options and then pretending that the other side was responsible for the dissing of that option.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 05:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just like in the federal government, the SPD as junior partner in a Grand Coalition would stand to lose votes.

Now you're imputing a modicrum of intelligence and foresight to these third-wayers...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 9th, 2009 at 09:53:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, a dysfunctional short-sighted will to occupy office.

I suspect that the SPD leadership did think that it was reasonable that Linke and Greens gave in to SPDs demands, because otherwise Linke and Greens gets nothing. And if they had the SDP leadership could appoint the PM, without consulting the party base as they could present it as the result of the negotiations (if they are lying to the public, they are probably lying to their base too). So not offices for the party as such, but rather the right offices for those favored by the party leadership.

I have seen negotiations go down like that, which might colour my perspective.

DoDo:

What Matschie orchestrates doesn't look like an intention to stand free - more like only pretending to consider one of the two options and then pretending that the other side was responsible for the dissing of that option.

I meant to stand free in the negotiations by not tying themselves up before the elections (as suggested by Starvid).

If their goal was to rule with CDU, I think they should have practically finished negotiations with them before they shot down the other option. Now they have much less of a bargaining position.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 06:49:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here:


Tony Blair for President of the European Council

Nowhere did I feel that frustration more keenly than in the Socialist Group in the Parliament. I am proud of what Labour has achieved since 1997. We have powerful Labour market policies which have created employment, made work pay and lifted families out of poverty. We have anti-discrimination and social integration policies which are second to none. Whenever I invited Socialist MEPs to the UK to look at our work they were genuinely impressed. Yet, within the Socialist Group we were constantly being lectured over our lack of social policy. Most stridently by the French whose social policy seems to me to be no more than a conspiracy by those in work against those out of work, hence the exodus of young talent to London.

jobs have been created in the public sector, not the private sector duting the boom times); wages have been stagnant except at the top, and UK poverty is one of the highest in the OECD. Thanks to "powerful Labour market policies" (what an Orwellian combination, btw)

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 06:48:16 AM EST
a couple of weeks ago, we had an SPD honcho there who came to congradulate Ralph Lenkert, our direct candidate to the Bundestag from here in Jena.  People out on smoke break were saying this was a big deal that he would come and celebrate with Die Linke and they saw it as significant.

We also have one of our own honchos married to one of theirs.  I did notice some jokes about this a a couple of strange socio-political factions within our own Linke group here.  My own newcomer understanding of what was going is fuzzy still, but I noticed some strange political stuff on the personal clique level.

My political maturity is still very naive, I'm still at the level of trying to figure out, for instance with that chart above, parliamentary multi-party mathematics.  It would seem to with such large percentages over the SPD why Die Linke can't simply tell them to sit down and shut up as the grown-ups are in charge.  I know there's a reason, but I still do not understand the mathematics of parliamentary majorities/minorities/coalitions and power-sharing arrangements

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 12:25:52 PM EST
It would seem to with such large percentages over the SPD why Die Linke can't simply tell them to sit down and shut up as the grown-ups are in charge.

It's simple: you can't command anyone if you don't have the majority by yourself, whatever your relative size. So what counts is who has what options. In this case, the Left Party does need the SPD to get into government, the but the SPD doesn't need the Left Party.

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

by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 01:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some history: in the three-party system before the Left Paty and the Greens came around, the FDP (which wasn't neoliberal back then) would often be the kingmaker: e.g. when neither CDU nor SPD had absolute mayority, the FDP could decide whom to help into government. Of course, when a government's popularity was dropping, they had to find the right time to jump ship, that is before the opposition big party became more popular than the FDP and its governing partner together. This is how Helmut Kohl became chancellor BTW.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 01:22:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still at the level of trying to figure out, for instance with that chart above, parliamentary multi-party mathematics.  It would seem to with such large percentages over the SPD why Die Linke can't simply tell them to sit down and shut up as the grown-ups are in charge.  I know there's a reason, but I still do not understand the mathematics of parliamentary majorities/minorities/coalitions and power-sharing arrangements
It all comes down to who is likely to vote along with whom. Better than the vote totals, one should look at the seat count:

CDU 30
Linke 27
SPD 18
FDP 7
B90/G 6
Total: 88

A majority requires 45 seats, which can be achieved by
CDU + Linke: 57
CDU + SPD: 48
Linke + SPD: 45
Of these, CDU + Linke is unlikely, whereas the SPD is able to make deals with both of the other two, making them the more powerful party in the parliament. See Bahnzaf power index for more reading along these lines.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 01:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Migeru,

That link helps.  And thanks to dodo as well for his/her answer

Looking at who may vote with whom, then I see that despite a larger percentage, the Linke needs the SPD but the SPD doesn't need Die Linke.  I know this is basic stuff, really, so I appreciate people explaining it to me simply.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 01:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD doesn't need Die Linke, but is the CDU any more (or less) likely to give the SPD the Ministerpräsident position than die Linke is, just to get into government? And, is the CDU any more likely to agree to give the SPD a blank cheque to appoint whoever they damn well please to the post? Both the CDU and Die Linke have more seats than the SPD so, while the SPD gets to be the kingmaker, they have no right to expect to be able to steamroll either of the two potential coalition partners.

However, if the SPD had come second ahead of Die Linke they could have bargained like they did. Fist try to strongarm Die Linke and if that fails, go for junior partner of a Grand Coalition.

So I'm going to put forward the hypothesis that the SPD had their post-election bargaining strategy already decided beforehand, on the assumption that they would come second, and played the different hand they were dealt in the same way. Gamesmanship FAIL.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 02:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD doesn't need Die Linke, but is the CDU any more (or less) likely to give the SPD the Ministerpräsident position than die Linke is

It is out of question that the CDU would let there be an SPD PM, much less an SPD PM chosen by the SPD without any input from the CDU. They can't use the acceptability argument on the CDU as they have used it against Ramelow.

So I'm going to put forward the hypothesis that the SPD had their post-election bargaining strategy already decided beforehand, on the assumption that they would come second, and played the different hand they were dealt in the same way.

No.

  1. The difference vs. the other two was just too big in polls for any such illusions.
  2. What they staged was not hard bargain for real gains that failed. After all, they already got most of what they wanted: Ramelow backing down, Greens in as third partner (would be no need for them for a majority) andacceptance of an SPD PM. There is no other interpretation than them staging negotiations meant to fail. (In fact, already the quite personal demands for Ramelow to back down and the Greens taken in might have been intended to get the Left Party to draw a line.)
  3. As per above, the SPD went much further against the Left Party that it could possibly go against the CDU.
  4. Why else would Matschie lie about the reasons of the failure such blatantly? It's not in the diary, but I note that it wasn't just a simple claim: Matschie went to the media afterwards and explained everywhere how untrustworthy the Left Party supposedly has been during the talks, wavering on the SPD PM issue.
  5. If the SPD had been serious about negotiating hard, then they would have ued the Greens whom they brought in as support, rather than get them riled, too.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:47:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the SPD were just trying to fool the public into believing Die Linke were unworthy of their vote at the next election?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:52:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One never knows what such stupid FAIL strategies were meant for, but I'd look for something much more short-term: fooling SPD voters and the party base into believing that the desired left-wing replacement of the longtime CDU government was impossible due to Die Linke. "Sorry, we couldn't toss the corrupt incumbents from power, the unreliable Leftists left us no other option than trying to constrain the pigs in a coalition."

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A further point: SPD+Greens vs. Left Party, that would have been a balance of 24:27, that's 8 to 9. But now the SPD has chosen 18 to 30 with the CDU, that's 3 to 5. Even if they would have more options than the CDU, they are in a weaker position to make excessive demands. Hence, even from a pure power calculation consideration, this was a very stupid choice -- but this was obviously not a power calculation...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:54:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're framing the Greens as a mere appendix of the SPD. On what logic?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 03:58:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the above, I'm framing the Greens from the viewpoint of the SPD that brought them in as third partner. That is, the SPD, if it had been serious: in practice, the Greens appear to have been nothing like the SPD's appendage, being more on ther same line with the Left Party when seeing the SPD's antics.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:04:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But was Die Linke opposed to bringing in the Greens to begin with? If not, the Greens owe nothing to the SPD for being allowd in the talks.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:07:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Left Party was careful not to oppose the demand when the SPD made it. But IIRC they started bilateral negotiations. Note that with the ex-apparatchniks on the Left Party list and the dissident movement roots of some of the Greens [B90 in the partyname standsfor Bündnis '90, that is the 1990 Alliance, a short-lived East German partyof dissidents not aligned with the "block parties"[] that united with the West German Greens], adding them was added conflict potential, and it is something that it did not errupt.

As for owing? You don't have to owe anything to be on the same platform with another partner in a future intra-coalition tussle. In fact, pure power self-interest suffices. And even if the Greens would not always have sided with the SPD, an occasional 8:9 (even if it's 6:11 at other times) is better than 2:3 all the time.

[] Block parties: thoroughly state-controlled remains of all-German parties in East Germany's fake multi-party democracy. It is a badly kept secret of the East German CDU and SPD that they were born by the absorbtion of tainted block parties.

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

by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Especially not as they seem to now be in favour of Jamaica in the Saar
Die Saar-Grünen haben sich offenbar entschieden: Ihr Chef wirbt in seiner Partei für eine Koalition mit CDU und FDP. Ein erstes Gespräch der drei Vorsitzenden wurde bereits vereinbart.

Die Grünen im Saarland haben sich offenbar für eine Koalition mit FDP und CDU entschieden. Im Saarland verdichten sich die Anzeichen für die Bildung der bundesweit ersten Jamaika-Koalition aus CDU, FDP und Grünen. Unmittelbar vor dem Parteitag der Grünen in Saarlouis, auf dem sie sich für ein Lager entscheiden wollen, rechnen nach Informationen des Saarländischen Rundfunks (SR) selbst Befürworter eines rot-rot-grünen Bündnisses mit einer Mehrheit für Jamaika. Laut SR ist für kommenden Mittwoch bereits ein erstes Treffen der Landesvorsitzenden vereinbart worden.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A stupid reaction at Lafontaine's decision to leave federal politics for Saarland politics...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 04:28:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't believe they give Müller another 5 years after he lost 13%, just to get back at Lafontaine. :facepalm:

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 02:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was hoping that the media crowing about the Saarland Greens being closer to the conservatives was wishful thinking on their part, turns out it was me wishful thinking...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 03:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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