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Green-Red Rising?

by DoDo Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:08:44 PM EST

On 27 March [update: today], the southwestern German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg are holding regional elections. As usual, due to Germany's federal structure, in which the federal upper house consists of the representatives of the state governments, there is a country-level relevance, in particular on the energy front.

With the re-ignited nuclear debate in the wake of the post-earthquake crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, polls show last-minute gains for the Greens in both states, and the (neo)liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and the hard-left Left Party are under danger of failing the 5% limit in both states.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the likely outcome is another Social Democrat (SPD) led government under Germany's longest-serving prime minister, but with the Greens as new coalition partner. In Baden-Württemberg, the historically second most conservative state, however, polls indicate that something historic could emerge: an SPD-Greens coalition with the Greens as the senior partner, and a Green PM.

Update [2011-3-27 12:8:44 by DoDo]: Exit polls indeed indicate a Green-Red government in Baden-Württemberg, while the Rhineland-Palatinate Greens gained even more than predicted, see comments.



Rhineland-Palatinate

Rhineland-Palatinate used to be a solid base of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and was the home state of longtime chancellor Helmut Kohl. However, since 1991, it had SPD-led governments, and the PM is named Kurt Beck since 1994 – a longer rule than Kohl's. The pragmatist even rose to be boss of the federal SPD in the times of chancellor Angela Merkel's first, "Grand Coalition" government. However, he couldn't handle the SPD's internal crisis over its relationship with the Left Party that blew up after regional elections in neighbouring Hessen state, and the Schröderite old guard forced him to leave federal politics (see Coup among the German Social Democrats).

Since the 2006 elections, in which the Greens failed the 5% limit, the SPD was governing alone with absolute majority against a CDU, FDP opposition. Now polls predict big losses for the SPD, but it should still finish ahead of the CDU, and there will be double digits for the resurgent Greens, boosted a few more percentage points by the revived nuclear debate. For local context: while the state doesn't have nukes itself, right across the border river Rhine, in Hessen state, there are the two blocks of the Biblis plant. Those are among the oldest reactors (shut down for three months after the post-Fukushima decision of the Merkel government) and among the reactors with the worst safety record, and Biblis is among the four plants in Germany built in seismically active zones.

Other than that, the Rhineland-Palatinate campaign was rather uneventful. A party finance scandal in the local CDU that brought down its previous leader is still unforgotten.


Baden-Württemberg

It is relatively well known that the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Socialists (CSU) ruled Bavaria without a break since West Germany was established. However, Baden-Württemberg was also part of Catholic-conservative Southern Germany, and the ultra-conservative Baden-Württemberg CDU has an unbroken history in power, too, albeit mostly in coalitions.

The state's previous PM was Günther Oettinger, the present EU Commissioner for Energy. In his home state, his energy policy consisted of supporting established energy giants (mainly former state monopolist EnBW) by any means, advocating nuclear energy, and blocking wind power via zoning laws. His longtime inner-party detractor and successor, Stefan Mappus, continued Oettinger's line on energy. What's more, deviating from his neoliberal predecessor, last December he decided to protect EnBW against takeover by buying up 45% of its stocks, which would make the state co-owner of EnBW's nuclear plants. Baden-Württemberg has two nuclear plants, Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg, with two reactors each (one from both plants was shut down for three months after the post-Fukushima decision of the Merkel government). Both plants are among the four in Germany built in seismically active zones, in addition, Neckarwestheim is built atop limestone with active cavity formation. Thus the post-Fukushima nuclear debate is very much localised in the state.

Baden-Württemberg is also home to one of the strongest regional branches of the Greens. Baden-Württembergians were particularly influential in the 'pragmatist'/centrist Realo wing of the party, including current federal party co-chairman Cem Özdemir. At local level, the first major city in Germany with a Green major is Freiburg in the southwest of the state. Local successes in the sunniest German state are not unrelated to the boom in photovoltaics, with a number of major companies settled in the state.

More recently, the poll numbers of the Baden-Württemberg Greens benefited from the controversy over Stuttgart 21, a megaproject to replace state capital Stuttgart's surface rail terminus and its access tracks with an underground through station with tunnel accesses, freeing lots of prime real estate (see Trainblogging: Stuttgart 21 by epochepoque).

Beyond energy and Stuttgart 21, a third bone of contention is education. In federal Germany, education is a state-level responsibility. As in other states over the past years, left-wing parties campaign on a platform of abolishing tuition fees and reforming the traditional early selection school system.

Recent poll numbers indicate that, although the CDU shall remain the largest party, the SPD and Greens will have a majority – with the Greens slightly larger than the SPD! The narrowness of the result will also depend on whether the FDP and the Left Party will make it across the 5% limit.

Display:
From the lots of spoofs here:

"We are the Greens of the future!"

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:49:45 PM EST
In BW FDP and CDU could still cling on power. The voting system advantages the party with the most seats won in constituencies. And that will once againthe CDU . So if both camps FDP/CDU and Grüne/SPD are within a percent or so, the majority of the seats, if not the votes could still remain with the yellow.black coalition.
by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:50:46 PM EST
In all three of the latest polls, only CDU+FDP+Left would be within one percent of SPD+Greens, but the Left Party fails the 5% limit in two of the polls. (SPD+Greens is at 48% in all three polls, CDU+FDP is at 42-43%.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:52:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well in this case. I was thinking about a 48% to 46% or so scenario.
by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Today around 200,000 people demonstrated against nuclear power. Its obvious who is mobilised.
by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:58:24 PM EST
'pi' linked to an article describing the potential financial calamity resulting from the EnBW takeover. If the nukes are your cash cows and they get shut down (possibly permanently) and there is a mandatory offer on the table (unusually, the offer was extended till 6th April, conveniently after the election) well above market price, then watch your brilliant 4.7b euro (+ whatever you have to pay people who want to jump ship till April) investment dissipate.

A recently leaked analysis by LBBW ('Haus- and Hofbank' of Baden-Württemberg) shows a maximum loss of 30% for EnBW shares, if the government went back to the original phaseout plan of the red-green coalition.

Money quote of the guy who engineered the deal, incidentally a friend of Mappus: "The EnBW deal is a roaring trade ..., except if a nuclear plant blows up somewhere."

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just read that the CDU is so desperate that they reactivated a certain old and sick ex-mayor of Stuttgart.

Probably they threatened him to send him to Libya otherwise. :-)

by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:59:45 PM EST
Or make him dig a certain tunnel under Stuttgart, by hand.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:07:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Foxes can tunnel, yes.
by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lol
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hehehe :-)

For others: word is about longtime Stuttgart major Manfred Rommel, who was the son of field marshal Erwin Rommel, chief of the Africa Corps during WWII.

Incidentally, West Germany's Libya scandal was also related to Baden-Württenberg: a chemical company resident in the state participated in the construction of a chemical weapons factory for Ghaddafi, and was tried and sentenced only after the international media wrote about it.

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

by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:15:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
good heavens.

guy has to be in his eighties.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:16:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes and aparkinson sufferer.

Desperation.

(All the desert fox jokes are tempting, but a bit unfair: Manfred Rommel was always considered as quite decent)

by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:19:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my completely biased perspective, he gets kudos for expanding Stuttgart's rapid transit systems.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:23:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
build a railroad.

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:30:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
high-speed tracks!
by Bernard on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 06:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
His son, in turn, is a Green! Oh, the humanity!

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:32:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is what is happening in BW en miniature.

Old upper-middle class generation CDU - young(ish) upper-middle class green.

by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The polling report you linked to sums to 100%.

Do German polling firms ignore/toss Undecideds?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:39:23 PM EST
Yes, that is the usual presentation.
by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 05:45:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I assume the practice was started because the Undecideds aren't a factor?


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. On policy questions like nuclear power yes or no, undecideds are mentioned (No 60%, Yes 30%, Undecided/Don't know 10%)
by IM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some speculation with a less sleepy mind. On one hand, from some studies I saw, undecideds here tend to break similarly to those already decided. On the other hand, German pollsters tend to apply a number of corrections that make the end result anything but a percentage of the polled, including corrections for factors like people who'd change their traditional vote having second thoughts in the voting booth.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:14:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... a prediction of the results based on the poll, rather than a report of poll responses, no undecideds makes sense.

I was, however, thinking in terms of a multi-party, normally coalition government system and strong party politics, where undecideds are more likely to break between likely coalition partners and so not dramatically impact the in-government / in-opposition outcome.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:43:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the strong party politics means that if you have no preference between the established parties you are not a likely voter. As opposed to in a mainly person election where the voters first need to learn who the candidate is and you can be a likely voter who has yet to make up your mind.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 06:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but Sonstige is not a party but "Others" in German :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:23:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, apparently I can't read... Undecided <> Others.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 06:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some conservatives see the apocalypse, at least for Merkel.

Leitartikel: Das Ende rückt näher - Nachrichten Print - DIE WELT - Debatte - WELT ONLINELead article: The End Nears - News - Print - DIE WELT - Debate - WELT ONLINE
...Die inhaltliche Stabilität ist der CDU derzeit so sehr abhandengekommen, dass überspitzt gesagt selbst ein Koalitionsangebot an die Linkspartei nicht mehr völlig überraschen würde....Currently the CDU lost its contentwise stability to a degree, that, with some exaggeration, not even a coalition offer to the Left Party would come as a complete surprise.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:20:48 AM EST
In Baden-Württenberg, the FDP remains a question, otherwise polls were rather good:

PartyOrientationShareChange
CDUconservative38.0%-6.2
Greensgreen25.0%+13.3
SPDsocial democrat23.5%-1.7
FDP(neo)liberal5.0%-5.7
Left Partyhard-left3.0%-0.1

In Rhineland-Palatinate, it seems the Greens gained more than expected:

PartyOrientationShareChange
SPDsocial democrat35.5%-10.1
CDUconservative34.0%+1.2
Greensgreen17.0%+12.4
FDP(neo)liberal4.0%-4.0
Left Partyhard-left3.5%+1.0


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:07:04 PM EST
The above are numbers from public channel ARD. From the same source, seat prediction in Baden-Württenberg:

CDU - 58
Greens - 38
SPD - 35
FDP - 8

(Camps: CDU+FDP 66, Greens-SPD 73)

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since the CDU is the largest party, they have first shot at forming a government ... I assume.

What's to prevent a CDU/Green or CDU/SDP coalition?


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:09:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing. You can build whatever coalition that goice you a majority of seats. that said, the green-black coalition in hamburg failed and because of S 21 and nuclear power the two party drifted in BW further apart. Regarding the SPD, they will prefer to junior partner to the Greens instead the CDU.
by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The CDU have basically conceded, so it would be quite difficult to try to hang onto power in this way.

Results in the Süddeutsche at 19:04 (not clear if these are partial results and what exactly they represent).

CDU 39.4
Greens 24.0
SPD  23.1
FDP 5.1
Left 2.8

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Partly results, the rest projection.
by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was my guess, but do you have any idea what percentage is actually counted?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD said ten minutes ago that only 4 of the districts are fully counted, and the count will last two more hours. I wonder if BW elections have the slower counting in cities effect, too, and whether the ARD/ZDF projections take that into account.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:43:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. the later the evening the more results and less projection to fill the gaps. Im most elections around 20.00 it is over.
by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Basically all party leaders who went into the TV studios assume a green-red government (well, except for the SPD, which insists that it may get ahead of the Greens in seats on the final count, and then it's red-green).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When are the SPD going to realise that they're not the natural leaders of the left bloc anymore? Schröder forfeited that position.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:47:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it was hilarious, but this SPD leader was just insisting on not being written off by the journos before the count ends (and in ARD's prediction, indeed SPD and Greens were level on seats for some time). But he indicated that a Green PM is okay weeks ago, and both he and his Green counterpart attended a campaign event of the other party in the last few days.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:14:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The other public channel, ZDF, has almost the same numbers, but the Baden-Württenberg FDP is more clearly above 5%, and the Rhineland-Palatinate Greens are seen at 2% less.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:21:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note who is the giver and taker. In BW the Greens take from the CDU/FDP, in RP from the SPD/FDP.

Victoire!

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And almost as many as from the other parties: from non-voters!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:45:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FDP vote collapsed in both B-W and RP.

Be interesting to find out where they ended-up.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:29:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note:  I'm not as sanguine as epochepoque of a 1:1 relationship between rise/loss across party lines.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:34:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARD showed voter movement figures for the Greens, and they gained almost as many from there as from the CDU. Will post detailed figures once up.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:46:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rather different numbers from another pollster:

Liveticker 20.43 Uhr: +++ Beck verspricht Grünen "faire Partnerschaft" +++ - n-tv.de

Nach einer Erhebung der Forschungsgruppe Wahlen kamen 16 Prozent der Grünen-Wählerstimmen aus dem Lager der CDU und fünf Prozent aus dem der FDP. Aus dem Lager der SPD stammten demnach 23 Prozent des Grünen-Stimmenanteils, 37 Prozent ihrer Wählerschaft haben sich schon vorher für sie entschieden. Aus dem Lager der Nichtwähler bekamen sie elf Prozent.

16% of Green voters from the CDU, 5% from the FDP, 23% from the SPD, 11% from non-voters.

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:56:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Voter movement for FDP, according to ARD:

So they actually managed to mobilise prior non-voters, but lost much more to CDU and Greens, and even the SPD.

Voter movement for the Left Party is also interesting:

A tearful party leader told on TV that they knew what's coming, because lots of supporters said they'll vote Greens this time to dump Mappus; and maintained that this election has no federal relevance for his party.

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:05:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish they'd go back a couple of elections, and not just one. My hypothesis is that a number of the non-voters mobilised are disillusioned SPD voters.

Incidentally, I assume that these figures only include the voters who were eligible to vote in the last election? Otherwise, it would be very easy to mobilise a lot of previously non-voting citizens in every election, seeing as somewhere on the order of 6 % of the voting population were non-voters in the last election by virtue of not being eligible to vote due to low age.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:48:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ie how were voter mobilized?

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:52:11 PM EST
65,7% now, 53,4% last election in BW

62,5% and 58,2% in RP.

So in BW, there was the S 21 debate and four nuclear power stations, there was more mobilization.

by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:56:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Raises the interesting possibility the CDU and FDP percentage-of-vote losses came from more people turning-out.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is the voter mobilisation (non-voters to party votes) according to ARD (IIRC these results are based on a poll of 25,000 voters):

So, everyone gained, and surprisingly, the CDU almost as much as the Greens. But the CDU lost to all left-of-centre parties at the same time:



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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:10:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Winfried Kretschmann, the in all likelihood next PM of Baden-Württenberg, is a 'values conservative' and active Catholic who already looks like an established PM.

In contrast, Eveline Lemke and Daniel Köbler, the celebrating double head of the Rhineland-Palatinate Greens looked more spontaneous, more amateurish yet more fresh – more like the Greens of the nineties.

(Photos from Stern.)

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:59:00 PM EST
Losing B-W means the government loses it's majority in the Bundesrat.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:17:05 PM EST
No, they lost the majority earlier. Even before the Hamburg elections, CDU-FDP and CSU-FDP governments held 34 out of 69, just short of majority. Now it will be 25. The CDU, however, is also part of Grand Coalition and Jamaica governments, thus CDU and CSU and FDP can influence the vote of altogether 45 seats.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In cases of conflict within the coalition of Länder the result is usually abstention (because the votes of a Bundesland must be given as a block). And if I recall correctly any decision in the Bundesrat must be approved with an absolute majority.
by Anspen on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 07:50:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like all CDU and FDP politicians tonight, federal FDP leader Guido Westerwelle blamed Fukushima. But, he also declared that this was a clear decision of the voters on energy policy and "we have understood". Huh!? Will economy minister Brüderle and comrades accept such a change in direction?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:38:36 PM EST
Don't overthink this. Sheer desperation.
by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:45:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Süddeutsche is thinking along similar lines:
Kanzlerin Angela Merkel schielt bereits auf die grüne Partei, die für sie als Machterhaltungspartei, als neue FDP, wichtig wird. Die langfristige Wirkung des Wahlsonntags wird man in den nächsten Monaten beobachten können: Merkel mag nicht von ihrem ertrinkenden Koalitionspartner FDP in die Tiefe gezogen werden; sie wird sich für die Grünen zu interessieren beginnen; sie wird ihre Kehrtwende in der Atompolitik als Annäherung an ein ökologischeres Denken darstellen.
Merkel is already looking at the Greens, which she will need (like a new FDP) to remain in power. The effects of the election will be seen in coming months: Merkel does not want to be dragged down by her sinking coalition partner; she will start to show interest in the Greens, and will describe her U-turn on nuclear policy in these terms.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Step 2, furiously work at making up a lesson of the election that you can live with.

Step 2 is often the week after, rarely the night of.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:52:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gabriel: Wahlergebnis Volksabstimmung gegen Atomenergie - Yahoo! Nachrichten Deutschland
"Es war eine Abstimmung über die Zukunft der Atomkraft", sagte der Außenminister. "Wir haben verstanden."


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Exit polls show defeat for Merkel

Germany's anti-nuclear Green party and the centre-left Social Democrats claimed a stunning victory on Sunday in a bitterly fought election in Baden-Württemberg, seizing power from the centre-right Christian Democratic Union led by Angela Merkel in the country's wealthiest state.

The forecast result - still to be confirmed after the first exit polls - would amount to a bitter defeat for the German chancellor, and seems certain to precipitate recriminations in her party, which has ruled the state for almost six decades.

(...)

By losing control in such a bastion of conservative support, Ms Merkel is certain to face criticism within her own party for failing to present a clear conservative agenda in government.




Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 02:47:36 PM EST
Yawn... standard foreign media commentary: loss of a federal governments party is simply presented as a loss for the federal government head.

It is true though that this is also a loss for Merkel and her government. How Merkel's inner-party detractors will react, is, IMHO, up in the air. After all, Baden-Württenberg PM Mappus was their poster boy for a conservative fighting for conservative causes, and they can't deny that this was also his personal loss even with all the talk of Fukushima.

And Merkel Above All still applies: who would overthrow him? Merz and Koch gave up and left politics, Wulff gave up and accepted the figurehead role as Federal President, Oettinger made a fool of himself and gave up and accepted the 'banishment' to Brussels, Rüttgers lost his elections in NRW, Seehofer is damaged goods in Bavaria, zu Googleberg destroyed himself and resigned, now Mappus is out too. Only environment minister Röttgen remains, but he has no base for a coup and a long way before him if he wants to rise as another Machiavellian manipulator like Merkel.

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:09:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... would accumulate ammunition and hold his fire until Merkel experiences Federal defeat, then blast away with both barrels.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:55:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were attempts from the economic-liberal wing of the CDU to attack Merkel, for an unclear and changing lie on nuclear energy. However, as Süddeutsche reports, Mappus himself trashed these criticisms: he said that without the three-month moratorium and the shutdown of the seven oldest plants, the Baden-Württenberg CDU would have gotten 34% rather than 39%.

Meanwhile, the CDU and Mappus personally found one person to blame: federal economy minister Rainer Brüderle, who was also the chairman of the Rhineland-Palatinate FDP (but resigned after his party was dumped from the state parliament). I see I haven't mentioned this in the diary or comments: days before the elections, this stupid idiot was at a meeting of the Federation of German Industrialists, and tried to placate the bosses by saying that the nuclear moratorium is only campaign tactics. The 'problem' was that this was recorded in transscripts, which were leaked. Then he tried to contain damage by claiming that the transscripts were imprecise.

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

by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 02:44:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing like a bit of over-heated rhetoric.

The Greens didn't "seize" power.  They were elected.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:21:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No no, if anyone other than conservatives win, it's seizing power.  Because they never have the right to it, no matte the circumstance.
by Zwackus on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:33:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now the preliminary result for BW is in and yes, it is green-red with 71 to 67 seats
by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:29:10 PM EST
Here the report from ARD:

Green-Red with a razor-thin victory:

http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/badenwuerttembergwahl108.html

by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:32:11 PM EST
Would this be the first Land-government with Greens as the biggest party?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I say so in the diary :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:11:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's also the first 20%+ result for them in a state-level election (though they may up that record in Berlin in September).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:13:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Baden-Württenberg election ystem is single-vote, so counting was fast.

PartyOrientationShareChangeSeatsChange
Turnout/total66.2%+12.8138-1
CDUconservative39.0%-5.260-9
Greensgreen24.2%+12.536+19
SPDsocial democrat23.1%-2.135-3
FDP(neo)liberal5.3%-5.47-8
Left Partyhard-left2.8%-0.3--
Pirate Partyinformation freedom2.1%+2.1--
Republicanslibertarian far-right1.1%-1.4--
NPDnazi far-right1.0%+0.3--
ödpconservative green0.9%+0.4--

...and some more dwarf parties under 0.2%.

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

by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:44:39 PM EST
Aaaaa-hahaha. Just noticed: my favourite creationists, the Party of Bible-Faithful Christians (PBC) , which has its root in the state, dropped from 0.7 to 0.1% (from 26,759 fanatics to just 4,647)...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:52:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which still puts them ahead of the German Communist Party (DKP) with 104 votes and the Revolutionary Socialist Alliance (RSB) with 109. They are even ahead of the Violet Party whose goal is to fill in one of the missing colours (officially they are for a new "spiritual" politics) who got 1860 votes.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 04:28:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nine Green candidates won in their constituency – they never won one before! Of the nine, three won with a high margin (one each in the capital Stuttgart, university town Heidelberg, and solar power 'capital' Freiburg), the rest by narrow margins. Only one SPD candidate was directly elected.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:01:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is a good results for the Pirates. Me like.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In BW, according to ARD:

http://wahlarchiv.tagesschau.de/wahlen/2011-03-27-LT-DE-BW/analyse-wanderung.shtml

The greens didi win:

266,000 from non-voters

140,000 from the SPD

87,000 from the CDU

61,000 from the FDP

33,000 from the Linke

and 25,000 from others.

by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 03:55:39 PM EST
The social narrative of an upper-middle class shift from CDU to Greens seems exaggerated, then (though certainly strongly present).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:22:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is a shift over generations. And upper middle class was exaggerated. that said, if you look at voters divided by education, the greens get least support from the least educated and most from college graduates.
by IM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:45:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, the range is from 13% to 36% in the ZDF poll. But, it's also noteworthy that Greens got barely more than average in the under 30 segment (26%), but well above in the age groups up to 59 years old (32-31%).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:55:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With a side comment to askod: the Pirate Party has its chance but also its work cut out for it to become the next generational party.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:57:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I watched the chair of the Finnish Pirate Party, Pasi Palmulehto, speak in a TV debate of minor parties recently. He talked sense and his delivery was good, but unfortunately his dress code and piercings make it difficult for the sense to get through to another, possibly sympathetic, audience.

It's all perceptions, of course, but I'm afraid we're stuck with it until someone invents a smarter system of voting - such as the unofficial Helsingin Sanomat 'Vaalikone' or Election Engine.

There are 31 questions this time round on a variety of basic subjects. You can answer each question on a scale of 1 -5 agree/don't agree, and you can also rate the question as to a 3 level priority, including having it not counted at all.

The candidates have already answered these same questions, so when you've answered, a bit of code then hooks you up with the 5 candidates that most closely approximate your own view. It's very revealing - and nothing to do with how people look or behave.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Finnish Pirate Party, but I'm not voting for them this time round. The threat of the True Finns in this election is too great to split votes.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:23:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the pirates had a very good result among male young voters.

They seem to have a gender gap problem, though.

by IM on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:14:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The SPD won the elections with a slighter margin and bigger losses than in exit polls, and the Greens gained a bit less, but the big picture remains. PM Beck already said he wants to coalition with the Greens.

PartyOrientationShareChangeSeatsChange
Turnout/total61.8%+3.6101-
SPDsocial democrat35.7%-9.942-11
CDUconservative35.2%+2.441+3
Greensgreen15.4%+10.818+18
FDP(neo)liberal4.2%-3.8--10
Left Partyhard-left3.0%+0.4--
Free Voterslocalism2.3%+0.7--
Pirate Partyinformation freedom1.6%+1.6--
NPDnazi far-right1.1%-0.1--
Republicanslibertarian far-right0.8%-0.9--
ödpconservative green0.4%+0.2--


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:37:08 PM EST
Last night and this morning I repeatedly looked at the site of conservative paper FAZ, to see what myths the pundits create to cope with the historic loss. There wasn't much: apparently, they needed a day to think up something. But I noted this:

Der Wahlabend im Fernsehen: Der ,,Fukushima-Faktor" - Fernsehen - Feuilleton - FAZ.NETElection Night on TV: The "Fukushioma-Factor" - TV - Feuilleton - FAZ.NET
...Baden-Württemberg nun wohl einen Ministerpräsidenten bekommt, dessen Partei 24 Prozent der abgegeben Stimmen bekommen hat, was bei einer Wahlbeteiligung von rund 66 Prozent, wenn wir einigermaßen richtig gerechnet haben, einen aktiven Anteil von 16,5 Prozent aller möglichen Stimmen ausmacht....Baden-Würrtenberg now gets a prime minister whose party received 24% of votes cast, which at a turnout of 66%, if we calculated correctly to any extent, means an active share of 16.5% of all possible votes.

Now if that's a problem, the author should advocate the direct election of prime ministers, because presently they are legitimised by parliamentary majority rather than the direct vote of their own parties only. What's more, if a 24% share for the party of a PM is a problem, then surely a PM who got power in a mid-term replacement has even less legitimacy (e.g. Mappus).

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

by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:42:45 AM EST
Lack of democracy is only a problem when it's not your guy winning.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:44:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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