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zompist bboard • View topic - The upcoming (September 24) German federal election

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:48 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:18 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:02 pm 
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I'm a few days late in reporting this - in the state of Lower Saxony, one member of the state legislature switched from the Greens to the CDU (apparently after finding out that the Greens would not re-nominate her), and as a result, there'll be an early election in the state, apparently on October 15th.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:17 am 
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I should probably report here that Merkel and Martin Schulz (the SPD's candidate for Chancellor) had a TV debate yesterday. I didn't watch it, though, because I was too tired - my day-and-night cycle is a bit out of whack at the moment, so I get very tired early in the evening. So I don't really have anything to report.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:24 pm 
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I watched only about 10 minutes and then got bored; I wasn't in the mood for politics yesterday.
Media are mostly reporting that the polls show that Merkel won with a huge lead.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:19 am 
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First extrapolation for the election result is,

CDU/CSU 32.7 percent, SPD 20.2 percent, AfD 13.4 percent, FDP 10.5 percent, Greens 9.4 percent, Left 8.9 percent.


Theoretically, the grand coalition could be continued, but the SPD politicians on TV all seem to say that they want to be the opposition instead of staying in government. If they stick to that, the only remaining half way plausible coalition would be CDU/CSU/FDP/Greens - IF it comes to that, I can't really see it working out for long. Meanwhile, the grading-on-a-scale used for small parties in proportional elections means that the AfD gets to be extremely happy about the fact that only 86.6 percent of voters voted for other parties than them.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:30 am 
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One interesting thing is that before the elections all the pundits were saying that a low turnout would help the AfD. The actual turnout was higher than in 2013, which makes the AfD result even more remarkable. They even became the party with the most votes in the state of Saxony... the only consolation is that there already are signs of a looming party split on the morning of the election...
(EDIT: for those not following closely, party executive committee member Frauke Petry announced that she won't join the AfD parloamentary group. She's known for trying to prepare the party for government some years down the road, and therefore to sideline the more extremist members and to go for the dog whistle instead of the bullhorn, but instead she was sidelined by the extremists. Which is quite ironic, because it was her who turned the party from a liberal-conservative anti-Euro party into the anti-immigrant anti-modern nationalist outfit that it is today.)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:29 am 
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One kinda weird feature of this election is that, in the 24 hours since the polling stations closed and the results started to come in, politicians from the parties that are likely to form the next governing coalition (the "winners") have generally come across as a lot unhappier than politicians from the other parties (the "losers").

If, as seems likely for now, the next government is a CDU/CSU/FDP/Greens "Jamaica coalition", the coalition agreement will probably contain enough compromises that every one of these parties will have to put up with at least some things that will really anger their own core supporters, which won't help them in future elections. For instance, there's a state election in Lower Saxony coming up on October the 15th, and some commentators have already predicted that the coalition parties will wait until after that with announcing any major breakthroughs in the coalition negotiations.

Meanwhile, the AfD gets to celebrate their third place (and better than that in some states, as hwhatting mentioned). And the SPD seems to cling to the (IMO probably unfounded) hope that leading the opposition for a while might slow down their general collapse that has been ongoing since the beginning of this century.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:23 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:19 am 
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Also, they want to prevent the AfD from being the official opposition. I'd say this alone completely justifies their leaving the government.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:08 pm 
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How does the AfD even exist? How can they have so much support in a country that outlaws schwastikas? Do people just not put zwei and zwei together?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:36 pm 
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More than half of AfD voters believe that the AfD is too extreme, but they believe there is no other choice because the other parties are too soft.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:23 pm 
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Well, the AfD are often accused of being Nazis, and some actually are, but most aren't. They are of course right-wing assholes, but not all right-wing assholes are Nazis, and most AfD members, while dreaming of a xenophobic authoritarian régime, expelling refugees and leaving the EU which is all bad enough, don't want to start a world war (though if they and their counterparts in other countries came to power, that would bring the threat of war back to western Europe), and don't want death camps back. And they of course don't use swastikas in their campaigning at all (well, many neo-Nazis don't do so either, preferring legal ersatz symbols like the black-white-red flag of imperial Germany, which shows just how little is achieved by banning symbols).

And most AfD voters aren't even that, they are just frustrated long-time unemployed and other people in difficult social situations who vote AfD in protest against an establishment which they think aloof of their concerns. Many of them voted Die Linke in earlier elections, i.e. the other end of the spectrum, for precisely the same reasons, and the demographic profiles of Die Linke and AfD voters were very similar this time, too. Some may have simply flipped a coin to decide which of those two parties to vote, and may decide differently in the next election.

It is at least a sign of relief that the AfD seems to be falling apart just after the election. Their chairwoman, Frauke Petry, has announced not to join the AfD parliamentary fraction, and now it seems that she is going to leave the party entirely. Not the first time that this would happen: her predecessor, Bernd Lucke, also left the party and founded his own - of which nobody ever heard anything soon after.

And as for the decline of the SPD: Many European social democratic parties are in a similar situation. I think this is to a large part due to the fact that the traditional voter base of such parties - blue-collar workers - is rapidly declining in post-industrial Europe, and the parties have difficulties winning over new voters from other milieux to compensate for these losses. It is also that many people are still pissed off about the labour market reforms they enacted during the "red-green" coalition. (Again, similar things have happened in other countries like the UK and France.)

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Last edited by WeepingElf on Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Didn't Bernd leave because he felt that it had been hijacked by extremists?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:32 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:44 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:39 am 
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It was in no way my intention to express sympathy or approval of the AfD! That party is a bunch of intolerable far-right assholes who dream of installing a nationalist dictatorship, and a threat to peace and democracy. Yet, calling them "Nazis" glosses over whatever differences there may be between different AfD members (it tells a lot that there is much infighting, to the point that the usual way for a chairperson to end the office term is to leave the party), and many AfD voters don't want the Nazis back. Also, the word "Nazis" is inflationarily used for all sorts of right-wing extremists today, which I disapprove of because it tends to relativize the extraordinary atrocities the real Nazis committed.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:37 pm 
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Same as what WeepingElf said, especially that last sentence.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:57 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:25 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:03 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:24 pm 
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There was a state legislative election in Lower Saxony yesterday. The result - SPD 36.9, CDU 33.6, Greens 8.7, FDP 7.5, AfD 6.2, Left below five percent - is confused enough that both the SPD and the CDU celebrated like winners on tv; mathematically the SPD came first, but the CDU will probably be more likely to form a governing coalition, because there's no majority for red-green and the FDP has ruled out a coalition involving the SPD.

Anyway, in the rest of the country, the importance of this is that party leaders are no longer worried about how anything they do might hurt them in Lower Saxony, and are now free to actually talk to each other and try to put together a governing coalition. Wheee. The first stage of this will be so-called "Sondierungsgespräche", which translates as "probing talks" and means that party representatives talk to each other to see which kinds of coalitions might be possible. (Spoiler: basically the only federal level coalition that currently seems possible is CDU/CSU/FDP/Greens, no matter how difficult it might be to get the Greens and the other three parties, especially the CSU, to work together.)

After that, there'll be the actual coalition talks, in which the parties will try to work out a coalition agreement (or, to be pedantic, a coalition treaty). After that, there'll be a new government.

As an aside, apparently the CSU will try to found a new federal department of "Heimat", which is a kind of difficult to translate German word - it means "home" in the sense of "a village, town, or region where you feel at home". Apparently the task of that department (if it is founded) will be to promote the rural lifestyle and local rural cultural traditions, and to try to keep small town residents in their small towns.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:49 pm 
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