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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:19 pm 
Smeric
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In a pinch, the SPD has always chosen "being responsible" over insisting on their program and vision, starting with voting for the war loans in 1914. It always ended badly for them, but they never learn.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:17 pm 
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hwhatting wrote:
In a pinch, the SPD has always chosen "being responsible" over insisting on their program and vision, starting with voting for the war loans in 1914. It always ended badly for them, but they never learn.


It's hard to intentionally do the irresponsible thing that will damage your country just in order to protect your poll ratings. Lots of people would feel uncomfortable with being that flagrantly treasonous. And there would be likely to be a considerable backlash.

It's also, of course, hard to say no to being in even a little bit of power...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:46 pm 
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The worst time was when they entered a coalition with the Nazis. But I feel like this time the responsible thing to do is to make a new coalition.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:42 am 
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The SPD never formed a coalition with the Nazis!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:44 am 
Smeric
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Nevermind. I thought they did some agreement for a stable government shortly before they got banned. If that's not true, I'm very sorry for spreading such terrible misinformation.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:08 am 
Smeric
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mèþru wrote:
Nevermind. I thought they did some agreement for a stable government shortly before they got banned. If that's not true, I'm very sorry for spreading such terrible misinformation.


The Nazis had an agreement with the Deutschnationale Volkspartei (DNVP), which was a less extreme right-wing party. Not with the Social Democrats. Never. The farthest right group that ever was in a coalition with the Social Democrats in the Weimar Republic was the Deutsche Volkspartei (DVP), a minor conservative party which was again less rightist than the DNVP.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:04 pm 
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There isn't really any good way out of this for the SPD - if they enter a coalition, they may well lose half their voters, but if they don't, they may well lose the other half.


Acid Badger wrote:
(I don't know how to properly translate Bürgerversicherung)


I think it means roughly the same as the proposal that, in the debates over health care reform in the USA, is called "Single Payer".


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:26 pm 
Smeric
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Raphael wrote:
There isn't really any good way out of this for the SPD - if they enter a coalition, they may well lose half their voters, but if they don't, they may well lose the other half.


Yes, they are somewhere between Scylla and Charybdis. Their basic problem, of course, is that they never really managed to compensate for the loss of supporters due to the decline of the blue-collar working class. Social democratic parties in other western European countries face similar problems. Same goes for the labour unions. People with well-paid office jobs just don't have the same issues as people who work on the factory floor, and feel reluctant to go as far "down" as to join their parties and unions.

Also, of course, the left currently lacks a compelling narrative and vision of a better future. They are currently in a defensive role, warding off the double threats of unfettered capitalism and the renaissance of racial prejudice. To win an election, it is not enough to say what you don't want; you also have to say what you want.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:33 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Their basic problem, of course, is that they never really managed to compensate for the loss of supporters due to the decline of the blue-collar working class. Social democratic parties in other western European countries face similar problems. Same goes for the labour unions. People with well-paid office jobs just don't have the same issues as people who work on the factory floor, and feel reluctant to go as far "down" as to join their parties and unions.


Exactly. And those individual people in middle-class jobs who are personally left-leaning are more likely to support the Greens, or even the Left.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:57 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Their basic problem, of course, is that they never really managed to compensate for the loss of supporters due to the decline of the blue-collar working class. Social democratic parties in other western European countries face similar problems.


I don't think it's that simple. That theory would suggest a gradual decline in the parties of the left as organised labour declined. What we actually see is, at least at first, the opposite. The decline of organised labour allowed parties of the left to transform themselves into modern volksparteien.

In Germany, for example, the SPD's only period of electoral pre-eminence since WWII took place during the late 1990s. In 1998, the SPD took power in Germany, Labour was a year into its 13-year rule of the UK (having won a historic landslide), the Socialists in France had just won back their majority in the legislature, and the US had a Democratic President. Two years earlier, the left had returned to power in Italy (and would hold it into the 21st century). In 1998, by which time most of the decline of the unionised working class had already happened, it didn't seem like the parties of the left were in retreat!


So what happened? I'd suggest a confluence of factors:

- at the societal level, the old social cleavages eroded. In the earlier stages this allowed left-wing parties to draw votes from across society, but it also meant that they no longer had core voters, making election results more volatile

- at the same time, new cleavages developed. The ideology of postindustrialism has drawn from both sides, but mostly from the left - BNP, FN voters etc would often have been socialists in an earlier generation. At the same time postmaterialism (different flavours being shown by Green and Pirate parties and the like) also largely drew from the left.

- at the organisational level, it's possible that social relationship structures are changing again. The volkspartei structure was a reaction to the era of broadcasting: the elite crafts the single ideal Message that the broadcasters distribute to the entire population. The internet era seems to promote other structures. It may encourage a return to traditional interpersonal persuasion structures. Notably, many Western parties are showing a marked return to mass party structure now - in the UK, several parties have doubled or trebled their memberships in the last few years, to levels not seen since the 1970s (the Tories, meanwhile, remain a volkspartei of only a few tens of thousands of members, somewhere between a fifth and a tenth the size of Labour). Left-wing parties may have changed their structures at exactly the wrong time.

- at the strategic level, these parties probably drove too far to the right. Not only did this provoke defections on the left, but it made it difficult to have a positive message. Indeed, that was part of the point. Their campaign was: we're like the right-wing parties, but better, and you don't hate us yet. This got these parties back into power, but after a while people forgot that they hated the right-wing parties, and got bored of the left-wing parties, at which point the left struggled to find any distinctive policies or values to distinguish themselves. The shift toward winner-take-all catch-all parties means a stronger alternation of power (people just vote for whomever isn't in power).



A weird thing in the UK is that it's become unacceptable to support Labour, and nobody knows why. It used to be because of Blair and the Iraq War and Brown being an idiot, but now... ? I was at a dinner party not long ago and talking about politics and almost everybody around the table agreed that the Tory government was terrible and that they hated their policies... and were going to vote for them anyway, because "we can't let Labour get power". Nobody knew why. When pressed, people suggested it was because Labour were dangerous communists now, but nobody could actually suggest any specific communist policies of theirs that they disagreed with.

["Well of course I do agree we should nationalise the railways. And we definitely need to do something about controlling utility prices. There needs to be more spending on the NHS and education, and no tuition fees, which I guess will have to mean more taxes. It's certainly scandalous what the Tories are doing to welfare. We should at least look at controlling the financial sector somehow - maybe even nationalise the banks, as a last resort? But Labour want to do lots of left-wing things, and left-wing policies don't work, which is why I'm a Tory".]

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:15 pm 
Avisaru
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Salmoneus wrote:


A weird thing in the UK is that it's become unacceptable to support Labour, and nobody knows why. It used to be because of Blair and the Iraq War and Brown being an idiot, but now... ? I was at a dinner party not long ago and talking about politics and almost everybody around the table agreed that the Tory government was terrible and that they hated their policies... and were going to vote for them anyway, because "we can't let Labour get power". Nobody knew why. When pressed, people suggested it was because Labour were dangerous communists now, but nobody could actually suggest any specific communist policies of theirs that they disagreed with.

["Well of course I do agree we should nationalise the railways. And we definitely need to do something about controlling utility prices. There needs to be more spending on the NHS and education, and no tuition fees, which I guess will have to mean more taxes. It's certainly scandalous what the Tories are doing to welfare. We should at least look at controlling the financial sector somehow - maybe even nationalise the banks, as a last resort? But Labour want to do lots of left-wing things, and left-wing policies don't work, which is why I'm a Tory".]


This is really for the British politics thread rather than this one, but keep in mind that the policies people support aren't the only things about them. There's also, for instance, whom they're friends with, and how they behave - the behaviour of many people who support the current majority faction within Labour, both online and offline, makes them look like a left-wing version of the alt-right. No wonder that many people can't stand them even if they agree with them on some policy issues. But I suspect you don't understand hostility to the current version of Labour partly because you don't want to understand it. Your loss.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:12 pm 
Smeric
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And here is an article that counters the claims about Corbyn's association with such people: https://www.opendemocracy.net/luke-davies/re-examining-corbyns-dangerous-friendships


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:59 pm 
Avisaru
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That article uses the phrase "guilt by association" a lot. I don't see anything wrong making up my mind about people partly based on whom they choose to associate with. Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. Few people would take cries of "that's guilt by association" seriously if a right-wing politician would repeatedly associate with neonazis and his opponents would point that out. The article repeatedly quotes St. Jeremy's own spin on his actions and words as if it would change anything. And the article only talks about St. Jeremy himself, completely ignoring the antics of his followers.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:57 am 
Smeric
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Of course, for example, Marine LePen's association with Neonazis could be seen as equivalent. I think the timing on some things is relevant: one guy he associated with before he 'came out' as Holocaust denier, and this was the same for some Jews.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:25 am 
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Quote:
it's become unacceptable to support Labour, and nobody knows why.

The answer to this mystery is painfully obvious: the way different political forces use media to create thought. The conservative parties on both sides of the Atlantic have poured a lot of effort into giving people an almost Pavlovian association between left-wing political factions and a general sense of unease. It's basically the same misinformation that makes people say "I'm all for equality, but I'm not some feminist!" You can show someone a chart with facts on it showing very clearly that right-wing economic policy will make them less prosperous, safe, and happy, only to hear them grunt skeptically because the television told them to beware of anyone with a convincing chart.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:36 pm 
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The CDU, CSU, and SPD have finished their coalition deal! It now needs to be approved by the total SPD membership. The results of that vote will be published in early March. Sigh.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:24 am 
Avisaru
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Raphael wrote:
The CDU, CSU, and SPD have finished their coalition deal! It now needs to be approved by the total SPD membership. The results of that vote will be published in early March. Sigh.

I mean, Germany's already gone for five-ish months without a formal government, so what's another month?

Now the question is whether or not the coalition agreement will be approved... I don't think it's unlikely, but who knows. The rank-and-file often leans differently compared to the higher-up people (as seen by the Labour leadership spill in the UK a few years ago).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:38 am 
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Who knows ... I hope and expect that the SPD membership base is reasonable enough to accept the deal. Just think of what happens if they don't: new elections, in which the SPD will go down in flames, and then perhaps a government coalition of CDU/CSU, FDP and AfD ... God beware!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:46 pm 
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An outright coalition of that kind seems unlikely to me, but I could imagine a CDU/CSU minority government that engages in a certain amount of rhetorical warfare with the AfD (and, to a lesser extent, the FDP) over other issues while at the same time happily using their votes to get majorities for laws more or less ending the welfare state.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:11 pm 
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Raphael wrote:
An outright coalition of that kind seems unlikely to me, but I could imagine a CDU/CSU minority government that engages in a certain amount of rhetorical warfare with the AfD (and, to a lesser extent, the FDP) over other issues while at the same time happily using their votes to get majorities for laws more or less ending the welfare state.


Yes, that is more plausible than an outright coalition - but it would be bad enough!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:19 am 
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The coalition agreement is a total fraud and the behaviour of certain party leaders, not just within the SPD, is outrageous in my opinion. I'm certainly curious about how the roughly 25.000 new SPD members will influence the vote, but I kinda stopped caring about the outcome since nothing good can come of it anyway.
Olaf Scholz and Andrea Nahles are two SPD politicians I particularly despise though, and if that's the direction the party is going, na dann Mahlzeit.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:44 am 
Avisaru
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Result just in: 66 percent of SPD members voted for the coalition agreement.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:59 pm 
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Raphael wrote:
Result just in: 66 percent of SPD members voted for the coalition agreement.

Looking forward to talking about this with my German coworkers. I'm not surprised this happened (I think there'd be more surprise if the deal fell through), but it's definitely not going to be too positive for the SPD when the next election rolls around. Granted, I think the SPD was screwed regardless of the outcome of the coalition agreement, but this is perhaps the lesser evil of all...

So, out of curiosity, when will the vote on the investiture of the government take place?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:47 pm 
Smeric
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vampireshark wrote:
So, out of curiosity, when will the vote on the investiture of the government take place?

The news say on March 14th. On that day, the Bundestag will vote for a Chancellor (Angie, of course), who will afterwards propose the cabinet ministers to the President. So there's only a formal vote on the Chancellor, not on the government as a whole.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:29 pm 
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I am glad that the majority of the SPD membership base voted in favour of the coalition. Sure, such a compromise is not easy to stomach, but if the SPD had blackballed the agreement, they would have made fools of themselves, suffered a grave defeat in new elections, and paved the way for a conservative minority government depending on the AfD, which would have been a veritable nightmare. At least the end of the present parliamentary crisis is in sight, how mediocre the new government may be.

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