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Germany heads into unknown as rivals scramble to lead next government

13 Comments
By Michelle FITZPATRICK

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Nothing is unknown or unpredictable there. The unchanged course is directly over the edge and will also not be corrected. Well, admitted, the speed and the time of the crash onto the ground might indeed slightly differ, but not that result as such.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Angela Merkel legacy is a Germany now a festering political limbo.

Nord Stream 2, a political energy catastrophe in the making, at the threat of Dictator Putin Russian Federation whim.

A knee jerk reaction. that flooded western Europe with over 1.5 million asylum seekers many that remain untraceable.

A ill conceived strategy, that's refusal, the Euro needed to be at its very core, reformed.

Subsequently, a decade of austerity, that pursed a policy of wage/suppression deflation, that ultimately sent all member states eurozone economies into free fall unable to devalue to compete.

Merkel should have retired from office after eight year tops.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Whenever the electorate in Germany runs scared, Europe must pay close attention. The flood of immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia into Europe has clearly been a destabilizing fear factor thanks to all the equally destabilizing foreign policies of the self-styled "international community" that has given kneejerk support and succor to right-wing authoritarian regimes while paying cheap lip-service to democratic values thereby bringing the proverbial chickens back home to roost. It is to be hoped that the SPD can soon build and hold together a solid coalition that will put Merkel's people out to pasture and keep the AfD at bay for the sake of peace in Europe the key to which is held once more by Germany.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Germany headed into a period of unpredictability . . . the coming weeks and months promise to be a rocky ride.

Not an understatement. Sixteen year of Angela Merkel in office as chancellor is coming to an end, and (so far at least), party leadership isn't looking very . . . let's say . . . charismatic.

So, now what?

Reminder that in Germany, candidates have now been directly elected through the ‘first vote,’ and have been allotted their seats in the Bundestag (parliament); and the total amount of seats are now divided among the parties according to the percentage of ‘second votes’ received. Germany's proportional voting system means that the largest party must secure fifty percent or more of the vote to govern by itself. Rare. So parties usually have to build a ruling coalition block.

It can be arduous process . . . unless someone who has clear leadership qualities rises to the occasion. Then it can be fairly smooth. A difference between seating a coalition government by Halloween or Christmas.

What happened. Long and short of this election is that nobody was even close to the 50% result, and none of the leading parties delivered to the others a knock-out blow. So let the negotiations begin in earnest.

On top, Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), led by Olaf Scholz, received 25.7% of the vote.

Next was Merkel’s own Christian Democrats CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU - led by Markus Söder - hereafter "CDU/CSU" and their candidate, Armin Laschet, who received 24.1% (CDU’s worst post-war election result ever).

Rounding out the pack: The Greens under Annalena Baerbock received 14.8% (the best showing in their party’s history), the Free Democrats (FDP) had 11.5%, and Alternative for Germany (AfD) managed 10.3%. Die Linke (the Left) narrowly missed the 5% threshold necessary to qualify, but managed to secure the three direct mandates it needed to enter the Bundestag anyway.

Keep track of "the pack," since they will likely be key to the next coalition government.

Next. Now comes a near frenzy of promises, concessions, flattery, long speeches (a speciality of German politics) and very odd rhetoric. Also coersion, the blame game, name calling, finger-pointing, and downright threats. You know: behavior that you would tell your children to cease and desist, or there will be no Halloween treats for them.

Some German party animals will likely try to involve leaders and similar like-minded party animals from other countries, especially if the talks go on and on. This could easily become a real circus if other countries get dragged further into German politics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

itsonlyrocknroll

Angela Merkel legacy is a Germany now a festering political limbo.

Nord Stream 2, a political energy catastrophe in the making, at the threat of Dictator Putin Russian Federation whim.

Where do you get that from? NordStream2 is a rare glimpse of sanity in an otherwise disastrous Merkel legacy. Or do you seriously prefer Europe to continue to be dependent on the corrupt regime in the Ukraine to control their gas supply?

A knee jerk reaction. that flooded western Europe with over 1.5 million asylum seekers many that remain untraceable.

Again, where do you get your figures from? Germany alone took in closer to 5 million; for the entire EU you have to muliply that figure.

Anyway, with the rainbow clown car that is lining up for Germany (quite possible an SPD-Green-Linke coalition), things are not going to get better.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Almost forgot.

The Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co. referendum that opens the way for the Berlin Senate to construct laws permitting the expropriation of real estate companies with more than 3,000 housing units, passed. The "yes" vote garnered 56.4% while the "no" vote received 39% in the non-binding referendum.

Housing and rental prices being what they are in Berlin residents (high), this became a big political deal. Particularly ever since Germany's constitutional court ruled that a rent cap imposed in the capital city by the ruling left-leaning coalition was unconstitutional, as such a thing could only be enacted at the federal level.

Watch for this to become a bigger issue in the start of coalition talks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Again, where do you get your figures from? Germany alone took in closer to 5 million

Where do you get your numbers from, and what time period? The numbers I've seen (dating from 2010) match those given by itsonlyrockandroll.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think about the only uncertainty is how long coalition negotiations may last and whether Christian Lindner (less likely) or Olaf Scholz ( more likely ) will be Germany's next Chancellor. I don't the German character to suddenly change after an election.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just exactly what China and Russia were working on and hopping for.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Just exactly what China and Russia were working on and hopping for.

Just exact,y how is this so? The Greens staunchly oppose Nord Stream 2.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

UNHCR....

Zaphod....I.2 million are accounted for, with a further 285000 estimated, categorized as untraceable

https://www.unhcr.org/refugee-statistics/

For the record and comparison..

The Eurostat numbers, Asylum statistics

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Asylum_statistics

As for Nord stream 2.....

European Parliament makes new call for Nord Stream 2 gas link to be halted

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/oil/043021-european-parliament-makes-new-call-for-nord-stream-2-gas-link-to-be-halted

Zaphod, there are clearly defined logical reasoning for the halting of the third stage of Nord Stream 2, fully debated in the European Parliament. Ukraine is a red hearing, The gas running thorough the pipe line is totally controlled by the Russian Government, Gazprom is little more than a front.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Had a German friend explain the national election methods in Germany earlier today. Seems Germans get to pick 1 member (1st vote) and a party (2nd vote). The people seated by the 2nd vote are selected by the parties, not the voters. The Chancellor isn't elected by the voters. Who becomes Chancellor is part of these multi-party negotiations. Seems too close to the CCP-Chinese method of elections for my taste.

And does Germany not think term limits are necessary? 16 years is way too long for any leader to be in power. Eventually, power corrupts of politicians, without exception.

Or was the explanation overly simplified and there are protections in the system? OTOH, in the German system, it is doubtful that someone with a personality like the ex-US Prez would become Chancellor, so there is that goodness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Chancellor isn't elected by the voters. Who becomes Chancellor is part of these multi-party negotiations. Seems too close to the CCP-Chinese method of elections for my taste.

Is it no more like parliamentary democracies such as Japan and the UK? It can be argued that it is more democratic than directly electing a president who is given substantial power for a number of years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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