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    neither god, nor state, nor bosses..., 2005-09-19 12:26:34 | Main | north korea..., 2005-09-19 14:35:38

    german elections:

    the press reports aren't especially illuminating so I had to go digging around for relavent details for the forming any sort of idea of what's happening back 'home', a few generations removed. Think of this as a demonstration of how much easier interpreting multi-party electoral results might be compared to the owl dropping readings of exit poll results (that you otherwise ignore if they indicate rigging) about "values" in a two party system that consists of vague coalitions where nobody knows where they even stand on anything specific enough to have a definitive yes/no matteroffact answer.

    Previously in German parliament, the ruling SPD/Green coalition in a Bundestag of 603 seats:

    1. 251 SPD: (Social Democrat)
    2. 248 CDU (Christian Democrat)
    3. 55 Green Party
    4. 47 FDP (Free Democrat)
    5. 2 PDS (Left Party)

    The results are apparently a 613 member parliament, needing a total of ~298 seats to form a government:

    1. 225 CDU (Christian Democrat)
    2. 222 SPD (Social Democrat)
    3. 61 FDP (Free Democrat)
    4. 54 Linke (new Left Party)
    5. 51 Green Party

    The big winners are Linke with a gain of 52 seats and 14 for FDP. Clearly the FDP gained at CDU's expense: the conservative parties (CDU+FDP) went from 295 to 286, even as the total number of seats in parliament increased by 10.

    It is a significant electoral loss for the right - if a shift like that happened here respectable pundits would probably be calling for the responsible application of democratic force to put the irreverent and irresponsible masses in line.

    To form a government Germany will hence need either a 3 party grand coalition, or a CDU/SPD "grand" coalition. The election results are plainly a 'mandate' against the two big parties, both of whom lost seats, so the "grand" coalition would be a lame power grab by the status quo.

    And that is what looks like will happen. Apparently the liberal free-market types in the FDP will refuse to join the Red-Green show, and Red Schroeder has reiterated that he will not so much as talk with the Linke wenig coalition of Eastern European reformers and disgrunted ex-SDP types.

    In this manner a significant victory for the pan-left in Germany will be turned into a loss by the sectarian left. Typical. As to who's fault that is I would leave for somebody who knows anything about German politics. I sure as hell don't, but I bet we could get away with blaming it on Nader.

    update: Victor Grossman. Socalpundit calls it "the most destructive election in the history of Democracy". The WaPo calls the winners "noxious".


:: posted by buermann @ 2005-09-19 13:32:37 CST | link





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