October 2, 2009


A note on the German elections (27 September 2009)

Expectations for this election were not very high. All the polls pointed towards either the continuing of the awkward co-operation between the CDU and its rival Social Democratic Party or an alliance with the Free Democrats.  That´s why it was no surprise that the turnout of voters reached a historical low with only 70,8%  of people voting. Appareantly it were mainly former supporters of the Social Democrats who stayed at home.I have to admit I didn´t vote either, but that was due to administrative difficulties between the German bureaucracy, my current location and my own stupidity.

A victory for the conservative-liberal alliance’ is what you could call it, a bitter defeat for the Social Democrats and a scary success for the newly (2007) formed The Left party – who, in my opinion, are just a bunch of populists – reaching 11,9%, which is just about 10 percent less than the Social Democrats (23,0%). It´s scary because it shows what happens if a party like the SPD is moving too far away from their roots, putting of those that believed in their social responsibility, creating frustration and protest voters, which finally results in a government from the other end of the political spectrum. They say that  the SPD will now have to reinvent itself, after a loss of 11.3 points and hereby reaching a post-war low.

As far as my political awareness goes back I experienced Schröders coalition between the Social Democrats and the Greens, and only vaguely remember the center-right government under Helmut Kohl (83-98). So I somehow feel concerned and I´m thinking: tax advantages for the rich, conservative thinking and business friendly politics, but then again we have a female chancellor and, most likely, a gay foreign minister which seems pretty contemporary. I think, because current issues, this government has to adapt its politics, having in mind that the differences between the big partys have diminished anyway within the last years.


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