piranha: red origami crane (Default)
WTF is going on with the SPD in germany? i kept only half an eye on the coalition talks because of other events, and now i see that the party is busy biting its own head off. *boggle*. man, i am so out of touch. i would have expected this to happen much sooner, if it was to happen. and what is this going to do to the grand coalition talks now, with the SPD in chaos after its chief müntefering, slated to be vice-chancellor and labour minister, stepped down in a huff? stoiber (CSU chief and designated economy minister) is making noises about not joining the cabinet either. chancellor-to-be merkel's job has just become immeasurably harder, if it is still possible at all.

let's see, are there english-speaking news sources that talk about this with any insight? *googles*.

this reuters report will do; the AP is even more removed from what's going on under the surface. the report doesn't really do justice to what lies behind müntefering's decision -- for the party to vote down his pick for second in command is unheard of. it's ... not done. i can't remember it ever happening. the left wing of the party must be so angry that they no longer care about political expediency. did i say *boggle*? *boggle*.

[* translation of this is a bit difficult. literally it means "collapsing new buildings", but it refers in specific to the butt-ugly, often shoddily built post-WWII medium-size tower buildings that still make up so many of germany's buildings, and present never-ending troubles. there is a band, famous in germany, that named itself Einstürzende Neubauten, so this is a pun of sorts. i'm afraid it's funnier if one speaks german.]
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
schröder resigns, merkel becomes chancellor, grand coalition goes ahead. article in german, reuter's announcement in english, with somewhat less detail.

merkel will be germany's first female chancellor.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the eagerly delayed election in dresden has resulted in an additional seat for the CDU. this strengthens angela merkel's psychological position.

interesting article about the games yet to come, alas only in german.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i don't usually write much about non-UK european politics because most people on my flist aren't from non-UK europe. but sometimes things get too thrilling to contain myself! :) if you know nothing about german politics, but want to, here's a fairly decent general overview, and this wikipedia article goes into more detail.

i've been watching the electoral deadlock mess in germany. *bleh* -- a grand coalition is one of my least favourite outcomes, but it is what seems likely now. i would have liked a red-red-green coalition a whole lot better, and it's pretty obvious to me that more germans voted for a left(ish) party than didn't, but i guess the SPD has slipped too far to the right for that to be possible.

i've had experience with the last grand coalition in 1966-1969, and it sucked sharp volcanic rocks through tiny straws; mainly because of legislation regarding the restriction of civil liberties. however, contrary to the pessimistic view of a grand coalition producing policy gridlock, that didn't actually happen back then; the government was quite active in passing new legislation. while during the campaign she claimed a grand coalition would result in a standstill for german politics, merkel herself sounds a lot more upbeat about the possibility now; calling the discussion so far "useful" and "constructive", and stating that a grand coalition ought to tackle grand projects (german article).

who ends up leading this coalition will be interesting. i can't see merkel and schröder getting it together enough, too much crap was slung during the campaign, though i see there is talk about the "israeli solution" -- switching the chancellorship after two years. hm. interesting, but i can't really see it. it would seem perverse to me to retain schröder and not use merkel at all, while retiring schröder seems fairly sensible, and i am noticing parts of the SPD are starting to weasel around his leadership being a "condition" and are now calling it a "goal". i think it's time for him to leave.

it might end up with neither as chancellor/VC, and instead something like stoiber/müntefering. i wonder whether steinbrück/koch has any chance; they have previously worked together as well. personally, i think tapping stoiber would be an insult to merkel. in any case, we get to wait for dresden I to hold its delayed election this sunday (i dislike delayed elections a lot; knowing how others have voted does affect people). if the CDU wins, it'll give merkel somewhat of a boost, if the SPD wins, that boost goes to schröder.

in any case, it's pretty exciting. also, katja kipping, PDS party candidate, on the left. she's a proponent of one of my favourite political goals: guaranteed basic income for everyone.

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renaissance poisson

July 2015

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