(See Breaking News on the Social Democrat's result on Sunday's election in Brandenburg, Germany.)
The Social Democrats (SPD), German Chancellor Gerhard Schoeder's ruling party, is in a world of political trouble. The latest opinion poll by the German TV-channel ZDF currently shows the SPD at a new historic record-breaking low of 22 % in the approval ratings. This current result is down a full 5 percentage points from the already painfully low 27% approval rating of a few weeks ago.
On a scale from -5 to +5 the German government clocks a -1.7 - the worst result of any German government since the start of TV channel ZDF's "Politbarometer" in 1977. For the SPD and Schroeder, these results amount to nothing less than political free fall.
In the meantime, the conservative opposition CDU's support edged up to a solid majority at 53 %.
Above all, Germans are fed up with the current domestic situation and blame their government for the economic misery that has befallen their country. Mass unemployment, slow economic growth, bursting welfare rolls, an unsustainable government pension system, a failed highway toll system and a failed recycling program are among the reasons for the Social-Democrat's dramatic political collapse.
Until now, Schroeder could always count on anti-American policies to give him a lift in the polls when he was in trouble at home. Just this week, the SPD attempted to play the very same card by refusing to forgive Iraq its $4.6 billion debt to Germany. Then the SPD went further by only sending a deputy minister to the Madrid Donor Conference and refusing to pledge more to Iraq's reconstruction than the miserly 193 million Euro already pledged by the EU. But apparently, most Germans (who were helped out of their post-war misery by the Marshall Plan) are starting to see through Schroeder's cynical brand of opportunistic politics.
We can say clearly: Anti-Americanism hasn't helped the SPD's ratings lately and now seems to be backfiring badly...
At this point the question is: How much longer can such an unpopular, failing government last in Germany?
The answer is: It may be time for Mr. Schoeder to pack his things and go...
(Written by Ray D.)
Update: Disaster for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Chancellor Schroeder
On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2003, the Social Democratic Party had dramatic losses in regional elections in the state of Brandenburg (in East Germany). The SPD halved it's voter base. Strongest party in Brandenburg is now the conservative CDU, followed by the PDS (former communist party of East Germany), and only on third place the SPD with 20 % of the votes.
Also of interest:
Madness in German government - German Green Party Officials Ordered Challenger Jet to Brazil
How German correspondents stationed in the US produce Anti-Americanism back home.