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Germany's having the same problem Italy has - too many parties are taking part in elections and you never get one party with a clear majority (unlike the US where it's either Republicans or Democrats or the UK - in the olden days - when it was either Labour or Tories). Since 1945 Germany has always been ruled by coalitions which always meant compromise. It doesn't look like anything's going to change this time around either. There will never be radical change in Germany because most Germans want big government. Problem is: if you have loads of civil servants nothing will change, ever. I don't know how many of you have seen the brilliant "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister" programmes in the 80s but I guess it pretty much shows what European politics are like. (http://www.yes-minister.com)

I am anticipating a CDU/CSU/FDP with 51+% of the vote. Strike activity can be expected to increase substantially, under the onslaught of which I expect Merkel's government to retreat, as the French did: there is no stomach here for deregulation, let alone free market solutions. I expect a media hostile to both the new government as well as the USA. Balance will mostly be provided by the blogosphere from sites such as Medienkritik.

This prediction is worth what you paid for it...

let's just hope that like a lot of things from the states, blogging will start to erode the eurosocialism that is destroying germany. angie is a start!
i have many german friends and even more acquaintances. theyre starting to feelthe heat and can also hear footsteps with the former eastern states and china eating their lunch. in detroit this last week the fall of mb to 21st on the qc standings was enough to cause dead silence in the room.
look, freedom is breaking out allover the place and germany like france is pissed that they arent causing it. so what, when they start losing their asses you won't hear so much michael mooreism out of berlin and innovation and changes will start to break out. it always looks like everything is falling apart right when people start to figure things out.
Americans take so much for granted and it IS startling to us that Germany's leadership is not directly elected (ok there's an electoral college, whatever)and therefore nowhere near as accountable/reachable by dissent. maybe that's one of the underlying cuases of them hating on W so much because they can't say a thing about their own pols.
i have some really good feelings about this lady and even though she's nowhere near an american conservative, she's lightyears ahead of lucy's boyfriend on the cool scale. viel gluck d-landers!!

Sadly Merkel's light-years from being a Margaret Thatcher. Being a woman from East Germany doesn't automatically make you a good leader. Well, we'll see - I guess anything's better than Schroeder and Fischer...

It's about 6:30 am German time.

Good luck Germany. Go VOTE!
(Just not for the Greens, ok?)

Thanks for the update and the short synopsis of the situation. We're anxious to see the results of the election......and hopefully some positive changes.

Yes please go out and vote. A lot of Americans died so you could do this even if you dislike us.

Regardless who wins it should make for good entertainment. Little of substance will change except more people will take time off to be marching in the streets and the new left party will become a factor in future elections.

Anti Americanism will only increase as the pain of reality effects more and more germans. One might say the party is over. It is now just a question of when the lights are going to be turned off.

Best wishes for a positive outcome that will help Germany move forward on the road to success!

The Saturday edition of the Darmstädter Echo had an interesting editorial on page 2 entitled "Vor der Wahl" in which the highly regarded american economist, Adam Posen, was cited:

"Fragt man den angesehenen amerikanischen Wirtschaftswissenschaftler Adam Posen, wie diese aussehen sollte, antwortet er: „Die Idealvorstellung eines liberalen Ökonomen wäre eine Regierungskoalition aus CDU, FDP und Grünen, ohne CSU.“ Diesen Wunsch wird man ihm nicht erfüllen können, zumal Posen Angela Merkel, die in einer solchen Konstellation Bundeskanzlerin werden würde, dringend davon abrät, zur (notwendigen) Senkung der Lohnnebenkosten wie von der CDU geplant die Mehrwertsteuer zu erhöhen.


Here's a link to the interview with Adam Posen in the FAZ:


@ disillusioned_german: I wouldn't sell her short yet. As a matter of fact, I read that Maggie was one of Angie's "heros." Nevertheless, I agree that Angie's ability to effect any changes is limited by the German system and German society itself. There is simply so much inertia in the form of party politics, civil servants, bureaucracy, and Nanny State thinking that makes a wide-reaching reform as in the UK nigh-on impossible in Germany. Reformers have a tough time here, because Germany doesn't want to be reformed.
I'll just be overjoyed to see Idiots (with a capital I) like Trittin, Kunast, Bulmahn, Eichel, and let's not forget Stolpe (DER Brandenburger Tor) get sent to the desert.

David, if there is a grand coalition, which cabinet positions will the SPD get? (would Schroeder want one?)

If there is a grand coalition, I hope Merkel will be generous and give the SPD the cabinet positions for Sports, Culture, ..., uhm, errrr ...., Ikebana, Mesmerism and Bellydance!

@Justin: I don't think Schröder's ego would fit in a mere cabinet position.
@Hartmut: Sorry, but I don't agree. Even those cabinet positions would be too dangerous. They could still do the standard SPD trick of dedicating millions for studies (conducted by their party buddy consultants, of course) to allegedly confirm what they wanted to say in the first place about Ikebana, Mesmerism and Bellydance. Then, the next thing you know we would have some sort of Dienstvorschrift about Ikebana that would somehow manage to make everyone's life miserable at tremendous cost to the few remaining taxpayers. ;-)

In terms of Merkel's improved relations with the US, I don't think she can be expected to make monumental improvements overnight. You have to understand the whole reason for this website is that the media in Germany is decidedly left, and if not Anti-American, then certainly biased with respect to America. And one cannot underestimate the effect of the media on a society. We in America should only hope for a "slight" movement toward more normal transatlantic relations. After all, we don't expect a lock-step approach from Germany. We would just like a goverment in Germany that does not seem overzealous in highlighting foriegn policy disagreements for domestic political gains.

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