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Thanks Ray, that was fast! Now whoever said Deutschland is a Servicewüste.

What I take from these numbers is that there is almost an exact 50-50 split between all the left leaning parties and those on the right, although our current understanding is that the New-Left with about 7% will not be invited to form any coalition with the SPD. Even so, should Merkel form a government with less than 50% of the vote, the New-Left can be guaranteed to cause enough trouble to prevent difficult or unpopular reforms from being initiated.

So how accurate are these poll numbers? The numbers above come from the Institut fur Demoskopie Allensbach via Spiegel.de. I searched around on the net and I could not find the margin of error of this survey. Does anybody know? Without knowing the margin of error, all sorts of possibilities are wide open. For example a MoE of 5% (not outside the range of possibilites) could either put Schroeder back in power as Chancellor or allow Merkel to govern safely in a black-yellow coalition.

What we found in the US in the 2004 elections was a highly selective reporting of poll results designed to give the illusion of Kerry catching up from behind. Ray has run a column on the same phenomenon here in the May elections in Germany. Care is warranted when looking at any poll results. My prediction, barring last minute surprises like floods etc, is a CDU/CSU/FDP victory with over 51%. Predictions are worth what you paid for them...

Does this mean are we going to get a steady diet of how divided the Germans are like we have from their M$M about the results of the last US presidential election?

Why are choices so difficult for Germans?

It seems they are only decisive when there are no consequences to their choices.

One thing I noticed about the German polls is that they simply give the 5 party vote. They do not give the undecideds. From what I understand, the undecideds were pretty large early on, but the polls report only those who say CDU or SPD, etc.

So I wonder if the large swing to the SPD is simply a manifestation of the undecideds deciding SPD.

Merkel better have HER buses running to the polls.

@Ray: I wouldn't call the PDS Communists. More like Populist Socialists.
These are the real communist parties: MLPD, PSG. Marx, Lenin, Trotzki, the working class, the Revolution, and the International.

The most interesting small party, interesting in the context of this site, is probably this one. Not anti-American per se (the lady's husband is an American), though I'm sure the party is actively exploiting anti-American sentiments off-screen, but very anti-Bush. The TV spot is quite hilarious in its absurdity; "Realsatire" in its purest form.

Blue State Conservative:
>>So I wonder if the large swing to the SPD is simply a manifestation of the undecideds deciding SPD.<<
In part, certainly. Many people found Schröder's performance in the TV duel to be more convincing than Merkel's, and the SPD's "propaganda" department is quite busy demonising the designated finance minister's reform plans.

My prediction, by the way, is we'll end up with a Grand Coalition.

Blue State Conservative: "So I wonder if the large swing to the SPD is simply a manifestation of the undecideds deciding SPD."

Looking at the chart, it appears that the SPD is re-gaining some of the 'New Left' voters back. They probably are buying the IMHO BS, that the SPD won't make a coaltion with them. Schroeder will and has done everything to gain and maintain power. Why change now? I heard on TV that 20% of the voters were still undecided. But it's also probably true that the MSM is selectively spinning the polls to help the SPD.

You all can buy me beer on 3 October.

I predict red green will be back in power at that time.

I hope no one has to buy you a beer Joe!

I hope not too..
but a red red green is possible.. a nightmare scenario..
and I agree with previous statements.. Schroeder/Fischer will do ANYTHING to stay in power...

If the CDU/CSU/FDP dont get the 50% then I think the traffic light will make it.


Red/Red/Green is impossible i think as Lafontaine and Gerhard probably hate each other by now and the election is really about Hartz4 and the welfare state. Neither party could move towards the other on this issue now.

The big coalition would then traditionally be the most likely but the TV duel this year has split the two parties a bit and I cannot imagine after their TV battle that Gerhard could sit in a cabinet under Merkel after arrogantly trying to patronise her for 2 hours in front of millions. And then theres the competence team and stuff and that university economics guy and all the personal battles betweeen SPD and CDU memebers. I get the impression that the SPD feel cheated by the CDU: They brought their reform and the CDU gained from the protest feeling in the local elections but have still really to set out a set plan themselves. Its good fair politics but doesnt make great coalition partners.

The Greens joing the CDU/CSU/FDP is IMHO never going to happen. Stoiber and Fischer in one room would be a bloodbath, in a coalition under Merkel a no go area. The Greens base vote would all leave for the PDS as well.

Which is why I think the traffic light is the most likely (id CDU/CSU/FDP dont do it alone) Although the FDP has said it wont, well its a small party that would love to get into the governement and get more coverage. It can claim that it is forming the coalition to stop red red green and to save the hartz4 reforms. The SPD and Greens can move a bit on genetic issues and get rid of a bit of paperwork here and there for the FDP to claim a small victory for its voters. Fischer and Guido arent the best of friends true but Gerhard can keep them in check.

My girlfriend says that I talk crap though and she studies political science.

Fear is real. It can paralyze. There is more than enough fear in Germany today to cause this to happen. I personally think this is what the polls are reflecting.

The elites fear the people. The people fear the decisions of the elites.

The elites fail to be honest with the people because they fear a loss of power. The people fear giving the elites more power so more decisions can be made.

So no one is being honest. There is no vision for the future because there is no honesty in the debate. This results in even more fear.

This is very sad to see this happening. It servers no one least of all the Germans.

We are witnessing a nation in decline, which could right itself but for now it will not because of fear.

I do hope at some point in the future there will be a "Morning in Germany".

@ joe

Thats an interesting statement from you.
I myself had to read quite a lot about the German Angst in our current society recently.

Certainly this keeps our country from doing as well as it could.
But: If you take a look at history, nations tend to unite when there is something they fear - the more fear there is around, the more they tend to stick together.

Developments initiated by the people as a whole are certainly not going to enforce the rights of the individual.
In the end though, at least the german people might one day get an efficient government again!

Another reason to hope for a red green victory. Of course, I for one would hope he would not be given a visa. I would think he would feel much more comfortable in Paris among his friends and closest allies or even Moscow.

Just think of all the fashion shows Doris could attend in Paris.

The bosses' Chancellor may abandon ungrateful nation for New York

By Tony Paterson in Berlin
Published: 16 September 2005
Gerhard Schröder has said he will consider moving to New York if he is defeated on Sunday.


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