Election in Germany: Conservative/libertarian majority, the left destroyed

Sim

Registered Member
#1
The national election on sunday, September 27th 2009 was historic:

The center-left Social Democrats (SPD) suffered their worst defeat since 1932, even 6% below their 1953 post-WW2 all time low.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) got their worst result since 1949, yet they have a reason for celebrating, because they are strongest party and now can form a coalition with the libertarian FDP, which has scored the strongest result in its history.

The other two small parties, socialist Left Party and environmentalist Green Party, are stronger than ever as well.

link

The result for the respective parties (compared to 2005):

Christian Democrats -- CDU/CSU -- conservative: 33.8% (-1.4%)
Social Democrats -- SPD -- center-left: 23.0% (-11.2%)
Free Democrats -- FDP -- libertarians: 14.6% (+4.8%)
Left Party -- Linke -- socialist: 11.9% (+3.2%)
Green Party -- Grüne -- liberal-environmentalist: 10.7% (+2.6%)

all other parties below 5% (no representation in the parliament), among them:

Pirate Party -- Piraten -- for internet-freedom: 2.0% (-)
National Democrats -- NPD -- neo-Nazis: 1.5% (-0.1%)

(all others below 1.0%)




Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) now has a mandate to stay Chancellor for another 4 years. But she will replace her junior coalition partner, the humiliated center-left SPD, by the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) who are strong as never before (on the picture: FDP chairman and likely future Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle).

Angela Merkel (CDU) announced she wants to continue as "a Chancellor for all Germans".




SPD candidate for Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Steinmeier and SPD chairman Müntefering admitted defeat. Steinmeier announced he wants to continue to serve his party as opposition floor leader in the parliament during the next 4 years.

The fate of the SPD is uncertain. After having suffered the worst defeat since 1932, a fight between the different wings of the party is expected to emerge, and it is uncertain whether Steinmeier and especially Müntefering will be able to continue on top of the party. Especially Müntefering is expected to be replaced as chairman on the next party convention in November.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
#2
Angela Merkel (CDU) announced she wants to continue as "a Chancellor for all Germans".
This I doubt. Surely now that the "coalition" has taken a massive shift it is no longer about bridging differences and finding the happy middle ground between CDU & SPD, but about pushing through conservative driven reform. Why would she try and please everybody when all she has to do is get her party and the FDP to agree (which really should not be that hard) so she can pursue CDU policies/agendas.

She now has the potential to be the next Iron Lady of Europe, but I just get a suspicion that she is not going to be. Has she got what it takes to go that extra step and make things happen, or will she still try and please the soicialists whilst fearing getting into bed with the libertarians?
 

Sim

Registered Member
#3
This I doubt. Surely now that the "coalition" has taken a massive shift it is no longer about bridging differences and finding the happy middle ground between CDU & SPD, but about pushing through conservative driven reform. Why would she try and please everybody when all she has to do is get her party and the FDP to agree (which really should not be that hard) so she can pursue CDU policies/agendas.
We'll have to see. Comments suggested Merkel had learnt from her almost-defeat in 2005, when she had run on a very market-liberal platform, and now is eager to make sure she and her CDU is not perceived as "anti-social" -- but whether that change of Merkel was because of the need to make compromises with the SPD in the past 4 years in not obvious. Maybe now, especially with support from a very strong FDP, she might rediscover her "neo-liberal" leanings.

Interesting will also be the role the CSU will play in this. The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of the CDU (they form one group on national level, while the CSU is running in Bavaria only, the CDU in all other states): The CSU chairman Seehofer attacked the FDP harshly during the campaign, emphasizing there will be no "anti-social coldness" in a common government. Obviously, Seehofer tried to win votes in the center against the FDP.

She now has the potential to be the next Iron Lady of Europe, but I just get a suspicion that she is not going to be. Has she got what it takes to go that extra step and make things happen, or will she still try and please the soicialists whilst fearing getting into bed with the libertarians?
Probably the situation in the middle of economic crisis will lower her leeway, and this will be more important than party platforms in the end: Both FDP and CDU promised tax cuts, but many experts, even from the "neo-liberal camp", said they cannot afford that -- the federal budget depts have risen to an all time high of €86 billion (after they had been at €12 billion only in 2008, before the crisis emerged).

Likely, the new coalition will do not much (except minor tax cuts well below the promises) until May 2010, because then, there are elections in the by far most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where a CDU/FDP coalition defends its majority against the left, and Merkel won't risk losing that state.

Later, maybe deeper cuts into the social nets to reduce the dept will be necessary -- so in these regards, the SPD may be lucky after all, because they would not have survived that as governing party. But since they are in the opposition now, they are in a good position to attack CDU and FDP for it.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
#4
The fate of the SPD is uncertain. After having suffered the worst defeat since 1932, a fight between the different wings of the party is expected to emerge, and it is uncertain whether Steinmeier and especially Müntefering will be able to continue on top of the party. Especially Müntefering is expected to be replaced as chairman on the next party convention in November.
That sounds exactly like the Socialist Party here after their defeat in our last presidential elections. They're still disorganised and it's been years already. Our political arena is in an embarrassing state, left and right...they're even talking about morality (sex scandal) of politicians. What a downgrade of the political debate....