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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

German Elections 24. 9. 2017

In a few days, on the 24. September, Germans will go to the polls and decide their government for the next four years. Here is a quick guide to understanding the German election, from this Source

Germans don’t directly vote for their leader like in the US, but they can vote for a party. In Merkel’s case that would be the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which right now is a beefy 14 percentage points ahead of nearest rival the Social Democrats (SPD), according to the latest Emnid poll (link in German).

While we can expect Merkel to stay at the helm, her choice of coalition partner will influence Germany’s domestic and foreign policy over the next four years.

The rest of the race

As well as the CDU and SPD, there are four other political parties who are more or less neck-and-neck at the moment. Each party is represented by colors: The CDU and its sister party the Christian Social Union are black, while the SPD is red. Coalitions are sometimes referred in Germany by colors, eg, a “Jamaica coalition” would be one between the Christian Democrats (black), Greens (green), and Free Democrats (yellow).

The other key parties are:

The liberal Free Democrats (yellow)

The left-leaning (*) Green Party (green)

The Left/Die Linke (dark red or purple)

The right-wing (**) Alternative for Germany, AfD (blue)

Why third is the new first

Watch for whichever party comes in third place after the CDU and SPD, because it could mean the Christian Democrats have a chance to team up with a new coalition partner.

The FDP is the one to watch here. It looks set to re-enter parliament this year after failing to clear the 5% hurdle in 2013, and some polls predict it could win enough votes to allow it to form a coalition with the CDU/CSU (they were historically coalition partners).

This could mean some changes, as the pro-business FDP favor slashing government debt and taxes, and taking take a stricter line with other EU countries—it’s dead against any more bailouts for Greece. Its leader Christian Lindner told Bloomberg that other EU countries needed to be responsible for their own fiscal policies, and that he was against a Franco-German alliance that would entail “pots of money” for Emmanuel Macron.

On the other side, if the Greens were to be part of the next coalition, they could pull Merkel more to the left. (***)

Although the Left and the AFD are both polling at around 10%, Merkel’s party has ruled out forming a government with either of them. (****)

Here’s how the voting works

Everyone gets two votes on their ballot paper. The first one is to choose a local representative for their district. The second is to choose a party for parliament. 

Germany has 299 districts, and each one has a representative in the Bundestag. The Bundestag actually has a minimum of 598 seats, and the remainder of them are portioned out based on what percentage of the national vote each party wins—and that’s the key result we’ll all be watching for on the night of Sept. 24. The threshold to get into parliament is 5%.

What happens once the results are in?

Negotiations then begin on forming a coalition government—a coalition needs at least 45% of the vote to form a government—and the process can take weeks. Only once that’s completed can the chancellor be elected.

(*) "Left-Leaning" in the case of the Greens globally, but even more so in the case of the German Greens is a euphemism for "Extreeeeeeeeeme Left"

(**) This report is actually in a minority to call the AfD merely "right wing". The Merkel-obedient Fake Media label the "Alternive für Deutschland" from "extreeeeeme Right" to "Nazi" via "Raaaaacist" and got actually away before the courts calling Dr. Alice Weidel, one of the AfD lead candidates a "Nazi Schlampe" (Nazi Slut). The AfD is the only genuinely conservative and truly patriotic Party among the lot. 

(***) WOT? One small step more to the Left by this fake "conservative" Merkel and she would fall of the cliff.

(****) It is actually the AfD who have ruled out joining Merkel's Mob. At this stage, they say, they are not seeking "power", but intend to form a strong opposition who finally will hold Merkel et al to account for her destructive actions. 

I have not hidden the deep contempt I have for Angela Merkel and for what she is doing to Germany and Europe, but - unfortunately - the system will see her Chancellor for another 4 years. 

The only small hope Germany and her people have is that Merkel and her pack get at last an authentic opposition. They will if the AfD enters the Bundestag after the elections. 

End of Election Campaign 2013                        Start of Election Campaign 2017


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