Monday, September 19, 2005

German paralysis

Any way you look at it the disappointing results of the elections in Germany represent the worst case scenario:

The vote heralded the end of Schroeder's seven-year tenure but left in doubt who will follow. The inconclusive results make it likely that Germany's next government would be weakened because of the narrow vote margin and difficulties in forming a coalition.

"In my perspective, the majority of the German population is still not ready to accept a real hard reform course," said Uwe Andersen , a political scientist at Ruhr University in Bochum. "And therefore the only possibility now is a grand coalition, C.D.U. and S.P.D., but it will be a very difficult situation, because I think they will have great difficulty to get a government project that is stable and that is able to answer the questions that are coming up about the future of the country," he said.

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Reginella said...

I agree the election results are not ideal. Still, the voter turnout of 77.8% is impressive and a sign that German citizens do care about politics. And they won't just swallow the shallow propaganda material they've been fed by the Christian Conservatives. Voting against the proclaimed "change" also means Germans are not pro-Bush and not pro modern crusades, they are not against stem cell research, and they are not against Turkey joining the EU. A recent survey also found the the majority of Germans have now come to realise that reforms of the welfare state are neccesary. Going forward, chancellor Schroder may have less opposition in pushing through those neccessary reforms. That change in public opinion will make it easier for Schroder going forward, and even the CDU may realise it does not make sense to constantly block neccessary reforms.

marlow said...

I do not agree. I think foreign policy has had very little to do with it.

I am afraid that German public has demonstrated an unwillingness to make necessary sacifices so that things can improve in the future. Unfortunately this happens everywhere; Italy is another example.