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German politics xth attempt

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On 7.2.2018 at 4:39 PM, Mindwalker said:

Of course, a few months ago, Schulz definitely promised never to become a minister under Merkel... Oh well. I guess he knows he's an embarassment anyway, so it doesn't mattera nymore.

Well, apparently the base disagreed. I've always been critical of "Siggy Pop" Gabriel, but he really did god's work by launching that attack on Schulz.

On 7.2.2018 at 4:39 PM, Mindwalker said:

As to Scholz... Yeah, because G20 was such a success...

If it were just G20. Never voted for him in any election whatsoever, Old story, nonetheless that was a no-go. Anyway, I am not sure how he ended up as the "new hope" for the SPD. Maybe they are trying to emulate Merkel and bore her to death.

At least Kahrs that arms dealer isn't in the running for a cabinet post.

On 12.2.2018 at 3:22 PM, Jo498 said:

It is nevertheless true that the coalition will be anything but stable. Their policies will be mostly business as usual, i.e. Merkelian, so both the CSU and CDU rightwingers as well as the handful of Social Democrats left in the SPD will be unhappy with it.

Talking about it, guess who's back. Roland "Frogface" Koch. I thought that right win midget was gone from the political life after he buggered off to Bilfinger Berger (and failed there). But somehow him and that *censored* Jens Spahn are suddenly positioning themselves as the next generation of conservative leaders. I've no idea how bad Kramp Karrenbauer is, since I don't give a damn about the Saarland and what happens down there, but if the alternatives to her are herpes (Koch) and the pox (Spahn), I think I'd go with her.

As far as the new cabinet goes. At least de Maiziere is out. That's the one piece of good news.

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So Schulz is out, only two months after a party convention re-elected him as chairman. Scholz is to lead the party till another party convention can elect Nahles. The SPD members are to vote over the coalition but who is to be chairman is decreed by the party leadership. 

As for Scholz, he has won regional elections and also experience in federal politics. There isn't exactly an abundance of SPD politicians with that kind of profile. Of course he is unpopular in the party, but so were Schmidt and Schröder. It's almost a requirement for a potential SPD chancellor. The only other state prime minister who could run is Dreyer. But she never held an office in federal politics and her state is rather small. NRW would be a different thing. Same with Kramp-Karrenbauer in the CDU. Listening to foreign journalists breaking their tongues in futile attempts to pronounce her name would be fun, though.

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Seriously though, while the last election was almost boring in its predictability, I am absolutely dumbfounded how the next one will pan out. The SPD is currently committing suicide over keeping Merkel in power, the FDP have abandoned the pretense of wanting to govern, and while I agree with that postillon article a few posts back that argued the Greens had held the CDU and FPD in check in a way that the SPD obviously hasn't, I still fear they might shoot themselves in the foot before the elections once again, and simultaneously, their new leadership is... less than encouraging from a lefftist perspective. Die Linke, meanwhile, use their political irrelevance to tear into each other instead of trying to get a workale left-of-center majority once again. At the same time, the CDU looks like a hollow shell of its former self, on the verge of electoral collapse once Merkel is gone as anchor of stability. So, what gives? I hope the AfD doesn't continue to grow, but I see little hope for them not to. I fear that right-wing nationalism will get its chance to govern our country well before social democracy ever gets another chance after this clusterfuck.

Edited by theguyfromtheVale

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8 hours ago, Loge said:

 Same with Kramp-Karrenbauer in the CDU. Listening to foreign journalists breaking their tongues in futile attempts to pronounce her name would be fun, though.

As silly as it may be, this was also one of my first thoughts when she was mentioned as a candidate for higher offices.

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LOL. That'd be fun.

However, I think Gabriel will manage to keep his post. The way he managed to kick out Schulz was backstabbing, he even used his little daughter for it, and seems dumb at the surface (had he just kept quiet for a few days, the parody shows were doing the job just fine), but while he is many, many things, he is not stupid. So now the base is as angry at him as it is with Schulz, but what if he managed to prove in a heroic act how great he is as a foreign minister? Yilderim has been making noises about Deniz Yücel maybe getting free soon. (Of coursde he doesn't know because Turkey is a democratic state and the courts are totally independent.) Gabriel is best buddies with Erdogan (and Schröder, who might help out. He knows his way around pure democrats like Putin.) Voilà - Siggy saves Yücel, with whatever dirty deal (official or not)! The base might forgive him and celebrate him.

Edited by Mindwalker

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Well, well.

No. 1 - Free Deniz - check. (And of course I'm happy for him.)

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article173644774/WELT-Korrespondent-Deniz-Yuecel-kommt-frei.html

http://taz.de/Deniz-Yuecel-kommt-frei-Troeoet/!5485238/

No. 2 - Siggy beating his manly heroic chest - check. (NOT happy about that.)

Anyone taking bets regarding his political future?

Yilderim and Merkel yesterday, valiantly fighting a terrorist attack that displayed photographs: http://taz.de/Tuerkischer-Ministerpraesident-in-Berlin/!5485092/

ETA: http://taz.de/Nach-der-Freilassung-von-Deniz-Yuecel/!5485304/

Gabriels großer Auftritt

Eigentlich wird Sigmar Gabriels Anwesenheit dieser Tage in München vorausgesetzt. Als geschäftsführender Bundesaußenminister soll der SPD-Politiker auf der Sicherheitskonferenz mit internationalen Spitzenpolitiker*innen die angespannte Weltlage diskutieren.

Doch nach einem kurzen Auftritt vor dem Bayerischen Hof am Mittag, verließ Gabriel München schon wieder – und düste zurück nach Berlin. Die Nachricht des Tages, Deniz Yücels Freilassung, die wollte er in der Hauptstadt erleben. Oder vielmehr: dort inszenieren. Im sogenannten Newsroom der Zeitung Die WELT, für die Deniz Yücel als Türkei-Korrespondent bis zu seiner Inhaftierung tätig war, kam Gabriels Rolle bei Yücels Freilassung besser zur Geltung. Denn sie ist, wie er klarmachte, allen voran ein Erfolg für ihn.

Edited by Mindwalker

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So, Kramp-Karrenbauer is to be secretary general of the CDU. I guess that is positioning her to be a potential Merkel successor.

Edited by Loge

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Well, to anyone who still cares: Germany will have a government! After only about six months of, well not having one! Which government, you may ask? Same old, same old....

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/04/germany-social-democrats-spd-vote-in-favour-of-coalition-angela-merkel

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/04/world/europe/germany-spd-merkel.html

When... I mean if Gabriel becomes foreign minister again, I want a cookie because I called it!

Edited by Mindwalker

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17 minutes ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

Along those lines... who would have predicted in 1989 that the SED (via name-change) would outlive the SPD?

They (Die Linke) are not the SED. And they're not doing so great voting-wise (they don't profit from the losses of SPD and others), so I'm not sure who will survive longer!

Edited by Mindwalker

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The Linke seems  more stable (in votes) than the SPD but of course on a far lower level. I guess they took most of the disenchanted SPD voters already in the early 2000s and have not really been able to improve on that. They are also internally divided and in cases when they ruled in coalitions (like in Berlin) they often proved as bad as the SPD (like selling thousands of formerly government-owned housing units and thus increasing the problem of affordable rents).

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Die Linke is a merger of the PDS (formerly SED) and WASG, which was a bunch of disgruntled Social Democrats led by Lafontaine. Unlike the PDS, they have some support in the west, but they're still significantly weaker there than in the east. As for their prospects, the AfD seems to be a real threat.

So the SPD members voted yes. CDU party convention already voted yes with a whopping 99 percent. Makes one wonder who is the SED's successor. I still don't believe this coalition will last a full term. The CDU's list of cabinet ministers didn't hold any big surprises. The SPD haven't disclosed theirs yet. Will be interesting to see who gets the foreign and finance ministries. 

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29 minutes ago, Roose Boltons Pet Leech said:

**** the SPD. Seriously. If you're going to martyr yourself, do it for a cause greater than Angela Merkel getting another four years.

The SPD has a tradition of martyring herself for dubious causes that goes back to 1914 when they had to support the Emperor in the war effort for patriotic reasons. ("Wer hat uns verraten? Sozialdemokraten" Who betrayed us? Social Democrats" was a 1920s commie slogan.) It did not help them because the slur "unpatriotic rabble" (vaterlandslose Gesellen) because of socialist internationalism still stuck.

As I have pointed out before, by now they were in such a fix that there probably was no good solution. Because they martyred themselves on the cause of NATO pacifying the Balkans in the late 1990s, on the cause of making Germany's economy great again (by severely gutting the welfare state and the pension system in the early 2000s). Then by bringing Merkel to power, helping the banksters out with a little cash (and subsequently taking the blow in the 2009 elections while Merkel did escape almost unscathed) and finally by the incredibly stupid move of entering into a second "grand coalition" in 2013 after their worst results ever. Their personnel are mostly incompetent carreerists. They are content as long as they keep their nice positions and salaries. Or can even improve afterwards in some "consultant" position or so. As several of their current leaders would be overtaxed as middle school teachers or bank clerks, this is obviously good for them because they can make far more money as politicians.

As destructive as it may sound, I hope that the government collapses in a year or two. It will be bad in any case because the rightwing AfD is (unless they split again) will almost certainly overtake the SPD. And in 4 years the SPD might be completely lost while in two years they could still have a chance to regroup and recover. As they just missed that chance, I would not bet on it.

But despite the despicable mainsteam media who almost unanimously demanded that the SPD should not "block" but "take up responsibility" it is really incredible stupidity. Even in the CDU and their voting base many people are utterly sick of Merkel and after two "kisses of death" (actually another in between as the FPD lost their parliament presence after coalition with Merkel) they will now go down with Merkel without reaping any benefits.

It really sounds like a conspiracy because nobody can be so stupid strategically. Germany will either go the way of the Netherlands with unstable 3-party coalitions or (not at all unlikely in the long run) of Austria with a big move to the right and AfD-CDU coalitions.

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3 hours ago, Mindwalker said:

They (Die Linke) are not the SED. And they're not doing so great voting-wise (they don't profit from the losses of SPD and others), so I'm not sure who will survive longer!

No, but their voting core in the east are former SED voters. And I don't think many of those elderly voters hold particularly left beliefs on most social issues. Also the Left was sorta of a Russia Today favorite (Russian German voters) until the AfD showed up. And the Russian German vote was not that insignificant in some western states like the Saarland.

That SPD and (so called) the Left lost nearly 900.000 votes to the AfD might be an indicator for that (470k from the SPD 400 from PDS). Given that the (so called) Left has a lower voting base in general might be an indicator for that.

3 hours ago, Jo498 said:

As destructive as it may sound, I hope that the government collapses in a year or two. It will be bad in any case because the rightwing AfD is (unless they split again) will almost certainly overtake the SPD. And in 4 years the SPD might be completely lost while in two years they could still have a chance to regroup and recover. As they just missed that chance, I would not bet on it.

I am not so sure of that. They lack personnel to come back from the dead. And I am more worried they be reduced to the state of the Bavarian SPD. I think the best hope for the SPD is a conservative revolt in the CDU. If they bring one of their bozos (likesay Koch or Spahn) in as party head, that might be a chance for the SPD's revival. If the CDU vacates the center it might give the SPD some much needed breathing room electoral wise. I think that'S pretty much their only chance.

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regardless of the SPD I think a conservative revolt in the CDU is very likely, I completely agree with that. Unfortunately such a "conservative revolt" could also make a black-blue coalition in the future more likely.

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regardless of the SPD I think a conservative revolt in the CDU is very likely, I completely agree with that. Unfortunately such a "conservative revolt" could also make a black-blue coalition in the future more likely.

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23 hours ago, Notone said:

No, but their voting core in the east are former SED voters. And I don't think many of those elderly voters hold particularly left beliefs on most social issues. Also the Left was sorta of a Russia Today favorite (Russian German voters) until the AfD showed up. And the Russian German vote was not that insignificant in some western states like the Saarland.

Their love for Putin's Russia is certinly the thing I find most disturbing about Die Linke.

Quote

That SPD and (so called) the Left lost nearly 900.000 votes to the AfD might be an indicator for that (470k from the SPD 400 from PDS).

Maybe, maybe not. Some former Obama voters then voted for Trump. Mindboggling, but I'm not sure that all of them are (or have become) racists.

Quote

I am not so sure of that. They lack personnel to come back from the dead.

If you mean ability and drive, I think every big organisation has some people who have that. Heck, I think Nahles is capable. (I dislike her conduct/ attitude, but frankly, Gabriel's was worse in some regards until he became minister, nevermind the obnoxious "Bätschi" stuff).

If you mean real will to really renew the party in terms of social issues, political courage etc., I agree. They have made noises about renewal before, they didn't follow through. Too many believe they just don't embrace and communicate their "successes" enough...

An interview with Karl Lauterbach:http://taz.de/SPD-Fraktionsvize-zum-Mitgliedervotum/!5488830/

And here's a website with the most "interesting" quotes by AfD politicians, including visions of extinguishing everyone who, in their eyes, harms the German people: https://wir-sind-afd.de/

ETA: The Guardian's take on Merkel and the EU:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/04/germany-coalition-merkel-macron-europe-eu

Germany’s good fortune, however, is that a healthy budget surplus means there is money to deal with the difficulties. Its left wing will be happy to get more childcare, and curbs on short-term contracts. And for the right there will be some tax cuts and a more forthright acknowledgment of the difficulties of openness to refugees.

The most troublesome conundrum after all this is that it will be hard to convince the sizeable chunk of voters who drifted to parties of the far left, far right and the Greens last year that one more dance of Germany’s elephants represents a radical shift. The AfD in particular will gain more oxygen as the official opposition party.

For Europe (and Britain approaching Brexit), there will be little change. Merkel signals emphatically in private that she sees the French president, Emmanuel Macron, as sharing her worldview, and will use her remaining time to consolidate that link.

Edited by Mindwalker

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On 5.3.2018 at 0:29 PM, Mindwalker said:

Maybe, maybe not. Some former Obama voters then voted for Trump. Mindboggling, but I'm not sure that all of them are (or have become) racists.

In a way yes, but also no. I think the old (and elderly) PDS voting base in the east has more conservative values than the party likes to admit. The thing they got going for them is, a.) they are the pary of/for Eastern Germans, who is representing their interests. (a bit like the CSU for Bavaria if you will). and b.) they were also some kind of protest party, as not even the SPD would go near them with pole.
The AfD has kinda challenged them on both fronts (to various degrees). And I really don't think the difference between certain parts of the old PDS electorate and the CSU is that big in terms of values. That's also the bit of their votes that's resonating so well with the Nationalist undertone of Lafo and Wagenknecht.

On 5.3.2018 at 0:29 PM, Mindwalker said:

If you mean ability and drive, I think every big organisation has some people who have that. Heck, I think Nahles is capable. (I dislike her conduct/ attitude, but frankly, Gabriel's was worse in some regards until he became minister, nevermind the obnoxious "Bätschi" stuff).

Gabriel has not fundamentally changed imo. It's just his oafish macho attitude appears better suited when it comes to dealing with other testerone oafs like Trump or Erdogan. As Wischmeyer put it, do you want to send a secretary of state Heiko Maas to Erdogan? He cuts those guys into his breakfast döner. With such a quiet chancellor (without any ambition to show leadership), a more outspoken secretary of state appears somewhat more appealing. As for Nahles, I think the poodle is annoyingly obnoxious.

 

On 5.3.2018 at 0:29 PM, Mindwalker said:

If you mean real will to really renew the party in terms of social issues, political courage etc., I agree. They have made noises about renewal before, they didn't follow through. Too many believe they just don't embrace and communicate their "successes" enough...

 

I am still shedding a tear now and then for Platzeck. I know damn centrist, but he actually had chancellor potential. Much more than all those awesome successors. And he wasn't a freaking oaf.

 

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The Platzeck who lasted a whopping five months as chairman of the SPD? No way. He was a pretty weak state prime minister, too, who just stood by when his Berlin colleague Wowereit ran the BER into the ground. Now he wants the West to just accept Russia's annexation of Crimea. At least he was smart enough to realise that the job of SPD chairman was too big for him.

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