Good morning, Class. Can you say "Coalition"?
Fact: no one Party could have taken the election with an absolute majority. Whoever was going to win, they knew well ahead of the election that a winning ticket would only be the first step. If we look at it another way, "the winners" only advanced to the next step in the building of the new Government; die Koalitionsverhandlungen. What else can we expect from a true Multi-Party System?
Now, I know this may come to you as a shock but, Germany had, basically speaking, five major Parties entering the race this time around - six if we count the CSU as a Party on its own, which it technically speaking is. But with reality looking down on the two, they're really joined at the hip with the CDU unable to get a grip on Bavaria and the bavarian CSU unable to export bavarian politics to the rest of the Federation without the CDU. Understanding their relationship is key to understanding the political field in Germany.
Certain relationships existed prior to the elections so we can safely say plans for certain coalitional color combinations emerging as the winners and entering the Koalitionsverhandlungen had to have been made far in advance of the actual elections. This kinda takes the element of suprise out of an election as we can see in the low voter turnout for 2009. My youngest son who only recently turned 18 and with that become eligible to vote e.g. was reluctant to vote as he based his arguments on something which is not entirely untrue....in his very words - "they all stink, what we need is a revolution". The only problem I have with that idea is the question of who will be leading the revolution. As most of us know, revolutions are often breeded and eventually hijacked and steered to a desired outcome, i.e. unless we're talking about anarchy. Based on my personal experiences, I would say that even the anarchists are organized to a certain extent.
The big question for each voter would have had to have been - "do I throw it away, give it to one of the five or maybe a combination or do I use it as a weapon to show one or the other Party how upset I am with them? If you ask me, we had a large number of people voting as a weapon this year. To start with, the SPD, traditionally a worker's Party (see history and origin) was directly responsible for a number of heaps of steaming brown mass over the past ten years or so; Agenda 2010, Harz IV, Riester-Rente, German Troops in Afghanistan and something nobody really wants to talk about these days - the CIA Flights. I don't know about you but that last one would be enough to compel me to vote and to use my vote as wisely as I possibly could. To put it bluntly, all of the above but especially the CIA Flights and the SPD involvement in the cover-up which ensued once the kettle came to boil gave me reason to campaign against the SPD no matter who was to profit from it. Anyone but the SPD! Something tells me I wasn't alone with that feeling.
So who gets our votes, or in my case seeing as I'm not allowed to vote, who am I backing? The answer to that question, if I were to explain it in detail, would fill an essay on its own, taking us off into the intricate details of German history and an up close look at today's Germany, the loss of traditions, the erosion of the social democracy headed by the SPD , once the backbone of the German political system and the current social situation following the fall of the wall, the collapse of the UdSSR, the building of the EU and the way things were prior to all of the above. Let's skip that and cut to the chase - people are unhappy. A great many would like to see Germany return to a more social center. Some would even like to see a major shift to the left while others are horrified with the idea "the same people who brought us the Stasi" would become part of the new Government. Heaven forbid!
With the SPD walking lockstep with the CDU/CSU in the Grand Coalition, semi-socially-minded people had little other choice but to migrate either to the left (Die Linke), to the right (FDP, CDU/CSU) or take a hike in the woods (Green) leaving Realpolitik to the wolves. Don't get me wrong, the German Green Party does have a social strain but compared to Die Linke, Die Gruene are little fish in the political pond of socialism. It's like buying icecream - do I want that full vanilla experience or do I want three balls with three different flavors, a neopolitan "solution"?
The Parties :
The States :
The results :
Provisional official result for the 2009 Bundestag election
On 28 September 2009, at 3.35 a.m., the Federal Returning Officer announced the provisional official result of the 17th German Bundestag elections on 27 September 2009.
With a voter turnout of 70.8 percent (2005: 77.7 percent), the parties obtained the following shares of the total number of valid second votes cast:
|The Left Party||11.9||8.7|
|Alliance 90/The Greens||10.7||8.1|
Results by State (detailed final results statistical report - 4.148Mb PDF)
|Parties||Constituency||Party list||Total seats|
|Christian Democratic Union[A]||13,852,743||32.0||-0.6||173||+67||11,824,794||27.3||−0.5||21||−53||194||+14||31.2|
|Christian Social Union of Bavaria[A]||3,190,950||7.4||−0.9||45||+1||2,830,210||6.5||−0.9||0||−2||45||−1||7.2|
|Social Democratic Party||12,077,437||27.9||−10.5||64||−81||9,988,843||23.0||−11.2||82||+5||146||−76||23.5|
|Free Democratic Party||4,075,115||9.4||+4.7||0||—||6,313,023||14.6||+4.8||93||+32||93||+32||15.0|
|Alliance '90/The Greens||3,974,803||9.2||+3.8||1||—||4,641,197||10.7||+2.6||67||+17||68||+17||10.9|
|German Pirate Party||46,750||0.1||+0.1||0||—||845,904||2.0||+2.0||0||—||0||—||—|
|National Democratic Party||768,175||1.8||−0.0||0||—||635,437||1.5||−0.1||0||—||0||—||—|
|Human Environment Animal Welfare||16,881||0.0||+0.0||0||—||230,572||0.5||+0.3||0||—||0||—||—|
|Ecological Democratic Party||105,276||0.2||+0.2||0||—||132,395||0.3||+0.3||0||—||0||—||—|
Suggested Further Readings.....
Analysis of the election by Ingo Schmidt: The German Federal Elections: Centre-Right Wins Majority, Social Democracy Suffers Crushing Defeat, The Left Receives a Boost
Saarland, a Jamaican First - The right-wing trajectory of the German Green Party has reached a new level with its decision to form a so-called Jamaica coalition with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the free-market Free Democratic Party (FDP) following elections in Germany’s smallest state, Saarland.
Matthias Platzeck & Kerstin Kaiser to form Red/Red coalition in Brandenburg and a few more tidbits regarding colation building.
CDU & SPD form coalition for Thuringen
Germany a Lab for political experiments
How to get off the hamster wheel
The sun is shining and it's friday night. Let's paint the town red or green or yellow or white. It'll go black all by itself. -curt