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4551  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Fox poll: Giuliani would beat Clinton by 14 points - if terrorist attack happens on: September 14, 2007, 10:55:57 am
The thing that boggles my mind is calling Carter and Clinton bad foreign policy presidents.

Yeah, that's the one I called "obvious". Wink
4552  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Fox poll: Giuliani would beat Clinton by 14 points - if terrorist attack happens on: September 14, 2007, 10:17:01 am
1969 to 2009 is 40 years...that's almost half a century.

What, and now it's 2009 already? Damn, I must have missed two birthdays!!!

Even to call 38 years "almost half a century" is a bit of a stretch... especially considering that 46 years (1961-2007) is even closer to "nearly half a century" and this would mean four democratic presidents instead of two. But it's quite amusing how are you trying to weazel out of this. So, go on please.
4553  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Fox poll: Giuliani would beat Clinton by 14 points - if terrorist attack happens on: September 14, 2007, 09:45:54 am
No surprise here, Republicans tend to be seen as stronger on national security. After all, the only two democratic presidents in nearly half a century (Carter and Clinton) were terrible foreign policy leaders.


I'm quite not sure what's the most hilarious aspect of Naso's post here. Wink

But instead of the obvious one, I will simply go with the fact that he a) seems to consider 30 years to be "nearly half a century" (yeah, 600 years are almost a full millenium too Wink ) or b) recognizes JFK and LBJ as Republican presidents.
4554  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: In Austria, just 6% approve of Bush - 60% approve of Schwarzenegger on: September 14, 2007, 03:29:42 am
Bill Gates: 43% - 29%
George W. Bush: 6% - 84%

So... Austrians trust Microsoft more than the White House? Wink

Anyway, I still remember how an Austrian I happen to know was a pain in the a.. during 2003, because he was soooo proud that Schwarzenegger will become Governor of California soon. Tongue
4555  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany: Poll shock - Social Democrats Behind Neo-Nazis in Saxony Survey on: September 10, 2007, 11:17:54 am
The CDU and SPD figures are very different at federal and state level. What's the reason for that?

Gerhard Schröder. And Kurt Biedenkopf. Also Angela Merkel and Edmund Stoiber. Wink

Okay, first things first: The whole East tends to vote SPD in federal elections, at least this was the case in 1998, 2002, and 2005 (not sure about '94).

Of course, this creates the gap you mentioned: Some eastern states (Brandenburg for example), vote SPD in both federal and state elections, while other states vote SPD in federal and CDU in state elections (e.g. Saxony-Anhalt in '02 and '05/'06).

So, why this gap between federal and state elections and between some eastern states and other eastern states? And why did the CDU's share of vote decline so dramatically in the 2004 Saxony state election compared to earlier state elections?

One of the main reasons (not the only one, but an important one) is that East Germany is only a multi-party democracy since about 17 years. As a result, there are almost no traditional political alignments or cleavages and many East Germans don't identify themselves with a specific political party... or at least they do in much smaller numbers than it is common in West Germany or other Western nations.

So, what do you base your vote on then? Answer: On who the people are who lead those political parties. In Saxony, the CDU won the state election of 1990 and Kurt Biedenkopf became PM there for the next 12 years. Then he stepped down and Georg Milbradt became his successor. In the first post-Biedenkopf election (2004), the CDU received their worst state election result since re-unification of Germany. They were still by far the largest/strongest party, but their base had suddenly eroded.

In Brandenburg, the SPD won the state election of 1990 and Manfred Stolpe became PM there for the next 12 years (exactly like Biedenkopf in Saxony). Then he stepped down and Matthias Platzeck became his successor. The SPD actually lost some votes there in the first post-Stolpe election too, but those losses weren't as dramatic as Milbradt's in Saxony (on the other hand... Saxony's CDU went down from 57% to 41%, while the SPD's share of vote in Brandenburg dropped from 39% to 32%, so the CDU in Saxony is still stronger). However, all in all you can probably say that Platzeck manged to become about as popular as Stolpe was, while Milbradt failed to succeed Biedenkopf in that respect.

Anyway, the aforementioned success of the CDU in the 2006 state election in Saxony-Anhalt is also directly connected to the popularity of incumbent PM Wolfgang Böhmer too.

Let's take a look on federal elections now. 2002 is pretty easy, since most East Germans are personally disgusted by Edmund Stoiber. Wink Stoiber played a role in 2005 too, since he was still an important figure in Merkel's campaign and he became (in)famous for some anti-East German remarks during the 2005 election.

Another factor in 2005 was that Merkel is an East German, but she doesn't present herself as an East German politician. Most voters saw her as part of the West German-based political elite, while Schröder somehow managed to portray himself as the champion of East German needs and interests in '02 and '05.

Let's try that anology: Edmund Stoiber is about as successful in East Germany as John Kerry was in the southern states of the United States. And Angela Merkel is about as successful in East Germany as Al Gore was in the southern states of the United States. Wink

An additional factor is that the East German electorate is seen as pretty left-leaning... at least on ecomonomic issues. This explains the SPD's success in federal elections too. And to revisit the example of Saxony-Anhalt and Wolfgang Böhmer: Böhmer isn't exactly someone I would call a conservative or a follower of a specific political ideology. He's probably as centrist as you can get as a CDU state PM. That's another reason why Böhmer is much more popular than Merkel or other CDU politicans from the federal level in Saxony-Anhalt and that's why the SPD won the federal election and the CDU won the state election there.
4556  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany: Poll shock - Social Democrats Behind Neo-Nazis in Saxony Survey on: September 08, 2007, 12:48:00 pm
Well, live in East German small towns probably is so boring and dull, that it´s quite an amusement once in a while to chase a bunch of Indians through the streets of the village and lock them up in a pizzeria ... Tongue

No, it's just "nice" to have someone you can a) blame for your life and b) release some frustration on.
4557  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany: Poll shock - Social Democrats Behind Neo-Nazis in Saxony Survey on: September 08, 2007, 11:19:20 am
Quote from: Lewis Trondheim, suffering from the Dublin Blues
They weren't organized neonazis. Not the same thing as not rightwingers. Tongue

Didn't know that they already had investigated the political affiliation or ideology (does "racism" count as ideology?) of all the perpetrators. Tongue

Granted, it's pretty unlikely that many Green voters were among them and the share of NPD voters was probably above average, but aside from that it's quite possible that people who voted for CDU, SPD, LINKE, and FDP the last time were also among them in relatively large numbers. Of course, there was probably also a large share of non-voters.
4558  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany: Poll shock - Social Democrats Behind Neo-Nazis in Saxony Survey on: September 07, 2007, 02:06:00 pm
Just saw two sentences in that article I'd like to comment.

But being behind the NPD is the clearest indication yet that the party hasn't managed to establish itself in former East Germany.

Oh, the SPD is quite established in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg, and at least partially in Saxony-Anhalt (although they are often neck to neck with the LINKE there, so the last word on who's the major left-wing force hasn't spoken yet... in the other two states the SPD was more succesful than both the CDU and the LINKE in the last few election cycles, so judge for yourself).

A group of at least 50 right-wingers chased the eight Indians through the entire town.

Uh, those weren't right-wingers, just "ordinary citizens" of that town. Sad, but true.
4559  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Germany: Poll shock - Social Democrats Behind Neo-Nazis in Saxony Survey on: September 07, 2007, 01:34:42 pm
What's a poll shock? Wink

Anyway, bottomline is that the PDS/LINKE has managed to become the major left-wing party opposite to the right-wing CDU a while ago in Saxony and also in neighbouring Thuringia, while the SPD is only a minor political force. I guess, there can only one major left-wing and one major right-wing party and the SPD has simply missed the opportunity. So, they practically switched their roles... and this happened before the NPD was elected to the state parliament the first time. So, those two issues are unrelated in my opinion.

As for the NPD, the state of Saxony is undoubtly the most important of their strongholds in Germany and there is unfortunately the real possibility they they'll return to the state parliament in the next election(s?).

Ironically, Saxony is also the only East German state where representatives of the Greens are sitting in the parliament. Then again, all minor political parties fared well there in the last election... well, except for the SPD. Cheesy

EDIT: Just looked it up. The best result the SPD ever manged to get in a Saxony state election was 19.1%... and this happened in 1990.
4560  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which of the following are immoral? on: September 07, 2007, 05:29:26 am
Of those... probably abortion and capital punishment.

However, the first one shouldn't be illegal, while the latter should.
4561  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: The surge working...2008 implications? on: September 07, 2007, 04:30:55 am
Well, I guess the GAO is trying very hard to be negative and wants to see a failure then. Wink
4562  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: 3 arrested in Germany over alleged attack plots on Frankfurt airport, U.S. base on: September 05, 2007, 12:13:15 pm
Oh yeah, and they were arrested in the village of Medebach, for which the road my father lives on is named.

Actually, I know someone who lives in Medebach and spent some days there last year. Never saw any terrorists, but plenty of cows.
4563  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: 3 arrested in Germany over alleged attack plots on Frankfurt airport, U.S. base on: September 05, 2007, 05:48:16 am
A small update, since I just watched the press conference with the German Attorney General and the director of the Federal Criminal Police.

The three suspects happen to be a Turk and two Germans (apparently Muslim converts)... the leader of the cell is a guy, and this is no joke, named "Fritz G."

All three belong to a group called "Islamic Jihad Union", originally a organization from Uzbekistan, which expanded operations to other countries in Asia and Europe only recently.

Contrary to what the media or the defense minister claimed, no specific targets are confirmed yet and it is also unknown whether the three suspects had already chosen a target at this point. However, the authorities assume that they aimed at American facilities in Germany, most likely U.S. military installations.
4564  General Politics / International General Discussion / Future superpowers on: September 01, 2007, 11:58:03 am
Since there were only two of them in recent times, we will roughly define "superpower" as a country which holds about as much political power and influence in the world as the United States nowadays or the United States/Soviet Union at some point during the Cold War.
4565  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Forbes: Angela Merkel Again Most Powerful Woman on: August 31, 2007, 11:35:45 am
What I don't get is why the head of "Temasek Holdings" (never heard of it) is supposed to be more powerful than the U.S. Secretary of State Huh

Well, if Hillary wins in 2008 there will be at least no doubt who's the new number one then. Wink
4566  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: 2008 State Elections in Austria and Germany on: August 29, 2007, 05:05:28 am
New poll for Hamburg:

CDU: 42%
SPD: 33%
Green Party: 13%
Left Party: 6%
FDP: 3%
Others: 3%

Possible coalitions:

Grand Coalition (CDU-SPD)


SPD-Greens-Left Party (unlikely because the Hamburg SPD ruled out any coalition with the Left)

From what I've heard and read a CDU-Green coalition in Hamburg isn't actually that far-fetched (in comparison to other states).

Hamburg's CDU tends to be relatively liberal... be it for the fact that their mayor is a) GAY and b) one of the few CDU politicians who came out in favour of a full EU membership for Turkey, I think. And if forced to choose between a coalition with the SPD and the Greens, the CDU might opt for the Greens (since smaller coalition partners are easier to control anyway).

This leaves the ball in the Greens' field, who could be not quite as opposed to possible coalition with the CDU as in some other states... which brings us to Hesse, where the state SPD causes the federal SPD some headaches, since Hesse's SPD seems not very opposed to a possible SPD/Green/Left coalition, if this is the only way to send the CDU on the opposition banks. Wink
4567  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Europeans and Canadians prefer Hillary for POTUS, Giuliani polls well in Italy on: August 29, 2007, 04:48:21 am
Well, the good numbers for the Democrats worldwide fits with similar poll results from the 2004 election. Since George W. Bush's presidency in particular most non-Americans distrust Republicans... and despise neo-con Republicans (however, because of Bill Clinton's huge popularity abroad it's probably safe to assume that "the world" would have voted Democratic in 1996 and 2000 as well).

That Hillary Clinton leads all the other candidates from both parties by such a wide margin can be applied to the fact that she's a) a Democrat and b) the only Democratic contender most non-Americans ever heard about. Personally, I remember a few German TV reports about Barack Obama's campaign (which is most likely the reason why he is polled second here), but Hillary is still the by far most well-known candidate in the field...
4568  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Official August 2007 Federal Election VOTING BOOTH on: August 25, 2007, 07:40:56 am
For the office of District 2 Senator:

[1] Mr. Moderate (I-MA)
[2] AndrewCT (R-CT)
[3] DownWithTheLeft (R-NJ)
4569  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: General Election called in Greece on: August 17, 2007, 07:07:59 pm
So, which one is the party where some of its members were affiliated with that weird Nazi Ufo sect which claims that Greeks are in fact genetically superior supermen from outer space? LAOS?
4570  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: Who do you THINK will win the Republican nomination? on: August 16, 2007, 11:15:22 am
May 2006

George Allen 40.6%
John McCain 31.9%
Mitt Romney 8.7%
Rudy Giuliani 8.7%
Other 8.7%

August 2006

John McCain 39.5%
George Allen 21.1%
Mitt Romney 13.2%
Rudy Giuliani 13.2%
Other (excl. Rice) 13.2%

November 2006

John McCain 46.2%
Mitt Romney 23.1%
Rudy Giuliani 15.4%
Mike Huckabee 7.7%
Newt Gingrich 7.7%

March 2007

Rudy Giuliani 45.7%
John McCain 28.6%
Mike Huckabee 11.4%
Mitt Romney 5.7%
Sam Brownback 2.9%
Other (excl. Gingrich) 5.7%

April 2007

Fred Thompson 46.9%
Rudy Giuliani 26.5%
Mitt Romney 12.2%
John McCain 10.2%
Other (excl. Gingrich, Hagel) 4.1%

June 2007

Fred Thompson 34.2%
Rudy Giuliani 31.6%
Mitt Romney 21.1%
John McCain 5.3%
Mike Huckabee 5.3%
Ron Paul 2.6%

July 2007

Mitt Romney 40.9%
Rudy Giuliani 34.1%
Fred Thompson 22.7%
John McCain 2.3%

Funny how the respective "frontrunners" only lasted for either a single or two consecutive polls. Allen -> McCain -> Giuliani -> Thompson -> Romney. According to this pattern Romney should be replaced as frontrunner in the September 2007 poll by a sixth candidate... or will Romney be the first candidate to win three polls in a row?
4571  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Guess Bush's Political Matrix Score on: August 14, 2007, 03:30:21 pm
I got...

Economic score: +4.00
Social score: +7.83

Your score pegs you as economically moderately capitalist and socially strongly authoritarian.
4572  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: A very cool political ideology test on: August 12, 2007, 05:03:41 am
#1 American "Liberal"
#2 Social-Liberal
#3 Social Democratic

#4 Left-wing Neoliberal (Clinton)

#5 Liberal Socialist
#6 Anarcho-Communist
#7 Liberal
#8 Marxist
#9 Christian Democratic
#10 Right-wing Neoliberal (Thatcher)
#11 Burkean (liberal) Conservative

#12 American "Conservative"

#13 Liberal Nationalist

#14 Christian Socialist
#15 Soviet "Communist"
#16 National Socialist

#17 Fascist
#18 Revolutionary Conservative/Monarchist (far right)
4573  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Who was responsible for the holocaust? on: August 11, 2007, 06:58:01 am
It's no mystery.  Stop placating your own emotions by saying "well, Hitler was a madman... plain and simple".  80,000,000 people can't be completely insane.

First, the number was closer to 65,000,000 back then... Wink

Then the Holocaust wasn't something that was officially announced by the German government or the authorities. If at all, it was explained as a "relocation" of the Jewish population. Of course, a mass relocation isn't a very humane thing either (though not as bad as a genocide), so the question remains why only few Germans resisted to this alleged relocation.

The government also did everything possible to cover up the Holocaust. For example, members of the SS were obliged to keep it a secret under the threat of the death penalty. However, thousands of people were directly involved in organizing the whole thing and with a "conspiracy" of this magnitude it's unlikely that everyone involved is keeping his mouth shut and that nothing is leaked to the public.

So, many Germans could have (and actually have) guessed what's really going on... either through those kinds of "rumours" or by living relatively close to a concentration camp or ghetto etc. Of course, the fact that the Holocaust wasn't officially announced or acknowledged by the German authorities made it easy for many people to ignore what was happening.

As for the reason why they choose to ignore it... well, that's not such a complex puzzle. "Why interfere when it would only mean trouble for me and my family? If I raise my voice, what good what it do, except that I might getting send to a concentration camp as well? So, better the Jews than me. Besides, maybe those rumours aren't true anyway." That's how any form of tyranny or mass murder is possible in the end: a mix of cowardice, selfishness and ignorance. Others might have actually swallowed the propganda that Jews were evil etc.

The interesting question is, how many Germans actually were aware of the Holocaust at that time. Helmut James Graf von Moltke, a leading member of the resistance movement (the so-called "Kreisau Circle") estimated in 1943 that "nine tenth" of the German population were unaware of the genocide, which would mean that at least 10% knew what was going on.

Other sources (estimates and secret reports from various German government authorities of that time, surveys conducted by the Allies after 1945, polls conducted in West Germany in the 50ies and 60ies etc.) came to the conclusion that between 25% and 40% of the German population had knowledge of the Holocaust. Of course, there could be a high margin of error (meaning it's also possible that more than 50% knew of the Holocaust).

After the war, several leading politicians of West Germany, including President Theodor Heuss (1949-1959), President Richard von Weizsäcker (1984-1994) and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (1974-1982) claimed that they had no knowledge of the Holocaust and heard the first time of it after the end of the war.

All in all, we can say that millions of Germans knew what was going on, while there were also millions of Germans who were unaware of the Holocaust. Whether you were aware of it or not depended on who you knew (for example soldiers returning from the front who witnessed some of the crimes comitted were) and how close to the locations (concentration camps etc.) of those crimes you lived/worked. The overwhelming majority of those who knew chose to do nothing, primarily out of cowardice and selfishness (fear to get in trouble with the Nazis themselves), sometimes also simply out of loyalty to the regime, because they were Nazis themselves or at least loyal to them for some reason.
4574  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Better Looking Presidents? on: August 10, 2007, 05:30:18 am
This thread is so gay...
4575  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Who was responsible for the holocaust? on: August 09, 2007, 04:53:54 am
Sorry to bust your "Adolf Hitler was bent on world conquest" bubble but, in reality, from his writings on what he would do in the post-War and his views on the rest of the world he would have basically disengaged from the rest of the world while solidifying the Reich's control over the only continent that, in Hitler's mind, meant anything, Europe. He wanted to bring all of Europe under his dominion and, especially, use Britain, under a puppet monarch, to do whatever bidding he wanted in world affairs outside of Europe. Also once you get outside of Europe alot of problem occur, such as bumping into the great East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere or American global interests, which Germany really couldn't piss off. Hitler most likely thought that after the War, if he won it, there would be a cold war between the United States and Germany, since the United States was one of the few "civilized" nations that Hitler couldn't control in his "Europe is everything" strategy.

This is also basically a summary for Robert Harris' novel "Fatherland". Wink
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