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4551  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Where would you rather live? on: March 21, 2006, 03:35:42 pm
Uh... well, I know that the Stasi had a file about my father. That's mainly because he had an aunt and other relatives in West Germany and visited them several times in the 1980ies. And the Stasi did some "background checks" on him, before he was allowed to travel to West Germany, to make sure that he would actually return to the GDR. The East German goverment was kind of funny about this, they build something like the Wall after all. My father had a wife and a son in the GDR, so they figured he wouldn't stay in West Germany and allowed him to travel.

I think that it was mentioned in his file, that one of our former neighbors had been a Stasi informant, but at the time my father got access to his Stasi file there hasn't been any contact for some years anyway.
4552  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German state and local elections, March 26th on: March 21, 2006, 07:17:37 am
New Emnid polls:


Baden-Württemberg
CDU 45%
SPD 29%
Greens 10%
FDP 9%
WASG 2%


Rhineland-Palatinate
SPD 43%
CDU 35%
FDP 9%
Greens 7%
WASG 3%


Saxony-Anhalt
CDU 36%
SPD 25%
Left.PDS 22%
FDP 6%
Greens 4%
DVU 4%
4553  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Where would you rather live? on: March 21, 2006, 07:08:50 am
It's also noteworthy that soldiers of the Soviet Army usually considered it a privilege to be stationed in East Germany, because the standard of living was higher there than in the Soviet Union itself.

Another thing I remember, aside from the banana shortages, were the insanely long waiting lists for obtaining a new car. Because of the relative inefficiency of the economy the demand was much higher than the supply. As a result you had basically wait for years, before you could get your car.
On the hand, "unemployment" was a completely unfamiliar term for the people in the GDR... at least until 1990.

The lack of free elections and an extremely authoritarian government is of course a major disadvantage, but the Third Reich had the same things too (plus the persecution of minorities and a very very expansionist foreign/"defense" policy).
4554  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Where would you rather live? on: March 20, 2006, 07:41:37 pm
I'd rather be poor, hungry, and oppressed than poor, hungry, oppressed, and brutally slaughtered, so I'll take the Soviet option.

Mhm, how is "East Germany under Soviet Communist rule" defined for the purposes of this poll? Is only the period between 1945 and 1949 meant, before the GDR was founded and the country was just the "Soviet occupation zone"? Or does it include the "German Democratc Republic" up to 1989/90?

If the latter applies I would like to add that I never suffered from malnutrition in my childhood. And neither did my parents, as far as they've told me. There was always plenty to eat in East Germany. Quantity wasn't the problem, maybe only the spectrum of foods available. East Germany was particularly (in)famous for its shortages of bananas and other exotic fruits... especially the banana thing was the base of many jokes in West Germany.
4555  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Where would you rather live? on: March 19, 2006, 11:24:57 am
Option 2... and I actually lived in East Germany under "Soviet communist rule"... at least for a few years.
4556  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Belarusian presidential "election" on: March 19, 2006, 11:11:28 am
According to the exit polls, Lukashenko has won with about 83% of the vote. His main opponent Alexander Milinkevich supposedly received only 2%.

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/03/19/belarus.exitpolls.ap/index.html


At least he should have rigged the election in a way that the result appears to be somewhat realistic.
4557  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Belarusian presidential "election" on: March 17, 2006, 02:50:43 pm
Lukashenko's main challenger in the election: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaksandar_Milinkievi%C4%8D
4558  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Belarusian presidential "election" on: March 17, 2006, 02:39:18 pm
I'm surprised that there isn't a thread about this one here. On sunday, Alexander Lukashenko will undoubtly "win" another term as president of Belarus. The questions are: Will it cause Ukraine-style mass demonstrations? Could those demonstrations end in a Tiananmen-style bloodbath by Lukashenko's security forces? Or will most people be too afraid/apathetic/whatever to go out and protest in the first place?
4559  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German state and local elections, March 26th on: March 17, 2006, 05:22:41 am
Forschungsgruppe Wahlen polls released...


Baden-Württemberg
CDU 45%
SPD 30%
Greens 10%
FDP 8%
WASG 3%

Rhineland-Palatinate
SPD 43%
CDU 36%
FDP 8%
Greens 6%
WASG 3%

Saxony-Anhalt
CDU 37%
SPD 23%
Left.PDS 23%
FDP 6%
Greens 4%
DVU 4%



Would the PM's be elected directly...

Baden-Württemberg
Günther Oettinger (CDU): 44%
Ute Vogt (SPD): 37%

Rhineland-Palatinate
Kurt Beck (SPD): 63%
Christoph Böhr (SPD): 20%

Saxony-Anhalt
Wolfgang Böhmer (CDU): 48%
Jens Bullerjahn (SPD): 20%
Wulf Gallert (Left.PDS): 6%



Number of voters still undecided...

Baden-Württemberg: 46%
Rhineland-Palatinate: 33%
Saxony-Anhalt: 39%



Not much difference to yesterday's Infratest polls... except it seems more likely that DVU will win seats in parliament in Saxony-Anhalt. And there's a surprisingly high number of undecided voters, especially in the CDU stronghold of Baden-Württemberg.
4560  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German state and local elections, March 26th on: March 16, 2006, 01:19:59 pm
New Infratest-dimap polls for all three state elections were released today...


Baden-Württemberg
CDU 46%
SPD 28%
Greens 10%
FDP 9%
REP 3%
WASG 2%

There will either be a continuation of the CDU/FDP coalition or a sole majority for the CDU.


Rhineland-Palatinate
SPD 43%
CDU 35%
FDP 9%
Greens 6%
WASG 3%

Looks like a almost certain re-election for the SPD/FDP coalition.


Saxony-Anhalt
CDU 36%
SPD 26%
Left.PDS 23%
FDP 6%
Greens 4%

The CDU/FDP coalition ist still faced with a possible loss of their majority in parliament.
4561  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German state and local elections, March 26th on: March 15, 2006, 06:04:27 am
New Saxony-Anhalt poll (IfM, 03/14)

CDU 38 %
SPD 25 %
Left.PDS 23%
FDP 6%
Greens 3%
Other 5% (DVU 1%)

The single percent for the DVU in Saxony-Anhalt is just unrealistic, I fear. And according to the same poll one-sixth of the voters are still undecided whom to vote for.

Interesting are the preferences of the SPD supporters for a future governing coalition. 60% say that they would prefer a Grand coalition with the CDU, while only 25% of the SPD supporters in the state are favoring a coalition with the Left Party.PDS.
4562  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Elections coming up on: March 13, 2006, 07:34:35 am
There's an election in Israel in less than 3 weeks, are we going to have a thread on it, or has it been postponed? From what I can tell its still going to happen, and Kadima will win.

Right now it looks like the results will be:

1st Place- Kadima (Olmert)
2nd Place- Labour (Peretz)
3rd Place- Likud (Netanyahu)
4th Place- ? Shinui maybe, I know they did really good in 2003

Yes, there was a thread about the Israeli election somewhere. Shinui basically collapsed a few weeks ago and currently polls between 0 and 1 seat (!).

A good summary of the most recent opinion polls can be found in the Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_legislative_election%2C_2006#Most_Recent_Opinion_Polling
4563  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gary Busey Betrays His Country on: March 04, 2006, 07:34:42 am
Why did only Gary Busey "betray" his country? Billy Zane is in the movie too (fine he already betrayed good taste with his role in Titanic, but that's a different topic). Wink
4564  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Pro-life Democrat vs. Pro-choice Republican on: March 02, 2006, 11:03:04 am
Pro-life Democrat
4565  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German state and local elections, March 26th on: March 02, 2006, 10:07:38 am
And new Infratest polls were released today:


Baden-Württemberg
CDU 46%
SPD 29%
Greens 10%
FDP 8%
WASG 3%


Rhineland-Palatinate
SPD 42%
CDU 35%
FDP 8%
Greens 6%
WASG 4%


Saxony-Anhalt
CDU 36%
SPD 27%
Left.PDS 22%
FDP 6%
Greens 4%


Comments: Still looks like a easy victory for the CDU/FDP coalition in Baden-Württemberg and the SPD/FDP coalition in Rhineland-Palatinate. Wouldn't have expected something different. In Baden-Württemberg, it seems even possible that the CDU will win a majority of the seats on its own. And the Left Party allies from the WASG seem to be in trouble.

In Saxony-Anhalt, the CDU still leads the SPD by a comfortable margin. However, because of a relatively weak performance of the FDP in the opinion polls (compared to the 13% they got four years ago), the CDU/FDP coalition is facing the serious threat of losing its parliamentary majority. The question is now, how serious challenger Jens Bullerjahn (SPD) is with his antipathy for the Left Party. The DVU is still not appearing in the polls for Saxony-Anhalt. But don't be too surprised, if there's a large-minute surge. The same happened eight years ago too.
4566  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German state and local elections, March 26th on: March 01, 2006, 07:27:09 am
New Rhineland-Palatinate poll (Psephos, 02/28)

SPD 42%
CDU 38%
FDP 8%
Greens 5%
WASG 2%


New Saxony-Anhalt poll (IWD, 02/28)

CDU 38.1 %
SPD 26.9 %
Left.PDS 19.2%
FDP 6.4%
Greens 3.4%
4567  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: How would Gore have reacted to 9/11? on: February 25, 2006, 03:57:55 pm
9/11? Yes.

Afghanistan? Yes, though I'm not sure whether and how it would have taken place differently than in our OTL.

Iraq? No.

Patriot Act? Sort of. It wouldn't have gotten such a stupid name and it wouldn't have gone such far than our OTL's Patriot Act. But some sort of anti-terrorism law would have been passed.

Department of Homeland Security? Would have depended on Congress. But perhaps only a "Office of Homeland Security" within the White House... and perhaps with a different name too.

Guantanamo Bay? Dunno. Had such thing existed in the "Gore-verse", it would have been closed by now, be it for the international reaction to it... with the detainees either being realeased, transferred to less offensive prison facilities or trialed on case by case basis.

World opinion? A bit more friendlier towards the United States.

Another 9/11-like terrorist attack within the United States? Unlikely.

Germany? Ruled by Chancellor Edmund Stoiber since 2002, because of the lack of a Iraq invasion. Cheesy
4568  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Battleground God on: February 24, 2006, 02:37:05 pm
"You took 3 direct hits and you have bitten 1 bullet."

This test sucks. During half of the questions I was badly in need for a "I don't give a fu**!" option. Wink
4569  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Space colonization on: February 22, 2006, 09:48:01 am
A sort of-colonization of the Moon could occur on a limited level during the course of the next 50 years... mostly driven by private enterprises interested in space tourism, low gravity manifacturing, Helium-3 mining etc.

Large-scale colonization of other planets won't happen in this century... if at all. It's way too expensive and it would probably be much more easier to establish permanent human settlements on the bottom of the sea and/or in Antarctica than on Mars.
4570  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Foreign Policy on: February 20, 2006, 02:23:48 pm
Neither.
4571  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: so which of these 4 nations would you rather be in? on: February 20, 2006, 02:22:13 pm
1) A
2) D
3) C
4) B
4572  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US Presidential Election, 1980 on: February 20, 2006, 01:13:12 pm
Carter, perhaps Anderson (non-swing state).

And yes, I'm just blindly voting for any Democratic candidate... since 1960 at least. And in the case of a prominent third-party/independent candidate running in the election I cast my protest vote for him, provided I'm living in a non-battleground state and his name isn't George Wallace or Strom Thurmond. Wink
4573  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: U.S. presidential election, 1984 on: February 20, 2006, 01:08:59 pm
Mondale.
4574  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US Presidential Election, 1992 on: February 20, 2006, 01:08:06 pm
Same as in 1996.

Clinton. Perot when I'm drunk and in a non-swing state. Wink
4575  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: US Presidential Election, 1996 on: February 20, 2006, 01:05:22 pm
Clinton.

Perhaps Perot in a non-battleground state, when I'm in a silly mood... not very likely though.
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