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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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4551  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 07, 2005, 03:49:22 pm
Here are some rumours how the CDU is going to "buy" the Chancellery from the CDU:

1) The SPD will retain the office of the President of the Bundestag (despite the fact that the president is traditionally from the largest party in the house). The option has already been ruled out by Merkel.

2) Gerhard Schröder will become vice chancellor and/or foreign minister under Merkel. *LOL*

3) The SPD will get one (or even two) cabinet posts more than the CDU/CSU will have (because the Chancellor will already be from the CDU). For example, the CDU could get the office of the Chancellor and six ministries and the SPD seven ministries.

4) The SPD is compensated with a number of really important ministries: foreign affairs (would be theirs anyway), economy and labour, perhaps finance etc.

5) The CDU accommodates the SPD on the issues, for example by taking some of Merkel's more radical reform ideas off the table.
4552  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Peace Nobel Prize goes to... on: October 07, 2005, 02:45:16 pm
IAEO

Who? Wink
4553  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How would you have voted on the McCain 'torture' amendment... on: October 07, 2005, 02:31:49 pm
Yep... eh, I mean, Yea.
4554  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Should the organs of criminals on death row be harvested? on: October 07, 2005, 02:11:49 pm
No. We're not living in a Larry Niven short story, this is the reality.
4555  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: October 2005 Northeast Gubernatorial Voting Booth on: October 07, 2005, 06:04:51 am
[X] Lieutenant Governor Earl Andrew Washburn (NY) / Judge Max Power (PA)
[ ] Former Vice President Keystone Phil (PA) / Former Senator King (MA)
[ ] Write-In
4556  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 06, 2005, 02:46:14 pm
Current results of the Dresden I by-election (234 of 260 precincts counted)

Franz Schönhuber (NPD): 2.4%
Question: Is this THE Franz Schönhuber? As in former leader of the Republikaner-Party?

Yep.

Franz Schönhuber, former member of the NSDAP, former member of the Waffen-SS, co-founder of "Die Republikaner". One of the golden oldies of Germany's neo-Nazi scene (well, the term neo-Nazi doesn't really apply in his case).
4557  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 06, 2005, 01:40:28 pm
Does this mean we'll have an answer to the "Chancellor question" soon?

Today probably not. Both Merkel and Müntefering said that the talks about the Chancellorship (and other things, mostly the compensation given to the SPD for abandoning the office of the Chancellor) will go on until sunday evening. So, we will perhaps know who's going to be Germany's next Chancellor on sunday or (more likely) monday. The bets are still on Merkel, the more interesting question is what the SPD will get in return. Wink


I'm surprised that Merkel is still an option for the CDU, given some of the scathing criticism from Merkel and Merz - who, admittedly, weren't her biggest friends in the party to begin with, but I'd like to see how someone like Merkel, who is a hugely polarising figure within her own party already can possibly hope to govern with the SPD.

"Merkel and Merz"??

Well, Merkel isn't that polarising. She was just re-elected as leader of the CDU/CSU in the Bundestag with 99,x (or was it "only" 97 or 98?) percent. The only one within the CDU who she is currently polarising is Friedrich Merz... or more precisely, Merz is polarising the CDU. Wink You could say that he has just effectually destroyed any chance to be a member in her cabinet, not that it was very likely anyway.

But the truth is that the CDU/CSU is determined to show no weakness whatsoever in the current talks with the SPD. Schröder is just waiting for the moment when the CDU is starting to be divided by internal conflicts.
4558  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 05, 2005, 10:38:14 am
Both sides agreed to meet again "soon" (whetever this means, probably this or next week) to settle the Chancellor question once and for all.

And this talk is scheduled for tomorrow.
4559  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 05, 2005, 09:57:56 am
Well, the two and a half hours long meeting between CDU/CSU and SPD went better than expected. There seems to be not that many conflicts about the issues. Both sides agreed to meet again "soon" (whetever this means, probably this or next week) to settle the Chancellor question once and for all. Formal negotiations about a Grand coalition will most likely  start then.
4560  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 05, 2005, 04:26:33 am
Uh, uh, it's not so easy than I thought. The CDU/CSU says that they won't begin with formal negotiations unless the SPD unconditionally accepts Merkel's claim to the Chancellery... NOW. The SPD refuses and wants to settle this question during the negotiations. We will see how today's talks will go and whether either side will back down. Rumours are that the coalition talks could be indefinitely suspended.
4561  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 03, 2005, 10:36:41 am
And Schröder isn't ruling out anymore that he won't remain Chancellor. He virtually said that he will leave this decision up to his party.

CDU/CSU and SPD will hold their third round of preliminary talks this wednesday. I guess they're going to open up formal negotiations about entering a Grand coalition then. And my take is that at some point during this negotiations the SPD will accept the CDU's (and perhaps even Merkel's) claim to the Chancellery. The question is what the SPD will ask for in return for this little "favour".
4562  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 02, 2005, 06:41:03 pm
omg Old Europe... those candidates look like their 17.

No, Bellmann is 19, Kipping even 27 years old. Wink  Of the two, Kipping was elected to the Bundestag as part of the Left Party's candidate list (second vote).
4563  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 02, 2005, 05:14:09 pm
Could someone explain the dual system in Germany?

Take a look here...
http://www.wahlrecht.de/english/bundestag.htm

here...
http://www.wahlrecht.de/english/overhang.html

and here...
http://www.wahlrecht.de/english/news/001.htm
4564  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 02, 2005, 02:24:25 pm
Not that I want to look like a sex-crazed chauvini... ah, what the hell...


...this is Dresden's Left Party candidate Katja Kipping...



...and this is Dresden's FDP candidate Peggy Bellmann.
4565  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: October 02, 2005, 01:33:56 pm
Current results of the Dresden I by-election (234 of 260 precincts counted)


First vote
Andres Lämmel (CDU): 37.2%
Marlies Volkmer (SPD): 32.0%
Katja Kipping (Left.PDS): 19.3%
Peggy Bellmann (FDP): 4.8%
Stephan Kühn (Greens): 3.8%
Franz Schönhuber (NPD): 2.4%
Katarzyna Kruczkowski (BüSo): 0.6%

Second vote
SPD: 27.8%
CDU: 24.4%
Left.PDS: 19.8%
FDP: 16.9%
Greens: 7.0%
NPD: 2.6%
Other parties: 3.2%

Turnout: 70.7%


Apparently, the FDP took benefit from a huge ammount of CDU supporters who voted tactical. As a result, the CDU has won an additional overhang seat, leading to this final composition of the Bundestag: CDU/CSU 226, SPD 222, FDP 61, Left 54, Greens 51.
4566  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: 15 years ago... on: October 02, 2005, 01:12:12 pm
The really exciting moment was when the communists were forced to open the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.  Pressure had been building on them all summer, as a large number of East Germans were escaping to the west through Hungary, which had like Poland effetively overthrown its communist government.  On November 9, the East German government finally announced that it was lifting border restrictions, and allowing travel to the west.

Actually, the leaders of East Germany were as much surprised as the rest of the world. The order to open the borders, at least in the form it was given, has been the result of misunderstandings and failed communication within the East German government. But at the time they noticed their mistake it was way too late to do something about. The lifting of the border restrictions as it was originally intended would have been more moderate.

Of course, the Berlin Wall would have come down anyway... only several weeks later (and probably less surprising for the world).
4567  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Would a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq really be all that bad? on: September 30, 2005, 04:59:27 am
Yes, it would indeed.


@Melken_Sie_und_Getreide: Why should I milk someone? Do you own a cow? Wink

I honestly don't know any german, I ran Milk and Cereal through freetranslator.com and got that name.  I feel pretty stupid now.

Additional proof how stupid online translators are. Obviously it thought that you meant the verb "milk" and not the noun "milk". Cheesy

This translator also made it more complicated than necessary. Simply try it with "Milch_und_Cerealien". Wink
4568  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Putin Will Not Seek Reelection on: September 30, 2005, 04:48:03 am
I don't think he'd become a PM in that administration, if such a sham administration were to happen - PM is a technical job, dealing, mainly, with economic issues, and serving, largely, at the pleasure of the President. It won't do Puting any good to be a "subordinate".  More likely, he'd try the Party role.

Couldn't he be both? Wink
4569  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: September 29, 2005, 08:59:05 am
I'm surprised, he always struck me as rather arrogant and pompous.

Perhaps it's just sympathy for being ousted by Merkel. Wink



Is there ever a babelfish translation that is readable? Wink  I personally can read German so it's not a problem for me, but of course other members won't be able to. What's the URL for the article?

Mhm, I think Lewis meant this one here: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,377242,00.html
4570  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: September 29, 2005, 08:23:04 am
Merz as Chancellor? Half of Germany would probably emigrate if that happens. Wink

Despite his extremely conservative views on economic issues, Merz is more popular among the electorate than you might think. He has a huge personality bonus.



I can't see Koch either. How about Wulff, or would the SPD be risking the same problems in Lower Saxony?

No, Koch is a scumbag, but Wulff isn't. Wulff's only problem would be his lack of experience... he became PM of Lower Saxony just two and a half years ago, I think.



Stoiber has been suspiciously supportive of a Grand Coalition ever since election night, which tells me that he's been brokering a backroom deal ever since, maybe even beforehand. I wouldn't put it past him, given that he's a real snake.

Who knows... perhaps it has simply something to do with the fact that a Jamacia coalition with the Greens would be a real horror for the CSU.
4571  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: September 29, 2005, 08:08:34 am
Been checking some of the German news websites, and rumour has it that Schroeder is ready to relinquish the Chancellorship should the CDU decide to forebear Merkel as Chancellor. This would leave a plethora of potential candidates, including Edmund Stoiber, Christian Wulff, Roland Koch... maybe even Wolfgang Schaeuble. No matter who's Chancellor (and my gut tells me Schaeuble), Muentefehring would be Vice Chancellor in such a scenario.

Yeah, that's one of the many rumours I mentioned. Wink

But I would say that Merkel's position looks stronger now than just a week ago (which is more the result of a increasingly weaker Schröder, than a strong Merkel)... but who knows?

At the moment, only one thing seems relatively certain... Bavarian PM and 2002 election loser Edmund Stoiber has repeatedly stated that he will be a member of the new cabinet in the case of a Grand coalition.
4572  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Would a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq really be all that bad? on: September 29, 2005, 07:09:05 am
Yes, it would indeed.


@Melken_Sie_und_Getreide: Why should I milk someone? Do you own a cow? Wink
4573  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: September 29, 2005, 07:02:07 am
Sigh, nothing new from Germany yet, aside from countless rumours which seem to multiply at an exponential rate here. But a Grand coalition under Angela Merkel still seems to be the most likely outcome, although it will probably take a few more weeks (months? Cheesy), before CDU/CSU and SPD come to an agreement.


And there's the Dresden I special election this sunday, which will determine whether the CDU wins/keeps/loses an additional seat. Sound rather exciting, I know. Wink  Here's a poll about the Dresden race, released a few days ago...

First vote
Andreas Lämmel (CDU): 32%
Marlies Volkmer (SPD): 29%
Katja Kipping (Left.PDS): 18%
Peggy Bellmann (FDP): 9%
Stephan Kühn (Greens): 8%
Franz Schönhuber (NPD): 3%

Second vote
CDU: 29%
SPD: 28%
Left.PDS: 17%
FDP: 12%
Greens: 10%
Other parties: 4%

Of course, since Sept. 18 we all know how accurate polls are. Wink
4574  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Putin Will Not Seek Reelection on: September 29, 2005, 05:50:20 am
This probably means that Vladimir Putin will be appointed Prime Minister by whoever he will allow to win the next presidential election in 2008.
4575  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German federal election (September 18, 2005) on: September 23, 2005, 10:17:03 am
Well, the preliminary talks between the parties are over for this week.

The leaders of the CDU/CSU and and the Greens seemed rather, uh, skeptical after their meeting today. And further talks between the two parties are not scheduled at the moment. Now, the "Jamaica coalition" looks at best as a backup plan of the CDU for the case that the negotiations about a grand coalition will fail.

CDU/CSU and SPD have agreed to resume their talks next wednesday. The main obstacle still seems to be question who's going to be Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder or Angela Merkel, and not so much the issues.
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