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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State elections in Brandenburg and Thüringen!) on: September 15, 2014, 09:44:16 am
Where can we find recent polling for Bremen and Hamburg?



The most "recent" polls from Hamburg and Bremen are already several months/half a year old, which makes them meaningless, considering AfD's recent surge.

AfD will crash in Hamburg for sure, they profit the most from EU. I'm not sure about Bremen's demographics but keep in mind these are two free cities we are talking about and not regions. AfD took votes of Die Linke in the urban centres of the two states here so I can only see the making inroads in Bremen where Die Linke did well 10 years ago.
East isn't West
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: September 12, 2014, 12:25:56 am
Interesting, do you think this trend could improve LINKE's performance in west Germany, to the detriment of GRÜNE?
I was actually talking about the east, esp. Saxony, where the left is breaking into this urban, youngish leftish milieus that reshape their appearance. In the west, parts of this milieus are already in their column and shape their apperance.

But if their is some equalisation between the results in east and west it would still be the Left dwindling in the east and the greens rising a bit for demographical reasons.
3  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: US States Flags Survivor on: September 10, 2014, 01:22:43 am
Alaska for survivor!
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: September 09, 2014, 06:30:16 am
Does the Linke face generational challenges as well, given that younger voters have no memory of the GDR?  As former SED members age out of politics, will a nationwide SPD-Linke-Green alliance become more likely?  Or is the Linke still have too great a stigma?
Generational changes, yes, but I would not call them challenges. Linke is still getting good results with those, born in the eighties and nineties who were politically socialized in the years of the total disruption of economy and society that where the nineties and 2000/02, then came the Hartz reforms, that aren't that well for young people struggling in an environment of structural unemployment. As the LINKE staff is getting younger, they also get more greenish, less structurally conservative, more 'hipster urban' to some extent, and GDR nostalgia has never played a large roll in the official party platform. This switch can be seen. The newly-directly-elected Juliane Nagel from the south of Leipzig is an antifascist and antiracist activist from parts of the town entrenched in 'left-wing alternative culture', whereas the old guard types were not able to win direct seats.

Organised labour is also friendly to the Linke in the East (well, they are the main left wing party). I think, one has to abstract from the common knowledge cliche that LINKE voters are all disgruntled ex-Stasi retirees. There aren't many people left who were in some charge until 1989 and play a role in the party, by now (There is a list regarding to their Bundestag faction somewhere in this or the election 2013 thread). Today the seventies 'new left' sectarian types that undeservingly benefited from the PDS/WASG merger and came into positions on Lafontaine's coattails seem to be a bigger problem for the prospects of a red-red-green government.

5  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: US States Flags Survivor on: September 09, 2014, 05:51:00 am
New Mexico
6  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite beers? on: September 09, 2014, 02:03:04 am
Let's go for some European beer cultural chauvinism:

As it goes for pilsner, it is clearly Pilsner Urquell/Plzeňský Prazdroj. The one and only. But I also like Jever, Staropramen, Budweiser/Budvar (the real one, from České Budějovice in the Czech Republic), Radeberger and Wernesgrüner. As it goes for Schwarzbier I prefer Březňák or Eibauer Dunkel. When it comes to ale I prefer Kilkenny.
7  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: US States Flags Survivor on: September 08, 2014, 01:26:49 am
3 Maryland
2 New Mexico
1 Texas
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics (Next: Vorarlberg state election - Sept. 21) on: September 07, 2014, 07:20:18 am
"Wer ist der stärkste Zwerg in Vorarlberg?" Really? Is this a legit campaign poster? Sounds more like Martin Sonneborn and the like.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austria as a German state (Federal & State election results) on: September 05, 2014, 04:26:27 am
A rough scenario, how this could have happened

It is said, that Berija and his likings weren't very interested in Germany, especially after the 17th of July. So if they had succeeded it probably would open a window for German reunification in a neutralist manner (no Nato and Montanunion integration and now ousting of the SED/KPD/KPÖ whatsoever. Maybe the Germany-USSR-relations would have some Finnish style in it.

Konrad Adenauer sees the possibility of bringing the Austrian brethren home (Centre Party had at least some "großdeutsch" allures at the beginning), to balance the loss of the Western integration possibility, to bring the catholics home and balance protestant dominance. Austria is hoping for more security and economic benefits from the unified nation. ÖVP seems to be more in favor, the "third camp" obviously, SPÖ is quite reluctant. In a referndum the motion to achieve unity passes 52 percent.

Longer negotiation between the allied powers and the three governments start and lead to the 1954 23rd October Paris treaty which is highly disputed in Germany as unified Germany has to accept the Oder-Neiße-border and some reservations of the allied forces in what is the official peace treaty of WW II.

The transition phase is iffy, especially in the GDR. SED feels betrayed by the USSR. They claim it to be a tactical restart. The negotiations lead to the solution, that many changes of economy, agriculture (land reform!) and society in the former GDR may stay the way they are.

Adenauer is percieved as the chancellor of unity and fairly popular by many, the German right wing sees him as the "chancellor of betrayal" for giving away the eastern territories. Some even call him "the new Esau" (although the Austrian wouldn't call Austria a mess of pottage of course).

SED collapses to its communist core and some left wing socialists who think that a renewal is possible, merges with KPÖ and KPD (which had to be relegalized). The communists still do not know what to do about their name, identity and what their prospects are as they lost support of the USSR. Vote shares in the East will be higher, because of those who benefited from land reform and so on. They start as highly polarizing figures and quite unreformed, claiming to "prevent the achievements of socialism from counter-revolution, but also try to use "socialist unity" rhethorics. Wilhelm Pieck is their leading candidate.
They start with about 15 percent in the old East, 5 percent in Austria and 3 percent in the old West

The "Gesamtdeutscher Block/Block der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten" is merging with the Austrian right wing and the right wing of the FDP and also protestand nationalists from the CDU and some the remnatnts of the NDPD (some claim them to be a fifth column, though) under the name of "Gesamtdeutscher Block/ Deutschnationale Partei". They clearly want their east back.

CDU merges with CSU (they are quite in danger at this time) and ÖVP under this name, though their state chapters may change their name

FDP is reduced to their liberal protestant bourgeois cores. They also start quite high in East Germany, but very low in Austria for obvious reasons

SPD is still pre-Godesberg and is nominating Ollenhauer (as ususal). They are starting well in the industrial regions of the east, their traditional strongholds, but fail to overcome Adenauer's popularity.

German Party is still competing on its own and tries to compete in protestant rural areas of East Germany.

The party system of East Germany also sees some own creations: The "Movement of 17th July" which is a staunchly anti-communist protest party, that claims the parties of the centre-right would be "soft towards marxism" and the "Deutsche Reformpartei" who is vastly an offshot of people from the block parties who were more integrated into the GDR system.

In Austria there is an "Austrian Party" that is calling for greater autonomy and is campaignin together with Bavarian Party, Centre party, the Christian People's Party of Saar and other regionalists in a "Federalist Union"

The national assembly of Frankfurt that is elected on the symbolic date of 18th of may

(I think, I should do an election game out of this, but well...)
10  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: US States Flags Survivor on: September 05, 2014, 02:41:06 am
3 North Carolina
2 Delaware
1 Iowa
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: September 04, 2014, 04:43:24 am
As church membership is low it seems natural, that the conviction of the members is higher. I would not go to far to call church membership per se an act of opposition towards the GDR. Open oppression of religion stopped in the mid fifities and at least in the seventies and eighties the church-state-relations were as relaxed as they could be under a general climate of mutual suspicion. But of course membership in the church was never welcomed by the state and as it became less important as a societal factor in everyday life there was no reason to attend church, baptise your children, give them religous education etc. if you weren't a true believer. So the main difference between East and West seems to be, that in the West you needed and need a reason to go, even if you not truly believe (as can be seen now as the numbers of leaving members in Germany rise at the moment after the Limburg bishop's mansion scandal and some changes of the church tax levy system) in the East you needed a reason to stay, so the actual church membership here is more devoted and more socially conservative.

Concerning te recruitment of politicians in the East I think you hit the point. Those church circles were a relationship network that was seen as quite untouched by the regime. Especially the Lutheran and Reformed churches (Is there any word to translate the German "Evangelische Kirche" into English without provoking misunderstanding?) had been a protection screen for many opposition groups, and was the only part of civil society that was politically active that the GDR government was not really able to control. So people with church backgrounds started with a high reputation, had a relationship network working, had often been politically active before 1989 and had the support of the western parties as well (Let aside that pastors are supposed to know how to speak before a public crowd). So they probably started with advantages, but the phenomenon of pastor politicians really seems to be constrained to the generation that emerged in 1989/90, although more or less devoted Christians still seem to be overrepresented in CDU, SPD and Greens, though ( I'm not sure about FDP and AfD.)
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: September 02, 2014, 01:13:39 am
Who tended to join the CDU block party under the GDR?  Was it stronger in some areas or with some social classes more than others?
I once had sociodemographic numbers for that, but can't find them at the moment. Of course, at least since the mid fifties the block parties did not differ much in their official ideology and many people who went to a block party did so show "involvement", but avoid SED membership
Mostly, the CDU as a block party was meant to integrate Christians into the GDR political system. Very prominent in Saxony is the integration of catholic Sorbs from Upper Lusatia (Tillich's background, they still get up to 75 per cent, there).
As I remember the class/strait profile was not that clear. They also had a fair share of workers (to the discontent of the SED), craftsmen, peasants and intelligentia alike, more from a rural and small town background. LDPD and NDPD (their nationalist stance was abolished already in the fifties and then parties were competing for the same groups) had a higher share of intelligentia and there members were more urban and less religious. DBD was at its foundation meant to organise small peasants, and after they were all in cooperatives was competing for them against the SED.
I've read that the SPD (outside of Brandenburg) has been hurt a lack of "grassroots" in the East.  Is this because they didn't have a block party to build upon?  (I know that the Soviet-Zone SPD was forcibly incorporated into the SED).
Basically this. The newly-founded SDP/SPD of the GDR started as a tiny group of intellectuals, often with a Christian background, and with almost no resources. "Party of pastors and engineers" was a nickname given to them. On the other hand CDU started with huge manpower, many resources to build upon (and were able to keep or at least sell much of it).
The second point is the general political climate that shaped the 1990 Volkskammer and Landtag elections. Kohl's "reunification as soon as possible", "all will be better off", "There will be flourishing landscapes" were the slogans of the day. Lafontaine gruntling about costs and risks (though he was right) was not very appealing at the time.
Thirdly, there was of course a personal and competence factor that reshaped this from state to state and over time. While Biedenkopf was a well-respected statesmen (before senile stubbornness and corruption charges kicked in), the first CDU-led governments in Thuringia (delayed by the import of Bernhard Vogel who was seen as competent, though leading abysimal cabinets), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony-Anhalt had many corruption and other scandals and were not seen as too competent, so the SPD was able to catch up a bit.
Maybe the most important factor is, of course the growth of the PDS throughout the nineties. As the SPD was unwilling to integrate former SED members, those who wanted to be in politics stayed at the PDS that actually turned out to be left-wing social democrats with some rhetorical and symbolic nostalgia gimmicks. As they are strong with demographics that are normally the most important ones for the SPD in the West (skilled blue collar and white collar workers) there was not that much of a room to grow for the SPD.
Organised labour is also tiny in the east and SPD has to compete with the PDS/Left party, there.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: September 01, 2014, 01:20:05 am
What was the "right wing" of the GDR civil rights movement?  More associated with the Lutheran Church?
Most of the civil rights movement was in some way associated with the Lutheran Church. See the late prime minister of Sachsen-Anhalt, Reinhold Höppner (SPD), as an example, also the Alliance90 and Green types. Right Wing is meant as a set of politicial opinions. They were socially conservative, stressing religious values, wanted reunification subito, free market economy etc., while those groups that formed Alliance 90 and to some extent even the Social Democrat Party (SDP; sic!) at the beginning wanted a reformed GDR with democratic socialism

How important was the CDU block party in the creation of the "new" CDU in the East?
Very important, as this (and the Democratic Peasant Party) was were most of the members and the ressources came from. With the exception of the top tier of the national level, that was ousted as a scapegoat, many politicians at district (Bezirk) and muncipal (Kreise und Gemeinden) level had unhurted careers, e.g. many CDU mayors and Landräte stayed in office after 1990, though of course the district and muncipial parties had been an fully integrated part of the GDR political system, and their role had not been opposition.
The German unification and the popularity of Kohl and some flagship imports like Kurt Biedenkopf overshadowed this, of course, so they all claim to have been purified and made an 180 degree turn from what they said before October 1989.

And only the SED/PDS was stripped of its property. CDU and FDP were allowed to keep it or at least sell it.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: August 31, 2014, 04:20:15 pm
What was DSU?

Basically the CSU's short-lived attempt to expand to East Germany back in 1989/1990 (DSU stands for German Social Union instead of Christian Social Union).

However, the experiment was soon abandoned at the CDU's request, because they didn't want to face a conservative competition outside of Bavaria.

After the DSU was left to survive on its own, it was quickly reduced to the status of a minor splinter party.
That's one part of the story. The other part is: The right wing of the GDR civil rights movement founding a party. The CDU also had been a bloc party, so the DSU started as an alternative for those who did not want to be associated with bloc partydom and the old regime. DSU turned out to attract more conservative people. And then came the CSU intervention that did not really work out well, especially since most competent members went to the CDU quite quickly, at least after they did'nt pass the threshold in the 1990 Bundestag and Landtag elections.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: August 31, 2014, 03:05:43 pm
Well, it's probably not "linguistic imperialism" to call a city, like a huge majority of its inhabitants call it. ;-)

Without having worked out the details there seems a quite strong correlation between AfD strength and DSU strength of 1990/94.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: August 31, 2014, 02:44:16 pm
It's Budyšin.

Only, if you belong to the ethnic minority of the Sorbs.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: August 31, 2014, 02:28:39 pm
well, it's an ex-four-star-hotel, of course.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: August 31, 2014, 01:59:41 pm
Bautzen actually is a beautiful town, so for me such results really come out of nothing. I was born there and lived there for the first five years of my life. So, such results really hurt.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: August 31, 2014, 01:47:54 pm
Does anyone know what's wrong with Bautzen 5 ?

15% AfD
11% NPD

100% counted.

That's up from 7% NPD and 0% AfD in 2009.

The rise of 700 votes in the city of Bautzen of about 38.000 inhabitants maybe comes from the mobilisation against an Asylbewerberheim there. That's the only local factor I could think of, because this is a result and difference towards 2009 without parallel. AfD is regularly stronger in East Saxony, because of the near border associated by it and maybe even the dumb people's fear of the wolf.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State election in Saxony today!) on: August 31, 2014, 01:32:29 pm
It seems, that the only district, that will not got to the CDU is Leipzig 2, that has the "Szeneviertel" of Connewitz and Südvorstadt in the south of the city in it. Some other Leipzig constituencies are close, but CDU should eek out a win in all of them, some with very thin margins. One Chemnitz constituency was close. Dresden was awfully lame.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: August 31, 2014, 09:23:00 am
Damn, the first turnout report from 10am shows that only 5.7% of all eligible voters have voted so far, compared with 8.7% in 2009.
This is without mail voters, though. Well, thet happens if you set an election intentionally at the last day of the summer holidays. The rainy weather would not help either.
At least in Leipzig, turnout is acellerating a little bit throughout the afternoon, so they are now ahead of the European election numbers at Saxony-Anhalt 2006 level.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: August 31, 2014, 09:21:34 am
good for cdu, left & npd.
I doubt, that this will be good for the left. Differently from common wisdom the average Linke voter is not so much the retiree "I vote my party whatever happens" voter. Their best ages are more the 40-60 year olds.
23  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Favorite planet is our solar system? on: August 27, 2014, 04:02:53 am
Earth is probably the best to live on. In 20.000 years, Mars could be the alternative for those, who want a cooler climate. ;-)
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: August 27, 2014, 03:57:48 am
Some "grand" coalition that would be in Sachsen.
The SPD will probably have at least more grandezza than their 9,8 percent of 2004. Some predictions and thoughts of one who is fleeing from Saxony for personal economic reasons. ;-)

CDU: 38% [40,2% in 2009]

The CDU will clearly lose There is some CDU fatigue going on and the Merkel style campaign of promoting prime minister Stanislaw Tillich, who is quite popular for not publicly bothering with things like politics or holding an opinion, does not seem to work too good for them. They have now been ruling the state for 24 years and are increasingly acting like they would own it. Problems are increasing steadily, too. There is a lack of investment into kindergardens, schools, university, infrastructure despite building new big roads that nobody needs. Now, that the election is near they are doing action programs to look as they could fill all the holes, they neglected over the past five years. That does not seem to convincing. Governing together with the most incompetent and insolent FDP state party (which means something probably does not help, too.
The other part of their strategy were - also merkelesque - attempts of asymmetrical demobilisation, also by playing dirty tricks like holding the election at the end of the summer vacation, so that families with children are in holiday during the campaign (old people will vote CDU anyway) and also some gerrymandering to win all constituencies (overhang seats are not fully compensated in the Saxonian electoral law). But the key part of merkelesque strategy - doing a personal feel-good campaign without proclaiming any content of policies and strategies how to deal with the problems of the state does not seem to work in their favour as the typcial conservative rural Saxon voters will be inclined to vote against those "evil foreigners and Brussels that are overwhelming our country" and so for AfD and NPD and some will probably also want to go for the populist FDP as black-yellow still is possible, but not probable, if the FDP is crossing the threshold.

Die Linke: 21% [20,6%]

The Left party is doing a quite decent campaign and a quite decent top candidate in Rico Gebhardt, but who is literally unknown - so they go more with content. Though their dialectical approach of linking things that are already achieved to things they want to do is probably a little bit too intellectual for the average voter. But on the other hand, people and journalists ask, what they mean by that, so it's a starter for Wahlkampf conversation. Examples: "Pisa-Lob und weniger Schulabbrecher" (Praise by the PISA study and less school dropouts), "Sächsisch und weltoffen" ("Saxon and cosmopolitan") with the picture of the famous Yenidze tobacco factory in Dresden, also called the "tobacco mosque" for obvious reasons, or "Industrietradition und Energiewende" (Energiewende is now the polticial German term for "getting out of fossil fuels and building up renewables"). I think they would be ready to govern, but as long as SPD and Greens are bitching around against them, this will not happen.

SPD: 12% [10,4%]
The SPD is doing a rightful battle matériel, but they really do a campaign that is tailored towards their top candidate Martin Dulig, who has a real awkward personality and never did say something that has content, despite "The Left party is evil and we are the serious and competent people's party (mind the German obsession of being a "Volkspartei") on the left. So all they have are sh**tty face posters of Dulig and attention-whoring because nobody notices them for all attention is concentrating on the true antagonist of Gebhardt and Tillich, because everybody knows the most probable outcome is a CDU/SPD-coalition like 2004-2009, and the only difference is that both partners will have less of a profile concerning the contents and worse staff, this time. Some badmouths already call the SPD campaign "the most expensive twelve percent ever"

AfD: 7,5 %
NPD: 4 % [5,6%]

The AfD, especially in Saxony, is a party of frustrated right-wing old white middle class men, despite their top candidate Frauke Petry, who is a quite energetic not-so-old woman and entrepreneur who is trying to give them a reasonable voice. Their platform and campaign is a strange mix of law and order right wing populism (spotted by some folklore like a quota of music sung in German in the radio airtime and referenda concerning the building of minarets (there isn't even one, now), economic liberalism, also exploiting ostalgia and 1989 the same time ("Dafür sind wir 1989 nicht auf die Straße gegangen"/ We didn't go out on the streets in 1989 for that"). Their probable voters mostly seem to be disappointed former CDU and FDP voters, added by some NPD and Linke protest voters, but not to a high extent.

As the pollsters are now seeing NPD up to five percent, there seems now to be a real core of NPD voters in Saxony. I would've expected that the AfD is gaining more from them than from CDU, but polls suggest this is not the case. Unless this is not just the pollsters calculating a "shy right winger effect" that already has ceased to exist, this would be the real concerning story of this election, because one would think that the less disgusting AfD would be an alternative for mere protest voters.

Greens: 7% [6,4%]
The Greens are doing a campaign stressing their core values and are now having a typcial Green "Doppelspitze" (two official top candidates) for the first time, as they wanted to contain Antje Hermenau who comes from the right wing of the party, has been an open proponent of a black-green coalition (not so much for the last year) and despises the Left party. Despite being quite isolated politically inside the party, noone really tries to oust her, because she is claimed to have some appeal to moderate voters (weither this is good, if it is even true, is a very debateable issue, because she also scares people that are more left wing). Volkmar Zschocke is a well-respected long-term muncipial politician from Chemnitz, but he seems to be very unknown outside his town, so the Doppelspitze did probably not achieve its main goal. They will get their core voters out, win some in rural areas, where they had at some places decent results in the 2014 municipial elections, and be more stagnant at the big cities (that have more voters, though, by a massive inmigration over the last ten years from the rural parts and other states, eastern and western alike. So their small wins, if any, should be attributed to demographic change.

FDP: 4 % [10%]
FDP is campaigning mainly for loan votes, the exact opposite of their policies while in government (more policemen, better public transport) and is hoping for the votes of cars ("Your car would vote for us" REALLY is a campaign poster slogan"). Of course, claiming the opposite of their actual policies has a tradition there. In 2004 at the height of the protest wave against the job-market reform ("Hartz laws") they really placarded "Herz statt Hartz". At least they are not recylcling the CDU slogan from the seventies "Freiheit statt Sozialismus"/"Freedom instead of socialism", which they actually wanted to do.

Others: 6,5% [6,8%]

I am not doing predictions for the different splinter groups

Also run:
Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz/ Party Human, Environment, Animal Protection [2,1%]
Wants to loose its single-issue animal protection image and is campaigning on an environmentalist, anti-lobbyism (quite ironic) platform. Comes more from a "christian humanist" background than the Greens and seems to be more socially conservative, but I don't know if many of their voters notice their platform, anyway.

Pirate Party [1,9%]
The fad is over.

Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität (BüSo)/ Civil Rights Movement Solidarity [0,2%]
We all know Lyndon LaRouche is the only person who can save the world by building a giant magnetic rail to Moscow and Peking and by this, prevent the third world war.

Deutsche Soziale Union (DSU)/ German Social Union [0,2%]
Yes, this remnant of the right wing of the GDR civil rights movement, that was first pampered and then dropped by the CSU with the intelligent people moving forward to the CDU, is still around.

Bürgerbewegung pro Deutschland [0,2%]
The Saxonian branch of this xenophobic scum is mostly the former "Saxonian People's Party" of a former NPD Landtag member, that surprisingly found out after years of research and experience, that the NPD is very right wing.

Free Voters [1,4% as Freie Sachsen]
Will geht their fair share in some rural areas.

Martin Sonneborn's satiricial project is also running and will get their fair share in some urban areas.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: August 26, 2014, 11:28:17 am
Are there any significant demographic differences between Saxony and Brandenburg? I know Saxony has become the most prosperous new Land, but that occurred after the CDU rose to power, not before.  Brandenburg has some gritty industrial towns near the Polish border (Left strongholds, I gather) but also some prosperous suburbs of Berlin.
Path dependency is clearly a big factor. Another may be, that the CDU in Saxony has been successfully exploiting a strong regional identity that influences political culture, that is not so much the case in the other East German Länder. And of course, the big brain drain of the nineties and processes of deurbanisation did shape the political landscape, too. But of course, this also is true for the other states.
Actually, the North-South-Gradient of voting CDU/(DSU) vs. SPD/PDS and now Linke was already visible in the 1990 Volkskammer election, where there was no Biedenkopf, of course. One basic thing, often forgotten, is, that the south of the GDR (Saxony, Thuringia, district of Halle) has been industrialised and prosperous before 1945 and the north not so much, despite Berlin, Magdeburg and some industry here and there in Brandenburg. Industrial policy of the GDR has always been to decrease those differences, so the north became more industrial (so also integrating the Neusiedler/expatriates into the system), as became agriculture as a whole, while the south saw more lack of investment and forms of decay (well, a hard word). So political messages to rebuild a former glory of economic strength and a the bürgerliche Tradition were more appealing there, obviously.

Demographically it is always difficult to measure, where those differences of industrialisation come from. In general one would think, that Saxony's three big cities that nowadays make up one third of the population should shift it more to the left, but Dresden has it's Residenzstadt tradition, that makes it more conservative (they now after the May muncipal election have a left majority for the first time in their assembly after 1990), Leipzig has its tradition as the city of the Bürgertum, merchants, culture etc. Of course, it was also a highly industrialised town, but the working class here was highly disillusioned by what the GDR had made of their town and what capitalism and democracy did to it and their lives, after, which also seems to be the case in Chemnitz.

If you look at the smaller towns, one can say that the "typical industrial town" in Saxony has been older (with a medieval/early modern core) and smaller than in Brandenburg. Where this is not the case, like in Riesa and Gröditz, you got relatively strong results for the left parties.
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