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Author Topic: German Elections & Politics  (Read 462186 times)
Secret Cavern Survivor
Antonio V
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« Reply #100 on: November 29, 2013, 07:13:20 am »

Hannelore Kraft: "I will never run for Chancellor."

NO!!!! Cry
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RogueBeaver
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« Reply #101 on: November 29, 2013, 09:43:22 am »

Fourth term, here we come!
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Peter the Lefty
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« Reply #102 on: November 29, 2013, 11:45:53 am »

Hannelore Kraft: "I will never run for Chancellor."
NO HANNELORE!  We need you!  Please change your mind before 2017, I beg of you!
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #103 on: November 29, 2013, 11:50:22 am »

Isn't the general rule that when a politician explicitly rules out something in the not immediate future, said denial should not be taken terribly seriously?
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Franzl
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« Reply #104 on: November 29, 2013, 11:51:36 am »

Isn't the general rule that when a politician explicitly rules out something in the not immediate future, said denial should not be taken terribly seriously?

I'd normally agree, but she did explicitly say "never". Wouldn't surprise me if she were serious.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #105 on: November 29, 2013, 11:59:33 am »

I don't disagree: just thought that someone had to point out the obvious.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #106 on: November 29, 2013, 12:18:14 pm »
« Edited: November 29, 2013, 06:44:18 pm by And Nicolas Cage as "Fu Manchu"! »

Mhm, it seems like today's major headline is THE INTERVIEW.

SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel was interviewed by ZDF anchor Marietta Slomka and it went basically like this...


Slomka: Isn't the SPD membership poll on the coalition agreement unconstitutional, because the SPD members' decision regarding entering a Grand coalition could ultimately supersede the voters' decision to enter a Grand coalition on election day?

Gabriel: No, because in the CDU/CSU only the top leadership decides whether to enter a coalition. In our party, all members decide. That's more democratic.

Slomka: But some political scientists say that it's unconstitutional.

Gabriel: I don't see how it could be unconstitutional when in my party all members are allowed vote on the coalition agreement, while in the CDU/CSU only the party leaders make that decision.

Slomka: But isn't it unconstitutional?

Gabriel: No, because in that case the CDU/CSU leadership's decision to enter this coalition would be even more unconsitutional.

Slomka: But political scientsts say that it could be unconsitutional.

Gabriel: No, that's bullsh**t.

Slomka: That's no reasonable way to respond to my arguments.

Gabriel: Maybe, but you have a history of unfairly attacking SPD politicians in your interviews.

Slomka: I reject this allegation.


Somewhat surprisingly, CSU chairman Horst Seehofer came to Gabriel's defense and wrote a letter to the ZDF donouncing Slomka's conduct of the interview.

The assessments in the public diescourse ranges from "both acted unprofessionally, the only question is who was more unprofessionally" to "well, at least it was an entertaining interview".

Interview can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izW4Fzrp-DI
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Hifly
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« Reply #107 on: November 29, 2013, 12:19:47 pm »

Haha to all the SPD hacks who were putting their hopes on Hannelore Kraft. This is brilliant, brilliant news.
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Secret Cavern Survivor
Antonio V
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« Reply #108 on: November 29, 2013, 12:32:24 pm »

This Slomka sounds like a major idiot.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #109 on: November 29, 2013, 12:36:25 pm »

Hilarious
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RogueBeaver
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« Reply #110 on: November 29, 2013, 12:39:26 pm »

The anchor didn't know what she was talking about. I'd have asked if he was thwarting the electorate's will.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #111 on: November 29, 2013, 12:42:51 pm »

Actually, could someone more familiar with German constitutional matters explain what the anchor was even trying to argue? Because to me it seems to be verging on Insane Troll Logic.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #112 on: November 29, 2013, 12:49:32 pm »

The best part was at the end when she said "Thank you Mr. Gabriel for that discussion !" and a smile that makes your boner shrink in a second.
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You kip if you want to...
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« Reply #113 on: November 29, 2013, 12:54:04 pm »

On Kraft, don't forget she has to still win reelection in North Rhine-Westphalia before the next general election.

The voters there would probably react badly if it looked like she was just using the Minister-Presidency as a placeholder until 2017.
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Franknburger
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« Reply #114 on: November 29, 2013, 04:50:58 pm »

Actually, could someone more familiar with German constitutional matters explain what the anchor was even trying to argue? Because to me it seems to be verging on Insane Troll Logic.
She referred to certain experts in constitutional law (according  to her quoted by all major newspapers, which I myself must have overlooked). These experts pointed out that the German constitution guarantees the independence of MPs, subjecting them only to their personal assessment and conscience. The anchor asked how that could go together with a party vote on the coalition agreement.
Gabriel answered that the membership vote did not relate to any specific parliamentary vote (where each MP still retains personal autonomy), but to whether the SPD leadership should sign the coalition agreement with the CDU or not. As such, it was a party-internal matter. Moreover, the German constitution explicitly provides political parties with the role "to participate in political opinion-building", and the Law on Political Parties obliges all parties to internal democracy. As such, it might rather be asked whether the CDU, having only their board voting on the coalition agreement, complied with constitutional and legal prescriptions, than the SPD.

So far, so good. Legitimate question, convincing answer. Next question, please.

Everything afterwards is a bit difficult to understand. So far, Mrs. Slomka has been a pretty good anchor. Well prepared, asking the right questions, not letting politicians get away with their usual bubbles. She probably was annoyed that Gabriel did not answer her initial question: "There were quite a number of critical comments tonight. Getting the members to agree may still take some effort, Mr. Gabriel" - " You obviously haven't listened to what was said here tonight ...". Gabriel's start was also not really polite "Good evening, Mr. Gabriel" - "Good evening".

Merkel's "women in media" network is well known. Aside from Friede Springer (BILD tabloid, SAT 1/ Pro7 TV networks), it includes former ARD anchor Sabine Christiansen, possibly also Liz Mohn (Bertelsmann - RTL TV network, STERN magazine, various local newspapers, minority share in SPIEGEL,  etc.). The Greens have openly blamed their loss on this media network, and the SPD apparently shares that assessment to some extent. Gabriel, in one of his later statements ("This is not the first time you try to turn an SPD leader's statement into the opposite of its meaning"), indicated that he believes Mrs. Slomka to belong to that network as well.
This, in turn, makes you wonder why he agreed to the interview in first place, instead of letting party secretary Andrea Nahles do the job. Maybe he intended to get Mrs. Slomka acting unprofessionally - and she did him the favour...
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ERvND
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« Reply #115 on: November 29, 2013, 06:00:33 pm »

Regarding Kraft, what was the real background of her remarks?

To understand this, you have to know that Sigmar Gabriel is highly unpopular within his own party. He was unpopular already before the elections, but it has gotten even worse since the coalition talks. Now, there are fears within party leadership that some (actually, a lot of) members might utilize the impending membership votum as a motion of no confidence against Gabriel. Their reasoning might go as follows: If we vote against the grand coalition now, Gabriel will have to resign (which is true), then Kraft will take over and be our chancellor candidate in 2017.

By negating her ambitions, Kraft effectively closed this door. She let the SPD members know that if they topple Gabriel now, they won't get her, but some mediocre figure (again) in 2017. Thereby, she sacrificed herself for the good of the party. Ironically, this gesture will embiggen her chances in the future, when Gabriel has to step back for other reasons. So, denying her ambitions was a very smart move, actually.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #116 on: November 29, 2013, 06:41:32 pm »

Actually, could someone more familiar with German constitutional matters explain what the anchor was even trying to argue? Because to me it seems to be verging on Insane Troll Logic.
She referred to certain experts in constitutional law (according  to her quoted by all major newspapers, which I myself must have overlooked).

To my knowledge, she was referring to an argument made by a professor named Christoph Degenhardt... so, it's "expert", actually... as in singular.
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Peter the Lefty
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« Reply #117 on: December 01, 2013, 04:33:40 pm »

Regarding Kraft, what was the real background of her remarks?

To understand this, you have to know that Sigmar Gabriel is highly unpopular within his own party. He was unpopular already before the elections, but it has gotten even worse since the coalition talks. Now, there are fears within party leadership that some (actually, a lot of) members might utilize the impending membership votum as a motion of no confidence against Gabriel. Their reasoning might go as follows: If we vote against the grand coalition now, Gabriel will have to resign (which is true), then Kraft will take over and be our chancellor candidate in 2017.

By negating her ambitions, Kraft effectively closed this door. She let the SPD members know that if they topple Gabriel now, they won't get her, but some mediocre figure (again) in 2017. Thereby, she sacrificed herself for the good of the party. Ironically, this gesture will embiggen her chances in the future, when Gabriel has to step back for other reasons. So, denying her ambitions was a very smart move, actually.
I sure do hope.  The problem is, even with someone who isn't in the coalition, the SPD is probably headed for a collapse in 2017.  By 2021, Hannelore will be yesterday's news.  At least Manuela Schwesig might be ready by then.
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Hifly
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« Reply #118 on: December 01, 2013, 04:46:40 pm »

Regarding Kraft, what was the real background of her remarks?

To understand this, you have to know that Sigmar Gabriel is highly unpopular within his own party. He was unpopular already before the elections, but it has gotten even worse since the coalition talks. Now, there are fears within party leadership that some (actually, a lot of) members might utilize the impending membership votum as a motion of no confidence against Gabriel. Their reasoning might go as follows: If we vote against the grand coalition now, Gabriel will have to resign (which is true), then Kraft will take over and be our chancellor candidate in 2017.

By negating her ambitions, Kraft effectively closed this door. She let the SPD members know that if they topple Gabriel now, they won't get her, but some mediocre figure (again) in 2017. Thereby, she sacrificed herself for the good of the party. Ironically, this gesture will embiggen her chances in the future, when Gabriel has to step back for other reasons. So, denying her ambitions was a very smart move, actually.
I sure do hope.  The problem is, even with someone who isn't in the coalition, the SPD is probably headed for a collapse in 2017.  By 2021, Hannelore will be yesterday's news.  At least Manuela Schwesig might be ready by then.

Are you a German citizen or are you planning to come live in Germany? Why are you so concerned about trying to impose an SPD government upon us if you'll never have to live under it?
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Franzl
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« Reply #119 on: December 01, 2013, 05:04:56 pm »

Regarding Kraft, what was the real background of her remarks?

To understand this, you have to know that Sigmar Gabriel is highly unpopular within his own party. He was unpopular already before the elections, but it has gotten even worse since the coalition talks. Now, there are fears within party leadership that some (actually, a lot of) members might utilize the impending membership votum as a motion of no confidence against Gabriel. Their reasoning might go as follows: If we vote against the grand coalition now, Gabriel will have to resign (which is true), then Kraft will take over and be our chancellor candidate in 2017.

By negating her ambitions, Kraft effectively closed this door. She let the SPD members know that if they topple Gabriel now, they won't get her, but some mediocre figure (again) in 2017. Thereby, she sacrificed herself for the good of the party. Ironically, this gesture will embiggen her chances in the future, when Gabriel has to step back for other reasons. So, denying her ambitions was a very smart move, actually.
I sure do hope.  The problem is, even with someone who isn't in the coalition, the SPD is probably headed for a collapse in 2017.  By 2021, Hannelore will be yesterday's news.  At least Manuela Schwesig might be ready by then.

Are you a German citizen or are you planning to come live in Germany? Why are you so concerned about trying to impose an SPD government upon us if you'll never have to live under it?

Why do you care about American elections?
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Hifly
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« Reply #120 on: December 01, 2013, 05:17:04 pm »

Regarding Kraft, what was the real background of her remarks?

To understand this, you have to know that Sigmar Gabriel is highly unpopular within his own party. He was unpopular already before the elections, but it has gotten even worse since the coalition talks. Now, there are fears within party leadership that some (actually, a lot of) members might utilize the impending membership votum as a motion of no confidence against Gabriel. Their reasoning might go as follows: If we vote against the grand coalition now, Gabriel will have to resign (which is true), then Kraft will take over and be our chancellor candidate in 2017.

By negating her ambitions, Kraft effectively closed this door. She let the SPD members know that if they topple Gabriel now, they won't get her, but some mediocre figure (again) in 2017. Thereby, she sacrificed herself for the good of the party. Ironically, this gesture will embiggen her chances in the future, when Gabriel has to step back for other reasons. So, denying her ambitions was a very smart move, actually.
I sure do hope.  The problem is, even with someone who isn't in the coalition, the SPD is probably headed for a collapse in 2017.  By 2021, Hannelore will be yesterday's news.  At least Manuela Schwesig might be ready by then.

Are you a German citizen or are you planning to come live in Germany? Why are you so concerned about trying to impose an SPD government upon us if you'll never have to live under it?

Why do you care about American elections?

American elections are important on an intercontinental level- and I care about there being a Democratic President so that a liberal foreign policy can be pursued.
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Franzl
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« Reply #121 on: December 01, 2013, 05:19:45 pm »

Regarding Kraft, what was the real background of her remarks?

To understand this, you have to know that Sigmar Gabriel is highly unpopular within his own party. He was unpopular already before the elections, but it has gotten even worse since the coalition talks. Now, there are fears within party leadership that some (actually, a lot of) members might utilize the impending membership votum as a motion of no confidence against Gabriel. Their reasoning might go as follows: If we vote against the grand coalition now, Gabriel will have to resign (which is true), then Kraft will take over and be our chancellor candidate in 2017.

By negating her ambitions, Kraft effectively closed this door. She let the SPD members know that if they topple Gabriel now, they won't get her, but some mediocre figure (again) in 2017. Thereby, she sacrificed herself for the good of the party. Ironically, this gesture will embiggen her chances in the future, when Gabriel has to step back for other reasons. So, denying her ambitions was a very smart move, actually.
I sure do hope.  The problem is, even with someone who isn't in the coalition, the SPD is probably headed for a collapse in 2017.  By 2021, Hannelore will be yesterday's news.  At least Manuela Schwesig might be ready by then.

Are you a German citizen or are you planning to come live in Germany? Why are you so concerned about trying to impose an SPD government upon us if you'll never have to live under it?

Why do you care about American elections?

American elections are important on an intercontinental level- and I care about there being a Democratic President so that a liberal foreign policy can be pursued.

Which is perfectly legitimate, just as there can be reasons for a non-German to care about our politics.
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ERvND
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« Reply #122 on: December 02, 2013, 02:30:54 pm »

Img


The SPD vote has started.

Despite being very sceptical at first, I voted in favour of the grand coalition.

Here is why: As I have stated on numerous occasions, the very concept of Social Democracy, and therefore the SPD, is doomed. This has almost nothing to do with current events and very much with general demographic and socio-economic trends.

Hence, both possible results of the vote will have the same consequences: If the party votes against the coalition, Merkel will induce new elections, resulting in an absolute majority for the CDU/CSU and an epic downfall for the SPD. If they form a grand coalition, on the other hand, the same will happen in 2017 that already happend in 2009 (to the SPD) and 2013 (to the FDP): Merkel's coalition "partner" will be slaughtered at the polls.

So, the results will be the same anyway - a massive collapse in the next elections. Basically, you only have to choose when it will happen. If that's the case, the SPD might as well cling to power for four final years, effectively delaying the party's demise for this period of time. That's still a bleak perspective, but better than nothing.
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Hifly
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« Reply #123 on: December 02, 2013, 02:47:09 pm »


Here is why: As I have stated on numerous occasions, the very concept of Social Democracy, and therefore the SPD, is doomed. This has almost nothing to do with current events and very much with general demographic and socio-economic trends.... 
So, the results will be the same anyway - a massive collapse in the next elections
. Basically, you only have to choose when it will happen. If that's the case, the SPD might as well cling to power for four final years, effectively delaying the party's demise for this period of time. That's still a bleak perspective, but better than nothing.

Do your fellow party members that you've spoken to also acknowledge this or are many too deluded?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #124 on: December 02, 2013, 04:34:36 pm »

There are people like that in the Labour Party as well. I don't understand why.
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