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Author Topic: German Elections & Politics  (Read 492137 times)
Ye Olde Europe
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« on: October 11, 2013, 04:02:46 am »

Even though CDU and Greens have agreed on a second meeting, the consensus among commentators and experts is still that we're gonna get a Grand coalition.

While CDU-Green would certainly be a possibility, the main problem is that CSU and Greens don't get along at all. They hate each other.

That and the fact that the Greens are currently in a transitional period and half of the Greens' negotiating team won't be in any leadership role in the party very soon anyway. So, it's mostly a courtesy call.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 04:02:13 pm »

Likelihood of a Grand coalition raises day by day and must be at 90% right now.

And it makes sense, really. It's the coalition where everbody's happy or the least unhappy. Merkel gets to remain Chancellor, the SPD gets the Ministry of Finance, the Greens aren't forced to govern with the CDU, the CSU isn't forced to govern with the Greens, the Left isn't forced to govern with the SPD, and everbody else gets a minimum wage.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 06:11:26 am »

Two days before the election, Allensbach had the FDP at 5.5%.

In fact, the last time they had the FDP below 5% was last December.

They're apparently very persistent in ignoring reality.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 04:51:01 pm »

To be precise, the SPD is currently trying to figure if they want the Ministry of Finance or if they want to forfeit it in exchange for more of their platform planks being pushed through...

But yeah, barring a very surprising turn of events, it's gonna be a Grand coalition.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 05:31:55 pm »
« Edited: October 30, 2013, 05:34:38 pm by Old Europe »


Don't have much clue about Hesse, but perhaps Lewis knows more about it.

Last thing I heard is that CDU + SPD, CDU + Greens, and even SPD, Greens + Left are still negotiating with each other. But they have the advantage that the state parliament's new term doesn't start until January or something, while the new elected Bundestag's legislative period had already begun earlier this month. So the Hessians aren't really in a rush.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 12:03:01 pm »
« Edited: November 03, 2013, 02:50:41 pm by Old Europe »

About three minutes ago the polls have closed in Berlin's referendum on renationalizing energy supply in the city-state (which is currently run by Swedish company Vattenfall).

Results will be published here as soon as they come in:
https://www.wahlen-berlin.de/abstimmungen/VE2013_NEnergie/Ergebnisprozent.asp?sel1=6052&sel2=0798

Turnout is currently estimated at 30% which means that the necessary quorum of 25% yes votes could have been reached. (25% of all eligible voters have to vote "yes" as well as a majority of the voters who actually cast a ballot in the referendum).

Back in 2011, there was a similar referendum regarding the water supply in Berlin. It had a turnout of 27.5%, with 98% voting in favour.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 02:03:28 pm »
« Edited: November 03, 2013, 03:37:04 pm by Old Europe »

Turnout: 29.1%
Yes votes: 83.0% (= 24.1% of eligible voters)
No votes: 16.8%

The referendum has therefore failed to produce the required quorum of 25% yes votes from all eligible voters.


Highest turnout: 36.9% in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Lowest turnout: 23.3% in Marzahn-Hellersdorf

Most yes votes: 92.9% in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
Most no votes: 26.4% in Reinickendorf

I guess it's not completely a coincidence that in the recent Bundestag election the CDU had its best result in Reinickendorf and the Greens their best result in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

And Marzahn-Hellersdorf also had the lowest turnout in the Bundestag election (since the people there are not interested in politics as long as no criminal immigrants come to their borough and take away their non-existing jobs Tongue ).
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 01:33:12 pm »

There's a new Forsa state poll for Berlin out (although the next election is in 3 years):
(Changes in comparison to the 2011 election)

...

Piraten: 3% (-6%)


It seems plausible that the Pirates won't have representation in any state parliament a couple of years from now. It was just a fad after all.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 04:18:06 am »
« Edited: November 05, 2013, 04:45:21 am by Old Europe »

Old Europe, why do you think the opposition to the nationalization (while still quite small) increased so notably since the 2011 referendum?

First of all, the state government sort of "defused" the situation by promising beforehand that they would implement at least part of the referendum's demands... namely the establishment of a separate, additional power plant which is run on renewable energies.

Second, the 2011 water referendum didn't call for a renationalization as explicitly. It demanded that the water supply privatization contracts shall be made public and if any irregularities were to be found in them that they should be declared null and void.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2013, 06:12:45 am »

Hannelore Kraft: "I will never run for Chancellor."
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #10 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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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #11 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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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 03:44:52 pm »
« Edited: December 14, 2013, 03:48:49 pm by And Nicolas Cage as "Fu Manchu"! »

What!? von der Leyen to defense? Roflmao.

Merkel probably tries to set von der Leyen up as her hand-picked successor. After one term as family minister, one term as labour minister and one term as defence minister she will certainly have gotten around.

And it seems we're gonna be stuck with Schäuble forever.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2013, 03:51:16 pm »

Big loser is the CSU - down from 4 to 3 ministries, losing the prestigious Ministry of Interior, and responsibility for consumer protection.

CSU had three ministries before the election too.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2013, 12:28:44 pm »

Slight bounce for the SPD in the first Infratest dimap poll since the new government took over.

CDU/CSU: 42%
SPD: 27%
Grüne: 9%
Linke: 8%

AfD: 4%
FDP: 4%

Not suprising, considering that the end result of the coalition talks was apparently classified as a victory for the SPD and a personal triumph for Sigmar Gabriel (who has finally overcome his image as a leightweight - pun intended Tongue ) by most media commentators.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2013, 05:24:58 am »
« Edited: December 23, 2013, 05:33:22 am by And Nicolas Cage as "Fu Manchu"! »

I think a lot of people are categorizing the SPD as being more "right-wing" because of Gerhard Schröder's Agenda 2010 (which happened ten years ago) and because it seems to favour coalitions with CDU/CSU over coalitions with the Left Party (which primarily has something to do with being afraid of doing something risky/unconventional/unpopular and the potential fallout from it).

Most German voters generally seem to long for a stable and consensus-oriented government. Opinion polls also show that Angela Merkel is overwhelmingly popular and that a Grand coalition is preferred over pretty much any other potential coalition (especially a Red-Red-Green one). Hell, even many SPD voters prefer Angela Merkel over Peer Steinbrück or Sigmar Gabriel as Chancellor. Entering a Grand coalition is always the safe choice and the current SPD leadership likes to play it safe. It doesn't necessarily mean that they "like" the CDU more than they like the Left Party.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 10:17:47 am »
« Edited: February 05, 2014, 10:37:26 am by Click here for porn »

Long-time Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD) is in some - possibly career-ending? - trouble.

One of his under secretaries apparently conducted some tax evasion and Wowereit knew of it since 2012, but didn't do anything about it back then. He fired him now, after it finally became public a couple of days ago. Further criticism stems from the fact that Wowereit is currently on vacation in Austria, which he doesn't intend to interrupt despite the scandal and is therefore only communicating through written statements.

Apparently, some folks are even planning to start a official petition on holding a referendum which would trigger early elections in the city-state (Article 54 Section 3 of the Berlin constitution states that the state parliament's term can be prematurely terminated if the citizens demand it through a referendum).
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2014, 08:31:25 am »
« Edited: February 13, 2014, 10:26:15 am by President of the BLAND Corporation »

BIZARRE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY SCANDAL!!


So, this is what happened so far:

Last week, mid-level SPD Bundestag member Sebastian Edathy suddenly announced his resignation, effective immediately. He cited "health reasons" for taking this step.

Early this week, police searched Edathy's house und soon rumours concerning child pornography started to surface. Edathy - who apparently isn't in Germany at this point - has denied the allegations and claims his innocence via Facebook.

Today, it was revealed that SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel was informed of the investigations against Edathy since last October because then-interior minister (and incumbent agriculture minister) Hans-Peter Friedrich had told him about it.

This means that Friedrich may have exceeded his authority and has possibly even committed a crime (e.g. Section 353b of the Criminal Code: Breach of official secrets and special duties of confidentiality).
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2014, 04:56:47 pm »
« Edited: February 13, 2014, 05:06:24 pm by President of the BLAND Corporation »

I have a strong feeling that Friedrich will be an ex-minister a week from now. Merkel sure doesn't like having a liability on the cabinet and so she'll try to contain the damage. I guess Jörg Ziercke, the head of the Federal Criminal Police, might also be considered expendable at this point.

This still leaves a lot of questions though. For instance, is Edathy a pedophile, the victim of an intrigue against him or maybe even both? Did someone in the government use the information which was illegally "leaked" by Friedrich to the SPD to tip off Edathy and if so, who? Where exactly is Edathy and does he intend to return to Germany? And why the f**k did German politics suddenly turn into House of Cards?
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2014, 04:39:30 am »
« Edited: February 14, 2014, 08:30:38 am by President of the BLAND Corporation »

Probability increases that Friedrich steps down today. Left, Greens, and FDP have demanded his resignation and the CSU leadership has come together for an emergency meeting "to discuss the minister's future".

UPDATE: Friedrich - Gonna resign if a investigation is launched against me.

http://www.dw.de/german-agriculture-minister-friedrich-offers-potential-resignation-amid-edathy-scandal/a-17430631
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2014, 10:32:40 am »

Yeah, Friedrich is gone. That was a fast one... resignation for something which had only became public 24 hours ago or so.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2014, 11:49:41 am »

Friedrich's announcement in short:
- He didn't do anything wrong.
- He steps down due to "lack of political support".
- He'll be back.

This is probably as close to a "f**k you Merkel" as you can get. Tongue
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2014, 06:24:05 pm »

Image Link
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2014, 06:32:52 pm »

The thing is... Sigmar Gabriel is probably as guilty as Friedrich that the info on the child porn investigation eventually reached Edathy. However, Sigmar Gabriel can't step down because such a step could threaten the stability of this government. Friedrich on the other hand is merely the minister of agriculture and merely from the CSU. Besides, he was regarded damaged goods anyway because of his moronic handling of the NSA affair last year. Unlike Gabriel, Friedrich was expendable.

This leaves a loose end though. Someone in the SPD informed Sebastian Edathy of the investigation against him. Ironically, it is Edathy himself who could identify this person. Which means that he possesses the ability to destroy another political career.
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Ye Olde Europe
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2014, 12:05:54 pm »

Sebastian Edathy is back and he gave SPIEGEL an interview. He denies having been tipped off by someone in the SPD, he denies having destroyed evidence after being tipped off, and he blasts the authorities for the way their investigation was conducted against him.

Despite being a possible pedophile, they'll probably never charge him with any crime. But it seems that he'll be busy giving interviews the coming weeks. Tongue
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