Wednesday, October 20, 2021

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    German elections are clearly European

    NSElman election It’s a peculiar matter. Armin Laschet, the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, was burned for choosing the Bratwurst seasoning (ketchup instead of mustard). Annalena Baerbock, a candidate for green prime minister, has been skewered over allegations of plagiarism, a crime that only plagues German politics. All politics is rural, but in Germany it is narrow.The country may be the hegemon of Europe, but diplomacy and the future EU Little was mentioned. Sometimes the surrealistic campaign ended with an extroverted prime minister and Europe’s most powerful figure, Angela Merkel, filmed with a parrot on her head.

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    If the campaign was definitely German, the result was European. Slight victory of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) The center-right rival Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Start a few months of simultaneous negotiations. German politicians suffered from the same problems as their peers across the continent. German voters acted like their neighbors. Europe was not visible in the campaign. But that is reflected in the results.

    German politics, like all other Western European countries, has been fragmented in the last decade or so. Each of the five political parties received more than 10% of the votes. When Angela Merkel came to power in 2005, only two came to power. In that same election CDU/CSU When SPD Won 70% of the votes. On September 26th, they barely managed half. It’s a familiar story. In the Netherlands, 19 different political parties are currently in parliament. In Italy, four political parties, center-left to far-right, are hovering around 20%. Traditional two-party systems such as Spain are complex multi-party systems. Germany is simply catching up.

    After posting the worst results in their history CDU/CSU You can get some comfort from the fact that they are not alone. Their political brothers in other countries have also lost their position. In the early 2010s, virtually all big EU The country had a centre-right government.Well, except for very nifty negotiations CDU, No one does. A conservative politician who once ran the continent. Now they control the lump. In Germany, a bad campaign by abusive candidates is part of the explanation.But the cause is CDUFatigue deepens and spreads across the German border.

    In contrast, after losing the ground for 10 years, the center left had something to cheer for. Not loud. Olaf Scholz, SPDThe future prime minister carried out a cautious campaign based on his ability, radical enough to prevent the left of his party from leaving for the Greens. It gave his party the third lowest vote share after the war, but paved the way for potential power.

    Now Mr. Scholz will endure the fate that his fellow left-handed leaders are suffering from: staying in the office through a nasty coalition. In Spain, another centre-left grande, the Socialist Workers’ Party, came to power with just over a quarter of the votes cast. The once mighty Scandinavian Social Democratic Party is still in power, but weaker than it used to be. In the late 1990s, centre-left parties dominated Europe as a whole. Their pitch was usually a variant of “things can only get better”. Now it’s like “things may not get worse”.

    Elderly voters have kept the Big tent alive, both in Germany and throughout Germany. EU.. Call it the baby boomer generation breakwater. Four out of ten people under the age of 30 supported the Liberal Democratic Party or the Greens, but 70% over the age of 60 voted. SPD or CDU / CSU.. In Spain, young voters fainted at challenger parties such as Podemos and Vox. But their parents and grandparents stick to the traditional ones. In France, Marine Le Pen’s base is a disgruntled young man. In Italy, the far-right Lega and the Italian compatriots also depend on young voters. Parties now represent as young or old as left or right.

    Bankrupt politics means complex coalition negotiations. Germany is accustomed to the conflict between the two. This time we will need three and the negotiations may be prolonged.For the first time in Germany with the Greens FDP Promised to agree to each other’s terms before negotiating with (third and fourth came) SPD Also CDU/CSU.. Again, Germany is joining the new European norms. Negotiations in Belgium take years and are notorious for creating a nasty coalition. In the Netherlands, only in coalition negotiations since the March elections, GreenLeft and Labor have discussed their own agreement. In the Nordic countries, a four- or five-party coalition is common. European politics is an increasingly complex (and increasingly Belgian) beast.

    Stick a pin in almost every rich western EU The country and one will vote between 10% and 20% and find a populist party offering immigrant and Brussels bashing cocktails. Germany also meets the standards. Choices for Germany (NSNS NS) Exactly such a platform won about 10% of the votes. Only Italy, where such parties generally attract 40% of the votes, and France, where Marine Le Pen is a possible (although unlikely) president, oppose this trend. In contrast, the alternative offered to German voters is standard European fares.

    All European life is here

    When asked why Germany does not play a major role in operations EUAngela Merkel argued that it was impossible because Germany was so similar EU..Germany was already a subtle compromise between 16 different Render Complex relationships between (state) and government levels. German leadership was simply not feasible.

    But if Germany is similar EU Constitutionally, it is now politically consistent with the club. Germany is subdivided like a neighboring country. Its major centre-left and centre-right share the same issues as their peers. The nightmare of forming a coalition will draw sympathetic sounds from its neighbors in the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia. Older voters behave in Germany the same way they do in France and Italy, and their children do the same. Fringe parties are better at making rackets than winning power.Regarding elections EU, Voting may still be national. But politics is clearly European. ■■

    This article was published in the printed European section under the heading “Very European Elections”.

    German elections are clearly European

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