Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

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Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:02 am

It's today. We generally aren't a "Our Election, Your Problem"-class country, but there is a degree of interest in the outcome internationally: Angela Merkel is the third Chancellor of the Republic to have led governments during four election cycles, and the second (after Helmut Kohl) to survive all four. But she will be the first to leave office of her own accord; she will not be a member of the next Bundestag. There is a slim chance she will outlast Helmut Kohl in sheer days in office. By a stroke of genius in the German Constitution, the office of the Chancellor only ends at the moment a successor is appointed by the Bundestag. Between the first session of the next Bundestag and the election of a successor, she and her cabinet will bear the adjective "caretaker" ("geschäftsführend"), but that will not impede her in her activities a lot. So if the parties after today's election need a long time to bicker it out for the next cabinet and Chancellor, she might make it past Kohl. If I calculated correctly, she must stay until 22 December, which is entirely possible - After the last election, we dragged it into March 2018 until Angela Merkel was sworn in as her own successor.

The election is touted as extremely important: The conservative side of the spectrum is trying to give us nightmares over a "Linksruck" (sharp swivel to the left) in case the Social Democrats and Greens go into a coalition with The Left party - the successor party to the GDR's Socialist Unity Party, and still a big fan of "Overcoming capitalism", kissing up to "Socialist" oppression all over the world (notably, Cuba and Venezuela) and loving the Russian way to run a country. Big on the dissolution of NATO, and of Yankee Go Home politics. Such a coalition will probably be possible mathematically, but is rather unlikely because of The Left's positions.

The red-green end of the spectrum warns us of a No Change to Anything ("Weiter so") government, Germany has severe deficiencies in effective government and administration, general progress in digitization, and we are still far off course for the Paris climate goals.

The outcome of the election is very hard to predict, as we have seen something in the polls that is entirely new: Angela Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union, together with its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, has seen a drastic drop in support for about three months under a weak candidate, Armin Laschet. CDU/CSU has been Germany's political powerhouse since the Republic's inception, having the Chancellor's office for all but 19 years of its history. They still had 41 percent in 2013, but are now down to about 22 in the polls. Meanwhile, their traditional counterpart, the Social Democratic Party, who suffered severe losses during the years after 2005, have rebounded and could become the strongest party - but only with about 25 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, the Greens, who led the poll race in the spring at up to 28 %, have dropped down into the middle teens with their inexperienced and relatively young Chancellor candidate, Annalena Bärbock. The tableau is completed by the aforementioned Left, which is struggling to make it into the next Bundestag at all, the classically liberal Free Democratic Party (for the Merkins: That means, in your terms, fiscally conservative plus socially liberal), and Germany’s modern fascist scum, the Alternative for Germany. FDP and AfD are each at around ten percent.

As the polls stand, neither party is going to govern alone, but that has been the norm for the country (Adenauer's absolute majority in '57 was the lone exception). Neither will we see a two-party coalition, which has been Germany's usual modus operandi. The only thinkable two party-coalition would be CDU/CSU + SPD, the current government, which almost nobody wants. The two most likeliest triple coalition are SPD (Red)/FDP (Yellow)/Greens, the so-called "traffic light coalition", and CDU/CSU (black)/FDP (Yellow)/Greens, the so-called "Jamaica" model. Social Democrats and Greens are overall unlikely to form an SPD/Left/Green coalition (the R2G coalition), but they will use the spectre as a bargaining chip to draw in a hesitant FDP.

So, everyone is going on about how decisive this election will be. But in the end, it will be small-time compromise making to form a triple coalition that spans a wide political spectrum. I can't decide if Traffic Light or Jamaica is more likely (it also depends on how good the respective party leaders are at negotiating), but no, we will not see a drastic deviation in Germany's politics from it's usual boring, compromise-oriented way of doing business.

I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:31 pm

First exit poll at 6 pm
Black 25
Red 25
Green 15
Yellow 12
Scum 10
Deep Red 5, teetering on the edge*

Apparently, R2G is not possible. Black could pull ahead owing to the quirks of the German electoral law.

* Edge: Germany has a 5 % exclusion limit. Gain 5% minus one vote, and you won't be in the Bundestag with 4.99x % of deputies. Except sometimes.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:17 pm

SPD seems to be pulling slightly ahead, but the basic situation remains. Traffic light and Jamaica possible (as is Red/black, but that is extremely unlikely), R2G is not.

Basically, the two smaller parties, Greens and FDP, determine who becomes Chancellor. And they'll put up a price tag. Welcome to political life in Germany.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:06 pm

Results stabilizing, SPD a percent and a half ahead.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Мастер » Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:18 am

Arneb wrote:Scum 10


AfD?
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:29 am

Yep. I made the designation in the longish OP. :D
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Мастер » Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:28 am

Arneb wrote:Yep. I made the designation in the longish OP. :D


Ah. Found it.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Мастер » Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:32 am

I don't vote in the one country in the world where I can. I have really no connection, other than historical, there. I don't even speak the language.

No stake in the kingdom.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:31 am

By a quirk of German electoral law, the Left has made it into the Bundestag despite scoring only 4.9 % of the vote. Also, we have a single deputy from the SSW, Südschleswige Wählervereinigung, a party representing the Danish minority in the Northern State of Schlewig-Holstein.

In the preliminary official final result (Vorläufiges amtliches Endergebnis, if you must know), SPD has a comfortable plurality at 206 deputies, CDU/CSU follow at 196. Greens 118, Free Democrats 92, Scum 83, Left 39. Coalition options are Red/Black, Black/Yellow/Green ("Jamaica") and Red/Yellow/Green (Traffic Light). Berlin is awash with back-and-forth offers, threats, pleas, and dirty laundry, especially within CDU/CSU - as you might expect.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Heid the Ba » Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:17 pm

If only Mutti was here to save us!
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:40 pm

Oh, she is, as she always was - remember, it's Mutti and her gang until the new guy (and it's going to be a guy) is sworn in.

But I admit I am getting impatient already. She's over, as she ought to be, so in with the new team and start the fuck working ASAFP. We've got a climate catastrophe, worsening madness abroad, an insecure pension system, neglected digititzation, inefficient government, dwindling labour supply, and parliaments with a Nazi party in them to deal with. No. Fucking. Games!
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Lianachan » Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:27 pm

Implications of the result for world peace/the good guys of the world?
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:01 pm

I think it's generally a Good Thing the greens will be in the cabinet. I voted for them because I think limiting climate change is THE overriding political theme of the coming decades, and so do they - as the only party in our political spectrum, and that is what made me put aside quite a few differences between their political views and my own. Also, they have competent personnel. They've made a first and deservedly unsuccessful attempt at the Chancellorship in this cycle, but the failing candidate, Annalena Baerbock, is young, smart, eager, and far from finished.

The upcoming partner, the Free Democrats, are the party that is always yelling Free Market, Down With Taxes, Less Regulation at any problem you present them with. That is a bit monotonous, and as the smallest partner, they won't see too much of it put into practice. But they are also the party of civil liberties and data protection, they put up a fight against an overreaching nanny state, so I do see good material in their politics, too.

The largest partner, and the party who'll have the Chancellorship, is the big question mark. The Social Democrat candidate is competent, and boring. I like boring in politics. His party, in my view, harbours too many lefty pipe dreams, of socialising the housing market, of imposing crushing climate sanctions on our industry, etc. It's a recurring theme with Social Democrat Chancellors/candidates that they are usually positioned to the right of their party's centres. Two of three SPD Chancellers, Schmidt and Schröder, failed ultimately because their own parties withdrew their support. The conservative CDU, Merkel's party, OTOH, suffers from severe burnout, ideologically, pragmatically, and personally. I don't want to see them govern.

World peace? I don't know if we ever did a lot for it. Under a Traffic Light, we might be even slower revving up our defense expenses to 2 % (as our NATO membership stipulates) than under a Jamaica banner. We're still licking our wounds from the Afghanistan disaster. Our current Foreign Minister will hardly be the next one, so there is hope for a more active, engaging foreign policy. I think Germany did well when it was a trusted broker between parties strongly distrustful of each other, and, I don't know, a Foreign Secretary Robert Habeck (Greens) might actually be good at this.

The good guys of the world? Well. Merkel had a unique selling point: She already governed, since almost forever, and wasn't everyone happy with her? That was all fine (I only voted for her once, mind you, and that was 2005). But under her reign of competent crisis management, ideological placidity and eroding conservative milieus, her party suffered from a severe lack of ideas, and couldn't we just leave everything as is, please? That is over, and we are probably left with a coalition that actually wants to do something with this country. It might even be good things.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:44 pm

Update: the Greens an Free Democrats have announced they will try to form a "traffic light" coalition with the Social Democrats.

If this coalition is formed, it will make Olaf Scholz the fourth Social Democrat Federal Chancellor after Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt, and Gerhard Schröder. It will also be Germany's first three-party government since 1953 (Adenauer took a few small and short-lived parties into his '49 and '53 governments, beside the Free Democrats). In the coalition, Greens and Social Democrats will be a left-of-centre block. They have a lot of common ground politiccally, and they have a history: the Schröder government (1998-2005) was a red-green coalition. The Free Democrats, with their market-orientation and anti-regulation positions, will, on the one hand, be the odd man out. On the other hand, they will ask a price for entering a coalition which is definitely not their first choice.

Meanwhile the Christian Democrat and Christian Social Unions are busy dismantling their candidate for chancellor, Armin Laschet, and are starting to re-form their lines, the various first- and second-line politicians jockeying for the few high positions available to an opposition party. Quite a few of them have a strategic interest in taking the opposition role, as the process will remove Laschet (who is already past 60) as the front man and give them time to tough it out among themselves for the top spot. The Union parties see themselves as the "normal" or "natural" government party for this country, as five of their politicians have been Chancellor for 52 of the Republic's 72 years. So whoever makes it to the top within the CDU/CSU is likely to be Chancellor one day. Which is, among other things, the thinking that brought them down this year. :D :twisted:

Personally, I am happy with the development. In our Potsdam constituency, we had the funny situation that the Social Democrat and Green candidates for the office of Chancellor were also their their respective party's Bundestag candidates for the constituency. So I happily voted for Scholz as direct candidate with the first vote, and for the Greens as a party with my proportional-representation vote. Check.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Heid the Ba » Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:57 pm

Interesting.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Мастер » Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:38 pm

Things are so much simpler here.

The PAP always win.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:35 pm

Serious coalition talks will be getting underway next week. The plan is to elect Olaf Scholz Chancellor in the week following Dec. 6. That would cut Mutti's Chancellorship around 10 days short of the 5870 days that Helmut Kohl spent in office. For her to break the record, something has to go wrong in the coalition talks. Otherwise, we'll have Bundeskanzler Scholz boring us to tears in his New Year's TV adress for '22.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:20 am

The new Bundestag has held its first session. A new President (a Social Democrat, because they have tha largest Parliamentary Group, or "Fraktion"), and five Vice Presidents (one from each Parliamentary Party Group) have been elected, while the AfD candidate did not reach a majority.

On the same day Chancellor Merkel and her Cabinat received their Certificate of Demission from President Steinmeier - a Social Democrat who was Merkel's Foreign Secretary in the 2005-09 Cabinet, whom Merkel beat for Chancellor in the 2009 general election and who was suggested by her for the office of President during her third period in office. That's how compromise-y we are over here.

The President asked Merkel and all Cabinet members to stay in office as Caretaker Government ("geschäfstführend"), as is the norm. The rights of a caretakeer gouvernment aren't very restricted: They can submit laws to the Bundestag - even a budget -, the Ministries can issue administarative orders, etc. However, since its the new Bundestag, the Government doesn't have a majority in Parliament anymore. However, both a Vote of Confidence and a Vote of No Confidence are excluded under the caretaker rules. And, importantly, Merkel cannot appoint new members to her cabinet. If one of them has to leave for whatever reason, the reminaining members have to slice up the workload between them. That is actually called the Principle of Petrification ("Versteinerungsprinzip").

Meanwhile, the coalition talks are going to the "workgroup level" today, where larger specialized groups of politicians try to find agreements on concrete policy plans that are then written into a Coalition Agreement. These have tended to become quite long and bureaucratic during the last election cycles (as if they were actual contracts with binding legal power, which they aren't), and the attempt at a Jamaica coalition in 2017 may have failed in no small part due to the fact that basically everything on the table was, at some point, made public and thrown into the Twitterverse as shitstorm fuel. Let's see how secretive they manage to be this time.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Heid the Ba » Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:11 am

Hopefully everyone will be sensible, but that isn't likely.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:48 pm

Well... The Social Democrats have rallied staunchly behind their candidate, almost Communist-like. He was even in a position to dress down his two Party Chairpersons for making aggressive remarks about the Free Democrats' "Voodoo-economy" positions. We aren't in campaign mode anymore, period.

The Greens really fucking WANT to be in the government. They have shown their mettle many times in the Federal States, and they are sick of opposition after 16 years. Lust for power is a great way to discipline a party.

The Free Democrats were the party that ended the Jamaica talks last time. "It is better not to govern than to govern badly", their Chairman famously said. He knows he can't pull that off again, and so does everyone else. And he's got the post of Treasure Secretary of the biggest economy in Europe dangling in front of him.

You never know about intra-party snipers, of course. But all three parties seem to have their troops in line this year, which is maybe unusual for the Greens and Reds. If the Reds pull out, there is always Jamaica - that disciplines the Social Democrats. OTOH, if the Greens or Free Democrats pull out, Traffic Light is dead, but so is Jamaica - because then the Greens and Yellows would find themselves at the same table again. And if alls else fails, there is always the option of a reverse Grand Coalition, with the Social Democrats in the driver's seat this time. Given the CDU's derelict state, that seems unlikely now, and no-one really wants that coalition. But no-one wanted Black-Red in 2017, and that was what we got in the end, after an intervention from the President to behave the fuck responsibly. That is a strong precedent, and a stark reminder to the small parties that they are not absolutely essential and shouldn't throw their weight around just too much.

So yes, I think they'll work it out. My money is on a Chancellor Scholz by Christmas as head of a traffic-light coalition, with a finance Minister Lindner, a Foreign Secretary Baerbock and a Minister for Climate Change and Vice Chancellor Habeck.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:54 pm

ETA: In an interview with a large and respected German weekly, Joseph Stiglitz and Adam Tooze, no small names in economic circles AFAIK, warn of a Finance Minister Lindner because they say his fiscal ideas are "antediluvial". I don't know if that'll change anything, but there are probably no circumstances under which Joseph Stiglitz wouldn't lambast "fiscal conservatism", or is there?
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Мастер » Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:37 pm

Arneb wrote:Joseph Stiglitz


Holy Feck, Michael Jackson’s old neighbour is still alive? I just assumed he had become The Great Economist in the Sky. (Clare Tory/Pink Floyd reference)

I should seek him out, I’ve still met fewer than thirty Nobel laureates.
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Re: Tshermin Tshenneril Eleckshin

Postby Arneb » Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:21 pm

Pics or it didn't happen.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Merkel has asked Olaf Scholz, her Treasure Secretary and likely successor, to come along to all the bilateral meetings she'll have on the next EU summit. Gosh, that lady sure has style.
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