German Politics

Please, no changes.

Yesterday, the IHT’s Judy Dempsey was in town to tell you half the story about the effects that next Sunday’s regional elections could have on German national politics. Apparently she talked to the FDP’s vice chairman and former state minister of economics and viniculture, Rainer Brüderle, who has apparently told her that that “the FDP hopes the elections will renew its faded luster” – and so a headline was born.

Of course, that’s only half the story. Not even the FDP, a party still coming to terms with a changed German party system in which it is apparently possible for the FDP not to be part of a governing coalition three times in a row, has much to gain in this election.

Actually, apart from those running in the elections, almost everyone would prefer they would not have to take place now. Right now, the grand coalition in Berlin is working rather smoothly. Hardly anyone would want to see the SPD going crazy if they lost their last state premier in the “old states”. The FDP’s PR people might like the limelight they would get in such a situation – the party would be forced in to a coalition debate, as it has publicly pledged to continue the current coalition – but since that would certainly not mean another round of early federal elections, just a less effective government, there’s no real point to hope for any kind of change. And very likely there won’t be any –

Opinion polls give Beck 43 percent and the Free Democrats 7 percent.

One big concern is the possible spoiler role of the Left Party, an amalgam of reformed communists from eastern Germany and trade unionists who quit the Social Democratic Party last year claiming it had become too centrist.

True. But everyone except for Christoph Böhr, the CDU’s candidate for state premier is hoping they won’t spoil the party. Böhr, of course, has been in a rather uncofortable situation given that Angela Merkel would certainly prefer him to loose the election despite having to campaign for him.

Politics is a strange game sometimes.

So keep that in mind when reading Ms Dempsey’s piece over at the IHT’s website.

Party hopes Germany’s vote renews faded luster – Europe – International Herald Tribune