Yesterday – Election Day. I, as an expat, was merely a bystander. But that did not stop a familiar shiver of emotion running up my spine at the sight of people strolling to the local polling station, peacefully coming together to democratically express their hopes and dreams for their country.
Today – it is clear that Angela Merkel and her right-leaning Christian Democrats (CDU) have won, though no-one is quite sure as yet how the governing coalition will be formed. On that, there are commentators in abundance and my half-baked comments won’t bring you much. So instead, I’ll mark this rather remarkable day (or not, as some might argue) in German political history by writing about my personal impressions. Continue reading →
Whenever I am stuck for a topic to write about, I can always get myself fired up by just reading the newspaper. Today was no exception. Guido Westerwelle, in particular, is a great topic whether in a blog or at the pub.
Mr Westerwelle is currently the head of the junior coalition partner in the government. The Freie Demokratische Partei or FDP as it usually referred to. They are viewed as a combination pro-business and pro-civil rights party. That would be somewhat analogous to what Americans usually refer to as fiscal libertarianism.
We are about four months into the new government here in Germany. As so often seems to be the case in politics and people, the current government seems to have mis-interpreted what the voters wanted to say.
It should not be so surprising, really. It is difficult to get a good unfiltered view of how voters feel when you live behind a wall of handlers and advisers. Politicians are still just people and are just as susceptible to wishful thinking as anyone else. The FDP is on the verge of learning this lesson the hard way.
The national elections have passed. It is big, though not exciting news. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) have enough votes to form a coalition government. The American press is representing this as evidence of a trend of European politics moving to the Center-Right portion of the political spectrum, I am not so convinced.