German Government




 
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German Government
 
September 19th, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 

Topic: German Government


German Government
I've very new to german politics. 2 weeks ago I mistook someone saying "we will have a new government soon" to mean revolution!

But is there anyway someone could tell me what is going on with the election and how it might influence American-US relations.

I have been told that Schroder used America bashing to win in 2002 by distracting people from their real problems like the economy.

That's all I know about German politics, please help me out, I hate being ignorant
September 19th, 2005  
phoenix80
 
 
I think you know enough about German politics now!
September 19th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
German politics is very similar to French except they have no Prime Minister (the Foriegn Minister somewhat fills this role) and I Believe only one house of Parliment.

Unlike the US, where you vote for the man, in Germany you vote for the party. The winner is the party that has either a true majority or is able to create a majority by forming a majority coalition with smaller parties.
There are tons of parties from the far left to far right and many center, center left-right parties in between. Of course these smaller parties are going to want a say in what the larger party does.

The problem for Andrea Merkel (the center right) is although she has a small lead against Schroder she does not have enough for a true majority and worse the smaller parties are more inclined to help Schroder than Merkel. This is surprising because it was thought that Merkel would win by a good number.
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German Government
September 19th, 2005  
loki
 
Yes the opinion surveys were completely useless in this election. All the opinion research centers saw the CDU at 40-42% and the SPD at 33-35%.
Now its SPD 34% and CDU 35%.


Who becomes chancellor definitely has some influence on US-German relations and foreign policy in general. Mrs. Merkel is much more pro-american than Mr. Schroeder. I think she would also keep strong ties to France, but there were signs before the election that she would disscociate from Russia in favor of better relations with Poland and the baltic states. Same thing with China. Edmung Stoiber, the second man in the CDU, said that the axis Paris-Berlin-Moscow-Beijing could never replace the transatlantic alliance.

@mmarsh:
I think the main difference to France is that Germany is a federal republic. Laws are passed in the Bundestag (parliament), but most of them also have to be approved in the Bundesrat, which represents the Bundeslšnder (states). Because the christian democrats have won almost all seats there, it would have been best if the CDU had won an absolute majority. I think they might have with another candidate.

Ah, and there are not really "tons" of parties in the Bundestag, only 5:

CDU/CSU - christian democrats, middle-class, mostly catholic, stronger in the south, extremely strong in Bavaria
SPD - socialists or "social democrats", strong in the north and in the Ruhrgebiet, the former industrial heartland of Germany
FDP - free democrats, the liberal party, popular among rich people who dont like paying taxes
Greens - do I have to explain?
LINKE - the new commie party. Strong in the east and in any region with high unemployment.
September 19th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
Loki

I guess thats another difference. France has tons (too many IMHO).[/u]
September 19th, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
So then who is Schroder if he isn't your PM/President? What power does he have that whenever he says something most Americans take it as the opinion of Germany?
September 20th, 2005  
loki
 
Well to this day he still is the chancellor. Elections were on monday and it always takes some time before a new chancellor is elected because usually its necessary to form a coalition for that (because no party has an absolute majority). And in this case, its even more complicated because there is no majority for either of the established coalitions which usually rule Germany like FDP+CDU (liberal-conservative), FDP+SPD (liberal-socialdemocratic) or SPD+Greens.

Before the election, many journalists said they expected a grand coalition of CDU+SPD, but now this seems unlikely because Mr. Schroeder said he will only form a coalition with the CDU if he remains chancellor. Which is absurd because the CDU is now the strongest faction.

Lately there have been speculations about a so-called Jamaica-coalition of CDU (black), FDP (yellow) and the Greens. I would favor that one over a grand coalition, but I dont think its going to happen. If no stable coalition is formed, the president can initiate reelections. Yes, there's a president too, but thats mainly a representative post in Germany for historical reasons, he is only responsible for initiating reelections in case of crisis.

As you can see, its a very dodgy situation right now.
September 20th, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Should I ask what government