Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday 9-27-09 Germany's Election Day


All smiles: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir at their only televised political debate on Sunday before the election on Sept. 27.


Ron FraserColumnist

German Election—Each-Way Bet

September 14, 2009 | From

In two weeks, the German electorate will cast their vote for the government that will rule their nation over the next four years. The result of that election is now anyone’s guess.

Talk about a seesaw! German polls indicate that the upcoming federal election is going to be a nail-biter.

That the result will lead to another cobbling together of an unwieldy coalition of uncomfortable bedmates seems a foregone conclusion. But who will ally with whom remains an open question.

Chancellor Merkel has gone public with her intentions to dump Germany’s left-of-center Social Democrats in favor of the business-oriented Free Democratic Party (fdp). The fdp’s East German orientation may be more within her comfort zone, as she hails from Germany’s east herself.

The real question is, if more of the vote on polling day goes to the Social Democratic Party (sdp) leader, Frank Walter Steinmeier, which parties he will choose to engage with in coalition. If he looks further left and engages the Green Party and the current opposition Left Party (at present a seemingly unlikely proposition), then the most recent polls indicate the combined vote would marginally exceed that of a Christian Democrat/Christian Socialist/fdp alliance.

Click here for entire Trumpet article


Merkel-Steinmeier Election Debate

'You're Like an Old Married Couple!'

By David Crossland

Sunday's TV debate between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier was billed as the highlight of the election campaign, but turned into a snore as the two uncharismatic contenders praised their cooperation over the last four years and avoided direct confrontation.

German voters had hoped that Sunday's much-hyped television debate between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democratic Party (SPD) challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier would breathe life into the tepid election campaign that has been likened to a cotton wool fight.

Their hopes were dashed. The 90-minute encounter billed as a "TV duel" between the dispassionate German leader dubbed "Mutti" or Mummy and the gray-haired career bureaucrat was almost over when one of the four interviewers uttered in exasperation: "You're like a harmonious old married couple!"

Click here for entire Spiegel article

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