Social Democrats narrowly win German elections

Originally published at: Social Democrats narrowly win German elections | Boing Boing



Great to see the right-wing sado-populists of the AfD losing ground after the shameful 2017 result. In Germany of all places, voters should know not to let fascists anywhere near the levers of power.


10.3% is still pretty shocking for a party like that, but any decline in fascist power is good for everyone.


I’ll take the 10.3% in Germany over the 30+% here in the states. Sad to have to even write that.


They’re not right-wing, they’re far right. The CDU/CSU are the right wing.


If the US admits that the AfD are far right, they might have to admit that the Republicans are also far right.

Far more scary for them may be the realisation that the Democratic Party leadership is mostly moderate right wing. Until Bernie and the squad were noticed there was no visible left wing in US politics, even the soft left were seen as dangerously Marxist.


halt der stehlen!

I wonder how much lower that 30% would be if there weren’t (already) so many measures in place to dissuade or flat out prevent the other 70% from voting.


Looks like final results is Canada put the People’s Party (our far right party) at 5%. However they have zero seats.

It does look like Germany can get some more moderate and and a continued stable government. Both good news.


That “center-left” leader is a massive asshat with a history of incredible fuck-ups, including helping a banks evade charges for tax fraud – despite being ordered by the German secretary for finances to press charges, and ordering to give nauseant to alleged drug dealers – which at least one of them did not survive.

I’m not so sure about the center left-thing, that may be so when seen from the US perspective.

I find calling die Linke “populist” is a pretty strong misrepresentation, maybe you can give a few examples? IMHO they have a pretty sound idea of what needs to be done, including a programme for dealing with the climate catastrophe that is at least on par with that of the Greens, but they lost 5% since last time. The Greens themselves have turned pretty conservative, and not just recently, just consider what they did to Germany’s system of social security in coalition with SPD ~20 years ago, or at Baden-Württemberg, where they have a Minister-President from the Green party since 2011, currently in a happy coalition with the CDU - no left thought to be seen far and wide.

There is not even a “center-left” majority in sight even of you count the Greens as slightly left.

He’s probably afraid that the next German government will be a bit more critical of the US. Not that this would make any difference in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, the results of the election are no cause for celebration, it will be difficult to find a coalition that will get anything done - and this is the last German government that can make a lasting impact on the fight against the impending climate catastrophe.


Is the real story here the Greens? Granted they don’t have control but… SPD is up about 25%. Greens are up 66% vs. previous election. And for ages 18 - 34, Greens trounced all the others.


The Conservatives lost to Labor 2 weeks ago in Norway, but not outright so there will ultimately be a center-left coalition. The outgoing government did a very credible job dealing with Covid, I expect their defeat to some extent signals that that is no longer a national priority.

Updated to include results etc.


There are various interesting aspects to this. For example, the presumptive new chancellor Scholz is a lot more centrist than SPD party leadership (which is currently fairly left-wing) and presumably the rest of the party – Scholz actually made a party leadership bid a couple of years ago but didn’t win. Under chancellor Schröder (Merkel’s predecessor in the early 2000s), he served as the SPD’s general secretary and was heavily involved in drafting Schröder’s Agenda 2010 neoliberal social-reform plan, which the current SPD does not like very much and prefers not to be reminded about. However, it turns out that according to polls, most SPD voters in this election decided in favour of SPD on account of Scholz himself rather than, say, the goals the party stands for. During the campaign, Scholz took great pains to come across basically as a better, more progressive Angela Merkel (down to facetiously copying her typical “diamond” hand gesture for the benefit of a photographer). There has been noticeable movement among voters from CDU to SPD on that account.

The CDU (conservative)'s candidate, Armin Laschet, OTOH, got his place in the race on the strength of being CDU party chairman, which he became after a protracted race last year, out of a field of candidates among whom he was probably the least un-palatable person. It is customary to give the party chairman first dibs when it comes to a race for federal chancellor, but it was pretty obvious from the start that Laschet wasn’t prime federal-chancellor material. Many people within CDU would have preferred Markus Söder, the much more flamboyant chairman of the CDU’s Bavarian arm, the notionally more conservative CSU party, as the “Union” (CDU and CSU together)'s candidate for chancellor, but that of course was something that CDU leadership could not countenance. Laschet’s blandness, proclivity to foot-in-mouth disease, and popular unpopularity, plus the Union’s general programmatic weakness, probably contributed most to its heavy losses.

One wonders what would have happened had Merkel (who remains quite popular) not decided not to run again, but had become re-elected – probably in a coalition with the Greens – and then stepped down two years into her term just so someone else could have had two years in office before the next election. But that, of course, raises the question of precisely who her replacement might have been, and the answers aren’t exactly appealing …


First off, I am not entirely nonpartisan, as I was a member of the SPD despite not being a German (yep, still a Yankee). And I am active in Democrats Abroad. So you can understand that I am mildly satisfied.

Now, we aren’t out of the woods yet the liberals (libertarians in the USA) still might force a coalition with the CDU/CSU, but Olaf is conservative enough that Christian Lindner may overcome his own ego enough to say yes to a “streetlight” coalition of Red, Yellow and Greens.


Scholz is definitely conservative enough but inside SPD he’s an outlier – he may be well-placed to be the next Merkel because Merkel is about as close to the left edge of CDU as Scholz is to the right edge of SPD. Scholz’s unexpected (as of 6 months ago) election success has certainly added to his weight within the party, but may not be enough to give him carte blanche to negotiate a coalition. It will be interesting to see who inside SPD will call the shots during coalition talks, and it is not completely impossible that, while Lindner and Scholz could find enough common ground for a coalition, Lindner and the rest of the SPD leadership might not. This means that while currently a “traffic light” coalition seems much more likely than a “Jamaica” coalition of CDU/CSU, the Greens, and FDP, I wouldn’t quite discount the latter entirely yet.

Also, just for the record, I don’t think FDP = US libertarians. It’s a bit more complicated than that :wink:


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