Summer has almost come to an end in Germany, and the political players are slowly coming back into the focus of the public....after weeks of "rest". We are now getting close to the start of full-up political talk and preparing for the German 2013 election. Merkel is of course, the chief player for the CDU and currently in the better position of at least picking up the most representation....but nothing near fifty percent.
We are about four months away from the the chief opposition party....the SPD....picking their lead candidate. Right now....there's basically three guys in the running. First, the ex-finance minister of Germany (Peer Steinbrueck), who can give out a good speech but doesn't generate a lot of enthusiasm amongst the bulk of SPD players. Second, there's the current chairman of the SPD party (Sigmar Gabriel), who did four years as the prime minister of Lower Saxony and has been the party chief for roughly three years now.....and falls into the same category as a good speech giver, but doesn't have massive amounts of charm to attract independent voters. Finally, there's Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was the former foreign minister for the German government when the SPD was the junor partner in a Merkel collation government. You can say that he's distinguished and attracts more attention than the other two guys.....but for the independent vote.....he lack enough charm to get their votes.
As for the anticipated polling? Well....the CDU-CSU folks are pulling around 36 to 38 percent of the national vote. It's doubtful they can get past forty percent. You have to remember....you can't really win unless you have partnerships with at least fifty percent of the national vote.
The traditional CDU partner was the FDP, who usually could pull in ten percent of the national vote.....but things have gone downhill over the past four years. Right now....the FDP is predicted not to get more than four percent....so they won't even stand up in the Bundestag (the minimum of five-percent rule falls into place here).
This kinda leaves the other three minor parties as items of interest.
The Linke Party....which is mostly far-left or Communists in nature....will likely take around seven to eight percent, but Merkel won't dare partner up with them.
The Greens? They might pull twelve percent....but traditionally were never partners with the CDU (too wide of opinions). The CDU has intentionally partnered up in several state elections with the Greens.....to build some interest, so they might fall into a partnership, but it's big question mark.
Finally, there's the Pirate Party. I know.....most folks still take them as a joke. But I'm predicting around a eight to ten percent win. They only attract the 18-to-25 year old folks, and there's no realistic policy around the party.
So, the optimistic view is that the CDU will lead on the election and ask the SPD to partner up with them. Some folks don't want that partnership to happen (within the SPD), and it creates a very limited opportunity....the CDU partnering with the Greens (less than fifty percent chance) or partnering up with the Pirates (the impossible dream). Failure in partnerships....means the second contender of the election then gets a chance to partner up and run the government. It kinda means that a fairly weak government comes out and walks around for two or three years with public complaints....and creating a possible early election.
The end result....this 2013 election might turn out to be an interesting period in German history. And if the Pirate Party could pull out a twelve-percent win....there might be a curious partnership to develop.