Friday, September 20, 2013

The Election

The election in Germany is roughly two days away.  An American can come away from the last two months with several prospectives.

First, there really weren't any four-star issues to generate huge enthusiasm for this election.  The news media tried hard to make Snowden and the NSA episode big....but it was a failure.  Then they tried to use Syria, and it was mostly a failure.  Unemployment?  Talked about to some degree, but the numbers show the best that it's been in a decade.  Without that enthusiasm....I'm of the mind that fewer folks will come out and vote (generally, that's the attitude in the US).

Second, the Greens are screwed.  Over the past couple of years....the CDU took away their major topics (get rid of nuke plants, hype renewable energy, etc).  It's hard to see them getting more than seven percent of the vote.  I suspect in 2014.....the Greens will meet to figure out the next trend, and find a new direction or brand to sell their politics onto.

Third, the media has suddenly awaken in the past week and now claim that the anti-Euro Party will have around five percent of the vote.  It's a strange note because polls for the past month have tended to give them between two and three percent.  A sudden real change?  I kinda doubt it.  The media in the past week has tried hard to hype down the Merkel numbers.  You get to a point where you doubt that one single poll of five percent will make sense.

Fourth, the media in the past couple of weeks have taken to music and slow-motion video to build their news articles (channel one and two both have done it).  It's a comical way to slam political parties or actions by people.  Almost like a mini-Hollywood production....proclaimed news, when it's more of a theater production.

Fifth, the election last weekend in Bavaria is a bigger deal than most would admit.  You see the SPD really not getting past thirty percent for the nation.

Sixth, this Wahl-O-Mat program?  Well, it's a computer quiz that takes questions....attaches a weight....then it helps you (the undecided voter) make a wise choice.  Generally, from what I've viewed....if you were unable to attach yourself to a party, this Wahl-O-Mat ends up making your decision by leading to a two or three topic candidate.  Instead of looking across the spectrum, you just made two things important, and this program guided you to the choice.  Sadly, in most cases, it's leading you to an odd-ball party (not the SPD, CDU).  How many folks will use the software program?  I doubt if you can find more than a million Germans who used it....half simply to see if it confirmed the party they always vote for.

Seventh, I'll admit in the last two weeks....the SPD's guy has appeared a great deal on TV, and looks better each time he appears.  He has gained five points over the last month.  Maybe if they'd done more appearances back in June and July with him.....he might be closer today to Merkel.

Eighth.  The Linke Party (the Communists).....will likely pull close to twelve percent in this election (my humble opinion).  So far, neither the CDU or the SPD want to admit they exist, or think of a day when they might be part of a team effort to run the government.  I suspect that the day will come in a decade or so....when they finally get up around sixteen percent on the national vote, and both of the major parties have to figure a way to partner up with them.

Ninth.  For the next four years, it's Chancellor Merkel in charge.  It's hard to imagine the CDU not winning this election.  It's also a challenge to wonder on what happens in four years, and who steps out of the shadows for the CDU then.  I don't think Merkel will desire another run for the job in 2017.

Tenth.  If you are an American walking the streets of a German town on this will notice almost everyone leaving their house and going to a local poll station.  They will quietly come back.....brew some coffee....snack on cheesecake.....and wait until six to watch the beginning of election results.  The race will be decided by seven, and everyone will be relaxed for the most part....another election concluded without issues.  Simplicity, if you ask me.

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