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Sat, 17 Sep 2005

The German election dilema

Those who aren't interested in German / European politics might not be interested in this blog so you can just skip it.

Well, so here we are. Again we Germans are invited / allowed / asked to elect a new parliament (which is called Bundestag). And again I think it's rather a "Pick your poison" decision than a choice between real alternatives...

Well... let's look at the situation: For the last seven years we were governed by a government of Social Democrats and the Green Party. The big problem that I see is not that our chancellor thinks he has lost the trust of the people in his politics (which he has indeed in many parts), but a more fundamental problem: He has already lost the majority in the other important council of the legislative, the Bundesrat which consists of representatives of our federal states (called Bundeslaender). When our red-green government was elected for the first time in 1998 they had a majority in the Bundesrat. That this important, since many laws need to pass both councils, the Bundestag (which we will elect this Sunday) and the Bundesrat (which we elect indirectly by electing our state parliaments).

If you followed this far and still understand what I'm talking about: Congrats, I know some Germans who haven't understood our political system 'till now ;) The rest will be quite easy: Basically there are four possible outcomes of the elections...:

Well... And now I'm to decide... I'm a left green... and I don't like any of the first two options. I think the third option could bring some fresh air into politics... but honestly, I have doubts that the new Left Party can really make a change. I fear they lack a sense for reality and sooner or later such a coalition will break, leaving us in an other crisis (did I mention that our current chancellor and one of the most important politicians of the new Left Party had some serious problems in the past?). So let's drop that option.

Okay, so I should hope for the last option to win? Our current Social Democrat - Green government? Actually: They disappointed me quite a lot - they did things I would have never expected from such a government: Cuttings on our social system, participation in armed conflicts... and even if they would win the elections (with my vote), I would annoy me to hear them say their election result is a good sign of confidence of the people... Dear me!

Let's stick with that idea for a moment (and now we get back to the problem with the Bundesrat back): Even if the least undesirable option wins and our current government can remain in power for another four years: That wouldn't change anything! They can't do any bigger reforms (which are really needed in our country), since their laws won't pass the Bundesrat! And although we have a couple of state elections in the next year it will hardly change the composition of the Bundesrat and therefore won't change overall situation!

That brings me to the most incredible thought: Perhaps I should vote for the Christian Democrats? Even if I dislike their politics, something needs to be changed and it seems to me that they are the only party with a chance to change something within the next two years...

So with the knowledge that something needs to be done and for the sake of our country I would need to vote for the party which represents my personal interests least of all :( Damn.

No, I can't do that... Even though the internal politics probaly wouldn't change that much (which is an other sad chapter of Social Democratic disappointment)... a government ruled by the Christian Democrats will change our foreign politics! And I don't want that to happen.

So I will swallow the bitter pill and vote like I voted the last times. And watch our chancellor celebrating his victory as sign of confidence in his politics, knowing that most things won't change. *sigh*

Well, at least I'll vote for the only party which mentions "Open Source" in their agenda...

postet at 02:59 into [Debian] permanent link


Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl lives in Tuttlingen / Germany. He works as IT manager (specialized on Unix and SAN/Storage) for an international automotive supplier.