Monday, September 19, 2005

At Least We Aren’t the Only Country with Dysfunctional Elections

24 hours after polls closed in Germany, I can report that there has been an election. That is where the certainty ends. There is neither a new coalition government nor a new chancellor (yet.) This is almost like Florida! Well not quite…

It is normal that a coalition forms in the days following the election, but yesterday’s results were so mixed that forming the coalition will be very difficult. Will there be a “grand coalition” with the 2 main parties? Will the conservatives (red), business liberals (yellow) and the green party (green) forms a “stop light coalition? Will the liberals (black), the business liberals (yellow) and the greens (green) form a “Jamaica flag coalition?” It is anyone’s guess! Unlike in the States, people in Germany voted for a party yesterday. The chancellor is therefore the head of the party with the majority of seats (including the seats of their coalition partner) in the parliament.

I watched the election with a friend in front the parliament building where a large television screen had been set up. The beer was flowing, the brats were cooking and anticipation was in the air☺ It was fun to be with “among the people” as the first exit poll was released. While it was no surprise that the liberals had not done exceedingly well, the crowd was surprised when the conservatives did not pull the big numbers (around 40% of the vote) that they were hoping for. The big winner of the night was the FDP business party, who pulled votes from the conservatives. The newly formed “left party” (a mix of communists and disgruntled liberals) also did well and pulled votes from the liberals.

Like I said, what will happen next is anyone’s guess. The parties have 30 days to present a coalition. One thing is for sure… I will not miss tracking the coalition-building craziness in the papers at 6am every morning for the next month!


At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Tanya said...

Forget Traffic Light or Jamaica, how about a Rainbow Coalition? :-)

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous The Exit said...

well, rainbows were not discussed tonight on tv.

and, erin, here is not florida. berlin has just some problems in interpreting the results. but we have results. at least.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh geez the exit..
what would you expect from Dumb Amis..
but NO you are the land of Dichter and Denker.. EVERYTHING is supposed to run smoothly.
Screwups from Dumb Amis.. that is to be expected.. but in a land where 'ORDNUNG MUSS SEIN'.
sorry the exit, this is one dumb ami that is schadenfroh.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous The Exit said...

well, i let erin be "schadenfroh". I'm very amused on the discussions on TV.

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't we all slightly amused by the discussions on TV?


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