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It's still your choice to make it political. I say, whatever "reason" he left in a note is still irrational, evidenced by the fact that he committed suicide afterwards, duh. There's the off chance that he knew something about the financial state of the state of Hesse that is about to trigger the summoning of Great Cthulhu, in which case you'll have my license to feel vindicated. It appears as a very remote chance to me, though. It's far more likely that not only the situation isn't hopeless, but that this crisis will be over at some point and the world will keep turning. Germany (and Hesse) will be deeper in debt than they are now, but we managed to reduce debt from over 80 to just 60% GDP in the last seven years so there's a good chance that we can do it again.

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Met a Berlin subway driver in job coaching two years ago who had quit over such an incident.

Suicide or accident? The latter can be harder to shrug off. Again depending on the circumstances.

 

 

 

 

There is some interesting information that had been published by an MSM paper and was then deleted: In his suicide letter he wrote that the society and economy are in a hopeless state.

 

https://www.tichyseinblick.de/daili-es-sentials/zum-tod-des-hessischen-finanzministers-thomas-schaefer/

 

 

 

Snippet from the comment section of your Tichy news website :

 

....

" Der Einfluss der Grünen wird in Hessen immer sichtbarer. Es ist ein sehr schädlicher, totalitärer Einfluss voller Heuchelei und Hass gegen Andersdenkende. " ....

 

 

when I see Tichy, I´m reminded of Ijon Tichy - favorite space traveller

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The reader's comments are the reader's comments, not the editor's. And as far as comments go that one is super harmless. Go to Die Zeit and an Artikel about Trump, Netanyahu, Orban, Poland and you'll see toxic.

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You expect dramatic shifts from Forsa, which have made them their business model and are widely-cited for it every week. No surprise then that they have CDU/CSU up ten points since their first March poll, and the Greens down seven while FGW sees them barely changed with one less point.

 

Ah yes. Forsa just had the Greens drop below the SPD at 16 and 17 percent respectively. Minute change at one point each really, but good for some headlines again. They also added another point to CDU/CSU, now at 37. Civey's online-based daily numbers are rather similar as of Thursday with CDU/CSU 37.3, Greens 17.7, SPD 15.7, AfD 9.6, Left 8.0 and FDP 6.0.

 

Yougov, another online pollster, has CDU/CSU lower at 34 and AfD higher at 12, but again similar for the rest with Greens 18, SPD 16, Left nine and FDP six percent. Infratest dimap, still phone-polling for public broadcaster ARD, deviates further, seeing the Greens still at 22, SPD also 16, but the rest lower with AfD at ten, Left at seven and FDP at five.

 

Additional COVID-related polling from this week's surveys: people are overall satisfied with government action in the crisis. Per Civey, number of those who think measures are sufficient has exceeded those who don't since 25 March, though there is also a rise at a lower level of those thinking they are exaggerated; currently 56, 29 and 15 percent respectively. Per FGW on the same issue, it's 75, 20 and four.

 

According to Infratest, support for contact restrictions is generally non-partisan, though as so often, AfD supporters are the odd men out when it comes to general satisfaction with the government's crisis management and view of the overall situation in Germany. Both them and Left Party supporters are also least supportive of the restrictions and most worried about long-term loss of liberties, though the differences are smaller.

 

Confidence vs. worry about conditions in Germany by party affiliation:

 

crchart-6065~_v-videowebl.jpg

 

Satisfaction with government's crisis management:

 

crchart-6073~_v-videowebl.jpg

 

Support for contact restrictions:

 

crchart-6081~_v-videowebl.jpg

 

Worry about long-term loss of liberties:

 

crchart-6085~_v-videowebl.jpg

 

Worry about being infected, by age group - unsurprisingly less great among the younger:

 

crchart-6069~_v-videowebl.jpg

 

Worry about appropriate medical care, generally less great:

 

crchart-6077~_v-videowebl.jpg

 

Trust in health institutions and doctors generally great:

 

crchart-6075~_v-videowebl.jpg

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Well, here's the COVID impact on probabilities of directly-won districts. Germany is turning blue (or black, in proper party colors). The SPD hasn't recovered from its recent losses. The Greens have lost most of their previous chances. The Left is clinging to its East Berlin districts. The AfD is down to one district in its heartland - and that barely, at a 58 percent chance of winning it.

 

btw21e_prognose_200408.png

 

A more imminent result may be that the virus will basically decide the CDU leadership contest. The convention to elect AKK's successor was originally to be held on 25 April, but postponed. Meanwhile, the team of Armin Laschet and Jens Spahn has gotten all the media exposure as minister president of the most populous German state and federal health minister respectively. Friedrich Merz' main claim to fame has been catching the bug himself and home-quaranting for two weeks, then making some unusual compliments on how the Merkel government is handling the crisis. Nobody is even talking of Norbert Röttgen anymore.

 

Depending upon the eventual date of the convention, the Laschet-Spahn duo looks like a shoe-in. If the CDU was cynical to a degree they haven't displayed under Merkel so far, they should probably provoke the grand coalition to fail right afterwards and hope to sail to victory in snap elections while they're still up there at ca. 35 percent and the Greens down to 20-minus.

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That would be the smart thing to do. The MSM are singing the praises of the government's wise leadership and the economic effects of the shutdown aren't felt yet.

 

May the not so Grand Coalition live to the regular end of its term in the autumn of 2021! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Camera team of public TV got beat up in Berlin by a large group of masked persons a few days ago. Police made a few arrests and let all of them out of custody. Newspaper online won´t say who they were.

 

Anybody know ?

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  • 5 months later...

Well, the Bundestag agreed to a mini-reform of electoral law to stop its own growth; or more specifically, the grand coalition agreed on a minimal consensus that will cost both parties the least seats, against the votes of the opposition. Essentially, up to three supernumerary seats won by a party through direct district votes will no longer be compensated by extra seats for the others; rather the party will have to partially compensate internally by shuffling seats around its state lists. For 2024 - so after the next election - the number of districts will also be reduced from 299 to 280.

Models show that with current polling, the Bundestag would shrink by 13 seats from 751 to 738 under the first step - three each for CDU/CSU, SPD and Greens, two for the AfD, and one each for Left and FDP. The root problem isn't really solved of course; last election.de district projection (doesn't embed anymore as the new board software allows only https links) shows an overwhelming CDU/CSU lead in directly-won seats contrasting with national secondary vote polls of 35-37 for them. Greens 18-21, SPD 14-16, AfD 9-12, Left 7-9, FDP 5-6.

 

 

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On 10/10/2020 at 9:54 AM, BansheeOne said:

Well, the Bundestag agreed to a mini-reform of electoral law to stop its own growth; or more specifically, the grand coalition agreed on a minimal consensus that will cost both parties the least seats, against the votes of the opposition. Essentially, up to three supernumerary seats won by a party through direct district votes will no longer be compensated by extra seats for the others; rather the party will have to partially compensate internally by shuffling seats around its state lists. For 2024 - so after the next election - the number of districts will also be reduced from 299 to 280.

NO!!!!!!!!! 🤯😲😦

I want "Der Großtag"! Der Tag must grow prodigiously, representative and proportional!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bundestag vice speaker Thomas Oppermann of the SPD, 66, suddenly collapsed while filming for a TV interview yesterday and died in a Göttingen hospital. He had been a former Lower Saxony state minister for science and culture under then-mininister president Gerhard Schröder in the 90s, directly-elected MP for Göttingen since 2005, head of the SPD Bundestag group from 2013 to 2017, but never quite managed the step to a federal cabinet job; in part due to his rash temperament, but also because doubts remained whether he had warned fellow SPD MP Sebastian Edathy of investigations in the epic child porn affair covered on this thread some years ago. He had actually announced not to run again next year recently on the grounds that he had spent enough time in parliament, but his death comes as a complete surprise.

Meanwhile the CDU has postponed its 4 December convention supposed to decide on a new party head into next year due to the COVID situation, and also debates options to make it a virtual conference (which might actually need a constitutional amendment). Unsurprisingly this was promoted by candidates who don't see a good chance of winning soon, like NRW state minister president Armin Laschet, and criticized by those who do, like Friedrich Merz. If you trust surveys, the most popular candidate is however actually one not even officially seeking the top job - health minister Jens Spahn, who is the conservative supplement on Laschet's ticket.

While Spahn has gained considerable profile in the COVID crisis (he recently tested positive himself and is currently in home isolation), it's being pointed out that a motivation of his supporters might be that he wouldn't also be the automatic chancellor candidate for 2021 due to his relative youth, opening the way for CSU head and Bavarian state minister president Markus Söder. Söder himself has been refuting aspirations on his part while at the same time making pointed statements about the decision process, like that the chancellor candidate should be nominated by both CDU and CSU, and not just the former.

Conservatives throughout Germany have frequently dreamed of a CSU chancellor, though contrary to the traditional image of the party, Söder is comparatively liberal. He has jockeyed for national influence by leading the field in restrictive measures against COVID, which however blew up in his face a bit in summer when a grandiose but rash scheme to mass-test travellers returning to Germany through Bavaria created chaos - since state ressources couldn't be mobilized fast enough, it depended upon volunteer organizations alerted with little preparation, and some people who did test positive weren't notified for weeks. Anyway, both times a CSU candidate actually ran for chancellor, he lost - Franz Josef Strauß in 1980, and Edmund Stoiber in 2002.

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After some acrymony over charges by Friedrich Merz that "the party establishment" was trying to prevent him, which was thought unbecoming a candidate seeking the party chair, the three contenders agreed to hold the convention in January.

Quote

Date 31.10.2020

Germany: Angela Merkel's party to decide her successor in January

There are three contenders for leadership of Angela Merkel's center-right CDU party. The winner will be decided in mid-January.

The next leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will be decided in mid-January, the party announced on Saturday.

The three candidates — Friedrich Merz, Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen — agreed to the date for the party congress, CDU general secretary Paul Ziemiak announced on Twitter. It was originally scheduled for December 4 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Unity in the CDU is important for Germany, particularly in such difficult times," Ziemiak said. He said the candidates hoped to be able to hold the meeting in person, but that it may take place digitally. 

More details will be decided on December 14.

[...]

Popularity boost amid pandemic

The CDU is polling well after its relatively successful handling of the pandemic. However, infection rates are soaring and voters are bracing for a second partial lockdown and a difficult winter.

Former businessman and conservative Merz, 64, is polling better than both Laschet, 59 — who is premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and more liberal — and Röttgen, 55, a foreign policy expert. But the party elite favor Laschet.

The CDU is the largest party in the Bundestag and leads Germany in a coalition with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD).

Merz has accused "parts of the party establishment" of acting to prevent him from becoming leader.

The open accusations are unusual for the traditionally disciplined party, prompting current chairwoman Kramp-Karrenbauer to urge the candidates not to engage in "discussions that damage the CDU as a whole," in comments to Der Spiegel news magazine. 

After Saturday's announcement, Merz said on Twitter that he "very much" welcomed the agreement: "It is a good compromise that we have agreed on today.

Laschet also declared on Twitter that the CDU needs "clarity for the next year." 

"Our joint proposal serves this purpose," he added.

Röttgen too said he was very pleased "that we have come to a good solution for the federal party congress together." 

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-angela-merkels-party-to-decide-her-successor-in-january/a-55461472

Other party conventions have been cancelled due to COVID, too; the Berlin SPD postponed theirs, which was supposed to elect a new leadership with federal family minister Franziska Giffey and Berlin house of deputies group leader Raed Saleh replacing outgoing Lord Mayor Michael Müller - again, as it was originally planned for May. Same for the Left Party, which further postponed their national conference in Erfurt already moved from June, also due to elect new party co-heads.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another possible plagiarism affair victim. Family minister Franziska Giffey of the SPD, former mayor of Berlin's colorful Neukölln district and popular big hope for the future of the party, had her doctoral thesis get in the crosshairs last year; she then said the usual, that she certainly had not cheated purposefully, but would no longer seek national party leadership as she had before, and resign her cabinet post if the Free University of Berlin was to rescind her degree. The FU's evaluation (at her own behest) found that objective deceit could not be established to the claimed degree and the thesis was still and independent scientific work, merely reprimanding Giffey for the parts she had cited without giving sources.

Critics said that a reprimand was not an instrument provided for by the uni's exam regulations, and Berlin's CDU went to the trouble of commissioning an expertise of their own, which questioned the result on formal and material grounds. The FU has launched a new evaluation; Giffey herself stated this week that she would renounce her degree to avert damage to her person, family, party etc., but retain her office and still seek leadership of the Berlin party chapter on 27 November. Of course by now there are calls from CDU and FDP, and even some from the SPD, for her to step down by the same standards applied in earlier cases from other parties.

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Next national election may be set on 26 September 2021. Time to fire up the old auto-update polltracker. Election.de currently projects the Bundestag to grow from 709 to 743 members even with the planned mini-reform of electoral law.

germany-2017-latest-medium.svg

Satiric "The Party" won their first Bundestag member this week as former SPD MP Marco Bülow, who left the Social Democrats in November 2018 over their re-entering the grand coalition with CDU/CSU and general dissatisfaction with their course, joined them. Along with two former AfD members who recently joined the Liberal-Conservative Reformers of ousted AfD founder Bernd Lucke, that makes a total of nine parties represented in parliament, plus five independents who also left the AfD earlier.

Meanwhile Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state interior minister Lorenz Caffier of the CDU resigned his position after 14 years over a 2018 handgun buy (as a licensed hunter) from a shooting trainer who was later found to be affiliated with the "Nordkreuz" group of right-wing preppers, some members of which planned to round up and execute leftists and other undesirables if public order broke down in a crisis; or rather, as often the case, he resigned over botched and reluctant communication in the affair. Even some from the SPD camp (also in a grand coalition with the CDU in MV) criticized a distasteful partisanship among his attackers who accused him of making pacts with Nazis, pointing out that Lorenz had always led a dedicated political fight against right-wing extremism, while a loud accuser like Left Party state chapter head Thorsten Koplin spied on youth clubs for the Stasi back in the DDR.

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