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And We Are Off To The Races


BansheeOne
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After a brief power struggle, Merz also got current CDU Bundestag floor leader Ralph Brinkhaus to yield the position to him, so he is now the unequivocal opposition leader.

Lots of entertainment on the fringes recently. The AfD nominated Max Otte, the head of the right-wing "Values Union" within the CDU, as their (rather hopeless) candidate for the upcoming presidential elections this week, which he accepted. The CDU promptly launched proceedings to kick him out of the party, and even controversial former domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maaßen quit the Values Union in protest over Otte's move.

Next national AfD co-head Jörg Meuthen resigned his position, continuing the party's tradition to lose the leaders considered moderate for the current stage from their double chair. In protest over Meuthen's "intentionally destructive" resignation, former CDU MP Erika Steinbach who left that party in 2017 in protest against Angela Merkel's politics and is already heading the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation, announced to officially join the latter.

Meanwhile in the Left Party, prominent members are engaging in a blocking war on Twitter over Corona. After Western left-winger Dieter Dehm suggested to merge the national Robert Koch Institute for disease control with the lottery HQ, he got attacked by national board member Niema Movassat and blocked the latter. Same happened to former MP Helin Evrim Sommer after she criticized serving MP Sevim Dağdelen for arguing against a vaccination mandate. Dağdelen's wingmate Heike Hänsel piled on by tweeting that she had rarely seen such an inane and slanderous comment of a comrade as Sommer's.

Dehm, Dağdelen and Hänsel are supporters of controversial former co-floor leader Sarah Wagenknecht, who in another move seen by inner-party critics as trying to build a Querfront with the far right has taken to lambast Corona measures. In the fighting between traditionalist and modern social justice-oriented leftists within the party, the last SED premier of the DDR Hans Modrow, 93, seemed to come out for the former in an open letter last week when he criticized that the ultimate aim of overcoming capitalism had gotten out of sight.

Modrow though also complained that the party had been taken over by West Germans, which would include the aforementioned trio. Or for that matter Klaus Ernst, who due to leadership politics took over the only Bundestag committee the much-reduced Left Party got to chair - climate protection. Which didn't sit well with the social justice modernists, since Ernst is a former carbuilding union representative who likes his Porsche and supports Nord Stream 2. He is also an active Twitter combattant, recently demanding a re-election of the party leadership in the collateral fighting between the latter and the Bundestag group. The saga continues.

Edited by BansheeOne
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Didn't Chile elect another Lefty/Quasi Commie for President? Hell, it really IS the 1970s all over again.

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12 hours ago, BansheeOne said:

Lots of entertainment on the fringes recently.

You didn't mention the Greens... of course, the leadership duo that, sure, managed to double their vote share (but ignobly failed to triple it) has to be replaced by Omid Nouripor (who, despite his accomplishments, is being advertised by his party "friends" as the token migrant) and some 28 year-old SJW. Who promptly announced her intention to "totally support" the government with "constructive criticism". I'm quite optimisitic that she'll make good of her threats in best Green tradition.

Go, team sunflower!

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An interesting potential tactic for the AfD, then, is to nominate someone they don't actually like from another party, so they will be thrown out of their own party. I like it. (Not suggesting that's what has happened here, though!)

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Well the crucial point is that Otte accepted the nomination. If they just proposed, say, new Green party co-head Omid Nouripour for president, there would be much confusion, but no repercussions for the latter. :D

Mind, they have quite successfully employed the tactic of tainting candidates nominated by others with their support, notably when Thomas Kemmerich of the FDP got surprisingly elected short-lived state premier of Thuringia in 2020 to great offense of the political Left, which maintained that no democratic candidate should be democratically elected with the votes of the radical Right. Though the Left Party's new district mayor of Berlin-Pankow somehow didn't accept demands to step down like Kemmerich did when the AfD recently claimed it was them enabling his surprise victory over the Green candidate. Secret ballot and all.

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"If they vote for him/her/it then it must be bad" is typical of the illogical thinking endemic to modern society.

I'm partial to redheaded ladies of independent means who can string sentences together into meaningful statements. I guess that means most of the FFZ denizens must hate them, right?

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6 hours ago, DB said:

"If they vote for him/her/it then it must be bad" is typical of the illogical thinking endemic to modern society.

I'm partial to redheaded ladies of independent means who can string sentences together into meaningful statements. I guess that means most of the FFZ denizens must hate them, right?

So am I, and it's a bonus if they have traveled a lot and like meat.

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The usual disappointment with a new government party seems to have set in early, probably helped by the high-profile crises they were thrown into, and the decisive election of Friedrich Merz as new CDU head and opposition leader. Full article also contains survey results on general opinions concerning said crises.

Quote

Date 04.02.2022

Author Sabine Kinkartz

New German government sees drop in opinion polls

Two months after taking office, Germany's new government is slipping in the polls. Voters are expressing dissatisfaction over the crisis in Ukraine and especially with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

"Where is Olaf Scholz?" That's a question that has been circulating on social media in Germany since the beginning of the year.

Whether it's about arms deliveries to Ukraine, the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China, the debate about introducing a general vaccine mandate to combat the COVID pandemic or measures against galloping inflation figures — the chancellor seems all but invisible, his statements seem vague.

This negatively impacted his approval ratings in the latest survey by pollster Infratest Dimap, in which 1,339 individuals across the country were polled by telephone (876) or online (463) between January 31 and February 2.

Only 43% of respondents said they were satisfied with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. One month ago that figure still stood at 60%.

But it is not only Scholz himself who gets bad marks. His entire party, the center-left Social Democrats, (SPD) is losing voter support — and significantly so. For the first time since the federal elections in September last year, the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) of former Chancellor Angela Merkel and their regional partners the Christian Social Union (CSU) again have the strongest support. 

Approval ratings for the SPD's two smaller coalition partners, however, the environmentalist Greens and the business-oriented Free Democrats (FDP), remain unchanged.

Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Green) have also lost support, while Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Green) has seen her popularity increase.

The current tensions in the Ukraine conflict pose massive foreign and security policy challenges for the new government. Some 54% of respondents see the situation as a threat to Germany. But at the height of the Ukraine crisis in 2014 and again in 2017, when Russian-Ukrainian tensions flared up again, Germans were even more concerned.

[...]

https://www.dw.com/en/new-german-government-sees-drop-in-opinion-polls/a-60652398

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Can't say I disagree.

Sure, I suppose if there was a major slip in popularity of a party after, say, proposing a new law or something, then that would be news in the sense that it would reflect a shift in the public perception of the quality of their work.

But most of the time, it's pretty much forgettable, especially poll results. I must confess, quite often I'm zoning out when the news are on, and our news haven't degenerated yet to car chases from helicopter cams and "let's speculate what the motives of the driver might be" as in Anchorman 2 (which isn't given enough credit for it's media satire part underneath).

On the topic of polls,

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier unsurprisingly re-elected for second term with 1,045 out of 1,472 votes in the Federal Assembly, though that's 178 less than delegates of the centrist parties which supported him. AfD nominee Max Otte also received less votes at 140 than the 152 party delegates. Left Party candidate Gerhard Trabert got 96, 25 more than they had delegates; Stefanie Gebauer 58, substantially more than the 18 delegates of the Free Voters who nominated her. There were 86 abstentions and twelve invalid ballots.

Steinmeier held an unusually political, particularly foreign policy acceptance speech in which he warned Putin of invading Ukraine; more remarkable because when he was sorta-campaigning for his first term as then-foreign minister five years ago, he spoke of NATO sabre-rattling in line with the social democratic peace party sentiment.

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  • 2 months later...

Well the Left Party is in a process of slow-motion self-destruction. After all the infighting between orthodox and woke leftists, between party and parliamentary leaders, over the evacuation operation from Afghanistan and their stance on Ukraine, scraping back into the Bundestag by the skin of their teeth but dropping out of their lone Western stronghold in the Saarland state assembly by not even a small margin after their co-founder and eminence gris Oskar Lafontaine made a well-timed exit from the party just before the recent election, a long-simmering sexism scandal in their Hesse state chapter just came to a boil after it emerged that the then-partner of now-national co-chair Janine Wissler was boinking a 17-year-old intern a couple years ago, complete with claims of sexual assault and leaked juicy chats. It wasn't Wissler but her co-chair Susanne Hennig-Wellsow from Thuringia though who threw the towel today in apparent frustration. I'm half-wondering if they'll find any replacement at all.

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  • 3 weeks later...

State elections in Schleswig-Holstein yesterday. Popular state premier Daniel Günther of the CDU brought in an excellent 43.4 percent (+11.4) and will be able to ditch either the Greens (18.3, +5.4) or FDP (6.4, -5.1) from his current "Jamaica" coalition. SPD at a historic low at 16.0 (-11.3); the AfD got voted out of a state assembly for the first time, missing the five-percent threshold at 4.4 (-1.5). The Left Party hardly even registered at 1.7 (-2.1); OTOH the South Schleswig Voters League would have entered at 5.7 (+2.4) even if they weren't freed of the minimum threshold for representing the Danish minority.

Pollsters say CDU voters made their choice because of Günther to an unusually high degree even for a state election, which are mostly about personality already; national politics and previous voting habits played less of a role, so this is nothing which new conservative national party head Friedrich Merz (whom liberal Günther didn't want) can necessarily take credit for. Conversely, the SPD probably suffered a double whammy from their candidate Thomas Losse-Müller being widely unknown, and the national party being mired in debate about their past and present Russia policy, and about Chancellor Olaf Scholz's leadership, or lack thereof.

Overall the CDU exceeded predictions by five to eight points, gaining as much as the SPD lost. That doesn't bode well for the latter's chances in the arguably much more important election in North Rhine Westphalia next Sunday, Germany's most populous state. Polls see them at 28 percent, with the CDU two to four percent ahead - though conservative state premier Hendrik Wüst just came in last October to replace failed chancellor candidate Armin Laschet, so he has nowhere near the same reputation as Günther. However, the decision may ultimately hinge on the result of the Greens, which are polling at 16-18, and whether they go with the SPD as their more traditional partner, or with the CDU.

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NRW state elections yesterday: CDU 35.7 (+2.8), SPD 26.7 (-4.6), Greens 18.2 (+11.8), FDP 5.9 (-6.7), AfD 5.4 (-1.9), Left Party 2.1 (-2.8). The previous CDU/FDP government thus lost its majority; clear winner Hendrik Wüst of the CDU is likely to replace the Liberals with the Greens, though there are outside chances for a CDU/SPD grand coalition or SPD/Green/FDP "traffic light" like currently in Berlin.

In Schleswig-Holstein, CDU state premier Daniel Günther is interestingly reported willing to continue the current "Jamaica" coalition with Greens and FDP even though he could ditch one of them after the previous weekend's election. Never change a running system I guess.

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Well the Greens pulled out of the probing talks on continuation of Jamaica in Schleswig-Holstein on the rather reasonable grounds that they didn't want to be part of a coalition that doesn't really need them. So I guess it will be a classical CDU-FDP government.

Interestingly, in NRW the CDU was the only party to about hold their amount of total votes from previous European, municipal and national elections since 2019; even the Greens, who nearly tripled their percentage from the last state election, lost some total in comparison due to the low overall turnout of just 55.5 percent. Of course people tend to vote differently for different levels of government, but I guess it shows that the Conservatives are still best at consistent mobilization.

nrw_2019_2022_absolut.png

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On 5/21/2022 at 9:49 AM, BansheeOne said:

Well the Greens pulled out of the probing talks on continuation of Jamaica in Schleswig-Holstein on the rather reasonable grounds that they didn't want to be part of a coalition that doesn't really need them. So I guess it will be a classical CDU-FDP government.

Actually it's CDU and Greens who have now agreed to coalition talks. Whatever.

Meanwhile the federal returning officer has filed with the Bundestag's election scrutiny committee to repeat the botched national vote in six out of twelve Berlin districts, including mine, since it cannot be ruled out that the disorganization had an impact on results there. This is particularly true of Reinickendorf, where CDU candidate Monika Grütters narrowly won the direct seat over her SPD contender; moreover, if the SPD had gotten just 800 more votes in the national secondary vote, they would have gained another seat, too.

Any potential changes won't affect the current majorities in parliament, but it's another official black eye for the chaotic Berlin city and state administration; the returning officer noted that even though other parts of the country were dealing with the aftermath of last year's floodings, and Cologne in fact had to close down several polling stations for hours while a world war bomb was being defused, the same problems didn't occur anywhere else. There is however partisan bickering whether the parallel state and city elections should be repeated in the same districts; the ruling SPD is against, the CDU for it, obviously because there is the potential of actually affecting majorities in the Berlin House of Deputies and district assemblies - not least because of the embarrassment.

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