Not. In other countries you usually get the government you vote for. But not here in Germany. At least not this time.
Close only counts in horseshoes and dancing (and hand grenades). And Angela Merkel getting close to having an absolute majority in the German election two months ago just wasn’t close enough. So let’s hear it for proportional representation! The FDP is gone. The Greens are still licking their wounds. What’s left? The SPD and the Left party are left, that’s who’s left.
So now the losers are dictating the agenda. In more ways than one.
No, it’s not good news. And it gets worse. As part of his pivot to the left, Gabriel has promised that the Social Democrats will be open to coalitions with the Left party, the heirs of the East German Communists. Since the SPD, the Left and the Greens already hold a majority in parliament, the temptation for Gabriel to break with Merkel in, say, two years to form a “red-red-green” coalition with himself as chancellor could become irresistible.