Not Bad

The polling predictions made before the Bavarian election yesterday, I mean.

Polls

Whether the actual results are bad or not depends entirely upon your point of view.

The CSU’s drop was not quite as bad as predicted (although they will no longer be able to govern without a coalition partner), the SPD’s drop was breathtaking (the worst regional election result in their history) and the AfD did not get the votes that many had feared they would. This was probably due to the success of the regional “Free Voters” party (CSU-light) that will now most likely be the CSU’s coalition partner. The free market-friendly FDP just got in by the skin of their teeth with 5.1 percent of the vote (5 percent minimum needed). The Left didn’t make it in, as usual. The Greens made a huge leap forward but who cares? This is Bavaria and they don’t go for this utopian stuff so they’ll make a fine opposition party which is where they belong.

So it looks like Angie Merkel will live to resign another day, as usual.

Die CSU hat die absolute Mehrheit in Bayern verloren, sie kommt nach dem vorläufigen Endergebnis nur noch auf 37,2 Prozent. Die SPD erlebt ein Debakel. Wahlgewinner sind die Grünen, die Freien Wähler und die AfD.

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How Accurate Are The Polls For German Elections?

We know how accurate they can be for American elections, right? Let’s see what the results will be like after the Bavarian election today.

Bavaria

Some say if Merkel’s CSU partner party loses as bad as these polling number suggest it could be the straw that finally breaks her camel’s back. I doubt it will happen, though. As the Germans say: Totgesagte Leben Länger. This chick ain’t never going away.

Just like Oktoberfest, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative sister party is woven into the checked fabric of Bavarian culture.

The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Germany’s richest state since 1957, sharing power just once in a coalition with the free-market FDP. And since then, every Bavarian prime minister has risen from its ranks.

But now, swift as a reveller draining his tankard, support has ebbed away.

The CSU is bracing itself for humiliating losses in Sunday’s Bavarian state election. The party is on course to lose the absolute majority its leaders once took for granted.

Bayern steht vor einem politischen Erdbeben.

The Natives Are Getting Restless

The Empress of Germany/Europe is getting headwinds from members of her own party. Of all mere people.

Empress

Two relatively unknown CDU politicians are planning to challenge Angela Merkel for the position of party chairwoman of the CDU during the party’s conference this coming December. Only the winner would then be referred to as the party “chairman” if elected. But still.

How rude. She’s only been in the highest echelon of the CDU for eighteen years (and chancellor since 2005). More respect, please. She’s like, I dunno, the Robert Mugabe of Europe. Never touch a running system and all that. Not even when they’re non-running ones.

“Mir ist bewusst, dass es keine Wahl auf Augenhöhe sein wird. Dennoch ist dieser Schritt notwendig.”

There’s Nowhere Else To Go

Thanks again, Angie. They couldn’t have done it without you.

Sway

Populist attitudes are on the rise in Germany, particularly from within the political center. One in three voters now sympathizes with populist policies, according to a new study by the Bertelsmann Foundation.

The latest “Populism Barometer” found that almost every third German voter sympathizes to some degree with populist anti-establishment policies, whether on the left- or right-wing of the political spectrum.

At the same time, the number of sampled voters who identify as politically centrist has decreased by four percentage points, to just 32.8 percent.

“Right-wing voters support the AfD because the party is right wing. But voters in the middle will also vote AfD because the party speaks to their populist sympathies.”

Mysterious

Puzzling. Enigmatic. Inexplicable.

AfD

The latest poll indicates that the AfD has now surpassed the SPD in popularity and is now number two among the political parties in Germany. None of the other parties will work with them, of course. Not yet, anyway. Of course, none of the other parties will ever need to work with them if they get an absolute majority of the vote in the next election.

As for the causes of this continued surge in popularity, none of the smart folks in government, academia or media can figure out why this is happening. I think it’s time to call even more experts, don’t you?

Die Polizei teilte am Samstag mit, der afghanische Asylbewerber leide nach der Einschätzung eines Gutachters an einer tiefgreifenden psychiatrischen Erkrankung.

German Of The Day: Beschönigen

That means to whitewash.

Merkel

And as Angela Merkel herself says, there is nothing to whitewash about her party’s decision to refuse reelecting her man Volker Kauder as CDU party whip. They elected the Merkel critical Ralph Brinkhaus instead.

The natives are getting restless. The AfD keeps growing in popularity. Her coalition partner SPD is still dead and getting deader by the minute. Now her own party members are trying their hand at open rebellion. Other than that, though, everyhing is looking just fine.

“Das ist eine Stunde der Demokratie, in der gibt es auch Niederlagen, und da gibt es auch nichts zu beschönigen.”

It’s Not Supposed To Grow

The AfD’s popularity. But it keeps on growing. How can that be?

AfD

Anyone “good German” you ask will explain to you that the AfD is “bad” and “racist” and “Nazi” and “completely unacceptable.” The friendly people from the German media will explain that to you, too. How could such an awful group of people keep on growing in popularity? Something must be wrong somewhere. What on earth could it be?

The AFD is benefiting from being the official opposition to Chancellor Merkel’s grand coalition government. Polls rate it Germany’s second most popular party, dropping the Social Democrats to third.

It’s Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature

Or fool with her, I should say. Aka The Empress of Europe. Aka Mutti.

Mother Nature

Get in the sack, Mr. Maasen. Come on, get in the sack. It’s time to sack you. You criticized my choice of words. You suggested I have a hand in Germany’s fake news industrial lying press complex. I don’t have a hand in it. I run the damned thing. It is time for you to go.

Rival political factions have been locked in a bitter war of words ever since Mr Maasen, the head of domestic intelligence service the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) contradicted Mrs Merkel over the veracity of a video appearing to show foreigners being attacked on the streets on Chemnitz by neo-Nazi extremists.

Laut einem Bericht lässt Kanzlerin Merkel Verfassungsschutzchef Maaßen fallen – ohne Rücksicht auf dessen Chef Innenminister Seehofer.

German Of The Day: Sitzfleisch (vs. Aussitzen)

Take Angela Merkel. Please.

Merkel

To have Sitzfleisch (sitting meat) means, on the one hand, to be able to sit still for the long periods of time required to be truly productive; it means the stamina to work through a difficult situation and see a project through to the end. On the other hand, it can also refer to someone who doesn’t know when to leave. You know, like the guest who won’t go home or the chancellor who won’t go home, either?

Aussitzen (sitting something out), however, is to deal with a difficult situation or crisis by not doing anything about it. That is, to just wait it out until it finally goes away – or until the person waiting it out claims that it has gone away. You know, what Angela Merkel and other politicians like her regularly do?

“German condenses what would take about seven or eight words in English into one particular word. The humour comes from the density of the word and the fact that it expresses something in such condensed form that we can’t get anywhere near.”

Angela Merkel Condemns Xenophobia

After her decision to let more than a million refugees into Germany.

Bundestag

She hasn’t got around to condemning murder yet but she’s lernfähig (capable of learning), or at least she claims to be.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned xenophobic attacks and the use of Nazi slogans in a robust speech to parliament on Wednesday after the most violent far-right demonstrations in decades exposed deep divisions in the country.

Protests of right-wing radicals in the eastern city of Chemnitz two weeks ago after the fatal stabbing of a German blamed on two migrants has reignited a fierce debate about her 2015 decision to let more than a million refugees into Germany.

Dann griff er Kanzlerin Merkel scharf an: Sie habe „Fake News“ verbreitet, als ihr Sprecher von „Hetzjagden“ gesprochen habe… „Verbarrikadieren Sie sich nur weiter im Bundeskanzleramt. Ich wiederhole meine Frage: Wer gefährdet den politischen Frieden?“