German Of The Day: Jamaika-Aus

That means, sadly, the collapse of the Jamaica talks to form a CDU/CSU/FDP/Green government. And is, coincidentally, Germany’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Jamaica

Sadly because the SPD has now been given the chance to come out of its we’re-absolutely-positively-never-ever-going-to-come-out-of-opposition pout after getting creamed during this year’s election. The SPD can do this kind of 180 degree turn stuff. Nobody cares. Just like nobody cares about who the chancellor is, apparently.

Denoting the ongoing failure to form a governing majority in German, Jamaica Out was one of several political neologisms chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) on Friday for its Word of the Year, which has been awarded since 2009.

PS: This kind of stuff gives me a hangover. I think I’ll drive over to the new Denny’s in Hanover and order me some pancakes or something (this article says Denny’s is where you go in US-Amerika for your hangover breakfast).

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A Little Paralysis Never Hurt Anybody

If this is Germany’s acting government they sure are pretty lousy actors.

Merkel

On Thursday, the German chancellor spent two hours at the German president’s office in Bellevue Palace with the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz, and the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer. The president wants to prevent new elections and has urged the SPD and the CSU, the conservative alliance partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to start afresh with the unpopular grand coalition, despite all past disappointments.

It will likely come to that, as the SPD is now ready for talks, even if it is still keeping its options open, including tolerating a CDU/CSU minority government. But it may take a while until a government is formed — some observers suspect the country could have to wait until March for a government to emerge from September’s election. After all, just a few weeks ago, the SPD was fiercely determined to reposition itself in the opposition.

But honestly, who really cares about any of this, anyway? As long as people here can still concentrate on the really dangerous governments out there chances are that nobody else will even notice that Germany doesn’t have one.

Give Us More Of What We Just Voted Out Of Office

The city of Berlin isn’t the only thing that is dysfunctional in Germany these days.

Merkel

Maybe the Germans ought to consider fixing their parliamentarian system, too. I mean, the one thing that voters made perfectly clear just a few weeks back is that they do NOT want a continuation of the so-called GroKo (grand coalition government of CDU/CSU and SPD). But after Empress Merkel failed miserably during the Jamaica exploratory talks by going greener and green and letting the FDP get away, new talks are beginning to go for that very thing.

She doesn’t want to go with a minority CDU/CSU government, you see, because than her majesty’s government would have to explain everything to parliamentarians first before getting a majority to pass any legislation. She can explain things just fine, it’s just that fewer and fewer Germans agree with her explanations anymore. But a minority government is what she must go with, I find, until new elections are held. This, too, being something that nobody wants.

So, German voters got what they voted for, I guess: Nothing that they wanted.

Deputy SPD head Olaf Scholz said recently that a rebirth of the grand coalition would “have negative consequences for our democracy.” It would also mean that the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) would be the strongest party in opposition. That means it would always have the privilege in parliament of delivering the first rebuttal to Merkel’s speeches.

Water Now At Ankle Level

And rising, captain.

Polls

The chancellor and her party’s (and partner party’s) popularity poll ratings: Not wirklich (really) so good at the moment. Some think this might possibly maybe have something to do with her refugee policy.

A current election poll indicates that the popularity of the Union (CDU/CSU) has dropped to its lowest level since July, 2012. The weekly “Sunday trend” by the Emnid opinion research institute taken for the “Bild am Sonntag” newspaper indicates that the CDU and the CSU now have an approval rating of only 34 percent, two percentage points lower than the previous week.

Die Union kommt in einer aktuellen Wahlumfrage auf den schlechtesten Wert seit Juli 2012. Im Emnid-“Sonntagstrend”, den das Meinungsforschungsinstitut wöchentlich für die “Bild am Sonntag” erhebt, erreichen CDU und CSU nur noch 34 Prozent, zwei Prozentpunkte weniger als in der Vorwoche.

Germany Soon To Get The Government It Voted For

Not. In other countries you usually get the government you vote for. But not here in Germany. At least not this time.

Angela Merkel

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.

Uppity In Your Face

My, how time flies. It’s been two months now. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

SPD

Time for new elections, I’d say.

The SPD got 25.7% of votes compared with Mrs Merkel’s 41.5%. Mrs Merkel’s supporters are growing frustrated…

The bizarre situation has arisen because Mrs Merkel, her strong showing notwithstanding, fell just short of a majority of seats…

Mr Gabriel made another concession to the SPD’s left wing: a formal resolution on November 14th to be open in future to coalition talks with Die Linke. The two “red” parties used to detest each other, Die Linke considering the SPD sell-outs to capitalism and the SPD viewing Die Linke as a chaotic troupe of Marxists nostalgic for East Germany and dangerously hostile to NATO and America. Now, however, there is speculation that the SPD could break a coalition with Mrs Merkel in mid-term and go on to form an all-left government, unprecedented at the national level, dubbed “R2G” for red-red-green.

Just get it over with already, already, and call for a new election. They’ll never stop wasting your time otherwise.

The most important country in the European Union is thus being run by a caretaker cabinet, unable to take important decisions.

SPD In Coalition Government = Gender Quota Legislation

Thank goodness this gender quota nonsense is finally about to be settled so a new coalition government can be formed in Germany.

Quota

Word has it that the CDU has agreed to let the SPD in if the proposed legislation stipulates only that each gender will be represented by at least one gender each.

German companies listed on the stock exchange will need at least 30% of supervisory board members to be female from 2016, according to proposed legislation.