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.

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

To get this woman to do anything, I mean.

Merkel

Angela Merkel’s friends and enemies lined up in Berlin on Friday morning to defend and attack the chancellor after she stayed up for hours with EU leaders in Brussels hammering out a common European Union plan on keeping out more asylum-seekers.

The ultimate question was whether Merkel had found a deal satisfactory enough to appease her Bavarian allies. The Christian Social Union (CSU) precipitated a government coalition crisis in the past few weeks by insisting that asylum-seekers who had already registered in other countries be turned away at the German border.

“It is the result of a debate in Germany that the migration issue is finally being addressed more strongly at an EU level.”

Alle CSU-Forderungen hat der EU-Gipfel nicht erfüllt. Dennoch gehen die Beschlüsse so weit in Richtung Abschottung, dass selbst Kanzler Kurz zufrieden ist. Ein Erfolg ist die Einigung, weil Europa auf gemeinsame Lösungen setzt.

Angela Merkel Won The Election?

Sure, she won. But just what did she win?

Jamaica

She won a much more streamlined CDU, for instance. That’s her party. Although still the biggest fraction in the Bundestag, they are a whole lot smaller now and will therefore be much easier for her to manage.

She won a junior partner that now has foam all over its mouth, the CSU in Bavaria. They lost even more votes than her party did. The CSU folks are so furious about this that they are preparing to fire their boss, Horst Seehofer, someone who she never got along with so that’s cool, but they have had it SO up to here with her Kuschelpolitik (cuddle policies) that they are also about to make some big demands she could still dodge in the past but will now have to agree to if she wants to stay in power (a ceiling for the number of refugees allowed to enter the country, for example).

She won a once in a lifetime opportunity to form a three-way government with two parties having completely different world views – the Greens (green counter-culture romanticism) and the FDP (free market liberalism). She has to make it work with them because that’s the only realistic option she’s got so they have her more over the barrel than the CSU does.

She also won a brand new political party in Germany, the AfD, her very own creation, which now sits fat and sassy as the third biggest fraction in the Bundestag, still completely radioactive but thoroughly able to slow everything down and make things ugly as the second biggest opposition party after the SPD – a former partner of hers she just helped murder on Sunday.

Wow. No wonder she looks so happy.

I’m telling you, either that woman has entered a completely different realm of human consciousness or they keep her pumped up with some REALLY good stuff the rest of us will never, ever be able to get our hands on.

Angela Merkel started her election campaign hoping for a wealth of options for forming a coalition government — from a repeat of the grand coalition with the Social Democrats to alliances with either the centrist Free Democrats (FDP) or the Green party. After Sunday night, the chancellor’s dance card contains just one name: Jamaica.

 

German Of The Day: Schaumschläger

That means “foam basher.” And that means somebody who makes a lot of noise but doesn’t deliver, a hot-air artist. Hmm. There sure is a whole lot of foam in that beer mug she’s holding down there, don’t you think?

Foam

“The times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over — I experienced that in the last few days,” Merkel told her supporters, according to Bloomberg. “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.”

That’s the moment when she took that foamy beer mug into her own hands, I guess. Or maybe somebody had just handed it to her after it had finally reached the end of this pipeline.

Breath deeply, everyone. It’s election season in Germany. And if you can’t pick up a few votes by bashing Donald Trump over here then you can’t poor foam out of a boot.

Die Kanzlerin brachte den Frust des G7-Gipfels vom Wochenende mit, die Parteivorsitzende das Wissen darum, dass Kritik an den USA und vor allem an Trump bei Wählerinnen und Wählern in Deutschland bestens ankommt. Der Hauptgegner im Wahlkampf, die Sozialdemokraten, spielen diese Karte schon länger. Und beide haben Europa wieder entdeckt.