Oh Great And Powerful Wahl-O-Mat…

Tell me who to vote for. But computer says no!

Wahl

It’s odd. Germans seem to really love this goofy computer program that tells them how to vote. Now they’re upset because a German court has shut it down (temporarily?) because smaller parties feel they are at a great disadvantage here (which they are anyway because they are smaller parties). The “Vote-O-Mat” only allows the user to select up to eight parties for comparison purposes and this hurts the really tiny and the really wacko ones.

And this before the big European elections next week! OMG who’s going to tell me who to vote for now?

Das Gericht begründete den Schritt damit, dass man auf der Seite seine politischen Auffassungen nur mit dem Programm von bis zu acht Parteien abgleichen könne. Das sei eine Benachteiligung kleinerer und unbekannterer Parteien.

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Germans Are Just Crazy About The EU

Or at least that’s the impression you get consuming the media reports here.

Manfred

Manfred

In reality, however, nobody really knows what it is or how it works, much less who to vote for. Not even when a German is running for European Commission president in the upcoming election.

Only around one in four Germans (26 percent) knows who Manfred Weber is, just a month ahead of a European election he hopes will help propel him to being the next European Commission president.

But Weber, the lead candidate for the European People’s Party (EPP), is not alone in having a relatively low profile on the domestic political scene. According to a YouGov poll commissioned by dpa, 45 percent of Germans do not know any of the nine leading party candidates for the European Parliament election.

I Can’t Stand It

I know you planned it!

CDU

Conspiracy theory of the week: The CDU sabotaged Friedrich Merz’s chances for winning the election for party chairman against Mini-Merkel on Friday by turning down his microphone during his speech. I believe it. Of course, I also believe that interdimensional shapeshifting lizards are calling all the shots here on Planet Earth from a secret bunker complex somewhere under the polar ice cap, thus causing the ice there to melt. But still.

Wirre Gerüchte: Falsches Spiel mit Merz? CDU soll sein Mikro absichtlich gedimmt haben.

“Trump Still Clicks”

CNN title: Trump’s been president for two years. Germans still can’t look away. Nor will they look away. Because they can’t.

Trump

Why should this surprise anyone? This a perfectly normal everady pathological German obsession, no different than their irrational infatuation with Obama before Trump and their Verteufelung (demonization) of Bush before him (and on and on it goes). Germans are hysterical in these matters. It’s a collective psychological issue, an obsession with US-Amerika in the end. What is more, this collective hysteria is very profitable for the brain police in German media who milk it daily.

I’ve always liked this guy’s take on it (a Spiegel man himself): “German schadenfreude knows no bounds, particularly when it comes to the United States. The country loves to feel superior to a superpower like America. Yet Germany also harbors a childish infatuation with Obama — one which has little political grounding. The reasons are psychological. …The criticism of America has always been a bit infantile. One is familiar with the theory from psychoanalysis, when people talk about transference, or when suppressed feelings or emotions are overcome by projecting them onto others. It may work for a while, improving one’s feeling of self-worth by devaluing an imagined adversary. But it always falls short. Which is why the ritual must be constantly carried out anew.” – Jan Fleischhauer

Over two floors of Der Spiegel’s glasshouse building, walls bearing seven decades of the magazine’s covers serve as a colorful chronology of modern history. On one wall are cartoons of an angry yellow-haired man that are so provocative they’re impossible to miss.

“Trump still clicks, people are interested in those stories — and the same applies to our magazine stories and covers.”

Godot Has Just Left The Building

A snap election in Hesse this weekend? Yeah, maybe. But didn’t we just have one in Bavaria?

Godot

The real German problem is more subtle… She is broken, Señor. Germany, I mean. And ain’t nobody gonna fix her until she gets, like, really broken.

Waiting for Germany today is like waiting for Godot. Nothing will get fixed: neither the eurozone, nor climate, nor migration. Comfy but angst-ridden, Germans will keep having fake domestic crises, while the rest of Europe tries to keep a lid on real ones. Eventually, those real ones will erupt. And then a continent could accidentally get lost. At that point, Germans will finally get a proper crisis. Maybe it’s just as well that they kept rehearsing now.

Vor dem Knall – In Hessen findet am Sonntag nicht irgendeine Landtagswahl statt. Es wird ein politisches Erdbeben geben, die Auswirkungen wird vor allem Berlin spüren. Die Frage ist nur noch, ob es zuerst die SPD oder die CDU erreicht. Die Große Koalition steht vor dem Ende, das Land vor einer Zeitenwende

The Two-Party Is Over?

And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of folks. Or Volk, if you prefer.

SPD

The German Social Democrats’ (SPD) existential crisis can no longer be treated as a typical party crisis. The party captured a mere 9.7% of the vote in regional elections in Bavaria this month, and it is trailing both the populist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and the Greens in national opinion polls. With another important regional election fast approaching in Hesse, polls indicate that the SPD will lose still more support, albeit not as dramatically as in Bavaria…

Most likely, the fall of the CDU/CSU-SPD duopoly will undermine German hegemony in Europe, even if no other country can replace Germany in that role. At the same time, the weakening of the SPD will diminish the socialist faction in the European Parliament, where a similar eclipse of two-party rule could be in the offing. Yet without the twin pillars of the European People’s Party and the Party of European Socialists, the parliament will be incapable of making even insignificant decisions. As Germany and the SPD go, so goes Europe.

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.

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.

Perfect For The Job

As head of a “worker’s” party like Germany’s SPD, I mean: Somebody who has never worked a day in her life.

Nahles

Folks like that know best how to distribute/redistribute other people’s money. I guess this election means that the SPD commrades want to stretch out their party’s long and excruciating terminal illness for as long as they possibly can. Good choice, workers. She is clearly the best man for the job.

Andrea Nahles has become the first woman to lead Germany’s Social Democrats — though by a disappointing margin of votes…

After garnering a meager 66.35 percent of delegate support at a special conference in the western German city of Wiesbaden on Sunday, Andrea Nahles takes over a Social Democratic Party (SPD) in an unprecedented crisis.

Scarcely a year ago, SPD delegates had unanimously elected Martin Schulz, the longtime president of the European Parliament, as party leader and chancellor candidate. The result was a historic national electoral debacle against Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), leaving the SPD deeply divided over policy and personnel.

After initial refusals, party leaders decided to extend the grand coalition with Merkel’s CDU and Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, which allies with the chancellor’s conservatives. Nahles’ job is to remake and re-energize the SPD while ensuring that its cabinet ministers can do their jobs with minimum of interference by fellow Social Democrats.

“Solidarity is one of the main things missing in this globalized, neoliberal turbocharged world.”

If The Deutsche Post Does It It’s Different

As usual, German Scheiße doesn’t stink.

Deutsche Post

When it comes to data mining = Cambridge Analytica = Facebook = US-Amerika, we’re talking pure evil. The Deutsche Post, on the other hand, is the Deutsche Post so it ain’t no big deal – when they do the same thing. The outrage hält sich in Grenzen (is kept within limits).

Deutsche Post sold client microtargeting data to the Christian Democrats and Free Democrats before the 2017 elections. Is this a scandal along the lines of Cambridge Analytica in the US? That depends on whom you ask.

“German ‘data-driven’ canvassing cannot be compared with the highly sophisticated US campaigns, which use reliable data, experimental findings and data modeling to identify individual voter targets.”