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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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.

It’s Guys Like These Who Give Liberals A Good Name

These are your “classic” liberals, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP). And more power to them.

Lindner

Lindner has very good reasons to not join a four-party coalition just after he managed to lead the FDP from the political wilderness back into parliament. He has sought to re-brand the FDP as a party with clear principles, delineating core demands that the FDP would pursue: investing in education, promoting digital transformation, lowering taxes, blocking an EU “transfer union” and controlling immigration. After a compelling campaign, the party re-entered parliament with 10.7 percent of the vote.

“It is better not to govern than to govern in the wrong way.”

SPD Unsure About Which False Move To Make Next

As in being worst. False moves are the only kind of moves Germany’s SPD makes these days.

SPD

Now that the Jamaica negotiations went tango uniform….

Bloodied but proud and steeped in tradition and legacy, the SPD thought it had done the right thing after September’s devastating election result by announcing its desire to regroup as the main opposition party in the new German parliament…

But if the SPD sticks to its opposition role now, its detractors might accuse the party of leaving the country in the lurch and not doing its democratic duty to help ensure a working and stable government…

On the other hand, if the SPD comes out of its opposition shell and agrees to revisit a grand coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, it may well be accused of opportunism and lacking backbone.

The SPD doesn’t have any backbone, you see (that’s the FDP‘s job). So being accused of not having one is clearly out of the question. And if comes to new elections then? They get slammed even harder. Same personnel, same platform. Brilliant leadership there, Martin Schulz. I think we’ve got our German word for the day here and it doesn’t even need a translation: Kindergarten.

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.

 

Politicians Making Promises They Can’t Keep?

This is something new, right? Well, in a way, it is. I mean, usually they make them to the people who elect them. This time they were made to total strangers.

Lindner

“Frau Merkel gave the insupportable promise that anyone seeking a new life can find one in Germany. She created the impression that the limits of our capacity to absorb them are infinite. She created chaos there where nothing is more important than order and regulation. And this not only in Germany but all over Europe…”

“Instead of this, Frau Merkal should follow the Swedish example and publicly concede that we are unable to cope with these numbers and that the people please stop making their way to us. Secondly we need a modern immigration law. Not someday. Right now.”

Frau Merkel hat das unhaltbare Versprechen gegeben, dass jeder, der ein neues Leben sucht, es in Deutschland finden kann. Sie hat den Eindruck erweckt, die Grenzen unserer Aufnahmefähigkeit seien unendlich. Sie hat dort, wo nichts wichtiger ist als Ordnung und Regeln, Chaos angerichtet. Und zwar nicht nur in Deutschland, sondern auch in Europa…

Frau Merkel sollte stattdessen erstens dem schwedischen Beispiel folgen und öffentlich einräumen, dass wir mit den Zahlen überfordert sind, und die Menschen, bitte, sich nicht auf den Weg zu uns machen. Zweitens brauchen wir ein modernes Einwanderungsgesetz. Nicht irgendwann, sondern jetzt.

German Of The Day: German Mut

Nope, that doesn’t mean German pooch or mongrel. That means German courage.

German Mut

And it takes quite a bit of German courage for a German political party to come out in support of economic-liberal policies and free choice in a country like Germany these days (in the end, most Germans want everything regulated for them and prefer equality and conformity to free choice). But that is what the FDP (FDP 2.0?) is trying to do. They’re still on the outside looking in after their ousting in 2013 but appear to be bouncing back, at least for the moment.

They are currently so courageous, in fact, that they must be high. Not only are the Free Democrats now proposing that marijuana be legalized, which isn’t all that original these days, they also think it’s time for Germany to introduce a flat tax. Good luck on that. That’ll be a real hard one to sell here, as elsewhere. Who’s going to “eat the rich” then?

“Die erste Reform, die wir unserem Land empfehlen, ist eine Reform der Mentalität.”

Even When We Win We Lose

Or so it goes with SPD these days.

SPD

Germany’s Social Democrats, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partners, on Sunday suffered their worst-ever electoral setback in regional polls in Bremen, raising questions about party leader Sigmar Gabriel’s hopes of gaining ground nationally on Ms Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats.

So sehen Sieger aus (this is what winners look like):

FDP

In Bremen ändern 6,5 Prozent für die FDP nicht viel. Im Bund aber eröffnet ihre Wiedererweckung Gedankenspiele für die Wahl 2017.

It’s Not That We’re Too Strong

The rest of you guys out there in Europe are just too weak. Like start doing more push-ups or something.

Germany

German dominance is in part a consequence of others’ retreat. That may be why complaints have been muted. “If the Italians don’t bring pasta and the French don’t bring pâté,” says a diplomat, “you can’t complain about Mrs Merkel’s cabbage soup.

PS: And speaking of getting stronger, you folks over at the FDP should learn to smile a little already. Polls indicate that you’re back over that magical 5 percent line and could get back in the saddle again – if elections were to be held today.