Germans More Important Than You Think

But not more important than they think. And this is important. I think.

Germans

The perception of which countries wield the most influence on the international stage can be in the eye of the beholder. People around the world largely agree that China has become more important over the past 10 years and are more mixed about the roles that Russia, India, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States play. But people in Russia, India and Germany stand out for being much more likely to say their country is playing a bigger role in world affairs than do people in other countries, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

For example, 72% of Russians say their country is playing a more important role in the world today than it did a decade ago. This compares with a median of 41% across the 25 other countries surveyed. Indians and Germans are similarly rosy-eyed about their own countries, while global evaluations are much more circumscribed.

In contrast, American, French, and British views of their own country’s importance on the world stage generally mirror the median view in the other countries surveyed.

Russians, Indians, Germans especially likely to say their countries are more globally important.

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German Of The Day: Unerklärlich

That means inexplicable.

Islamophobia

You know, inexplicable like of all places on earth it’s inexplicable that Islamophobia and xenophobia could be on the rise in Germany. But it is. What could possibly be behind it?

Prejudice towards Muslims and foreigners is rising in Germany, a study has revealed.

More than 44 per cent of Germans believe Muslims should be banned from immigrating, compared to 36.5 per cent in 2014, the Competence Centre for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research found.

The poll found more than one in two (55.8 per cent) said the number of Muslims made them feel like strangers in their own country, while 43 per cent gave the same answer four years ago, the Die Welt newspaper reported.

“We want a leader who governs the country with a firm hand for the good of all.”

They Still Don’t Feel Anything

They’re still numb. And if they’re honest, they’ll admit it. Germany’s Willkommenskultur has always been a myth.

Feel

We asked Germans what they really felt after Angela Merkel opened the borders to refugees in 2015.

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in 2015 to keep her country’s borders open and give shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees was praised by commentators and leaders around the world. Her decision was also approved of by thousands of German citizens who welcomed refugees and provided clothes, food, and other support.

The term welcome culture, or Willkommenskultur, was frequently used in political debates and the media to describe the events of autumn 2015.

But a year later, the picture had changed dramatically. By the end of 2016, the public debate had shifted to focus on the so-called refugee crisis, or Flüchtlingskrise, alongside the religion of refugees and migrants, and limits to Germany’s capacity to integrate them. The change of perspective was reflected in discussions about upper limits – Obergrenzen — of the numbers of refugees that should be allowed to enter the country.

Our recently published research suggests that welcome culture has never been as widely embedded in German society as public debates in 2015 would make us believe.

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.

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: Allzeit-Tief

That means all-time low.

Low

The latest Emnid “Sunday trend” survey indicates that Germany’s CDU/CSU Union and SPD “grand” coalition government continues to loss favor with German voters – and is not nearly as grand as the name implies.

Like the SPD experience last week when it fell behind the AfD in similar popularity ratings, the CDU/CSU has also continued its slide and are now only at 29 percent. With the SPD’s current 17 percent rating, the grand coalition would only reach 46 percent of the vote if elections were to be held today.

Everyone is puzzled about what the reason for these low ratings could be. Not.

Die Parteien der großen Koalition verlieren bei den Wählern an Zuspruch. Von den Einbußen der Unionsparteien und der Sozialdemokraten profitiert bislang nur eine Bundestagspartei.

German Of The Day: SPD

That stands for the Sinking Party of Deutschland. Or was it for Sterbende (dying) Partei Deutschlands? One of those.

SPD

I’m talking sinking, folks. Low. How low, you ask? I’ll tell you how low. Why, a pool released today indicates that the SPD’s national popularity rating is now so low that it has dropped behind that dreadful, awful and completely unacceptable AfD party. Times change, comrades. Thanks for your help there, Angela Merkel (she’s not SPD, of course, but her wild and crazy refugee policy has made the AfD what it is today: The second largest party in the Bundesag – and they’re not done yet). The SPD help make up Germany’s current grand coalition, you know. It doesn’t look like their help will be very much help for very much longer, however.

Es ist der nächste Schock für die Sozialdemokraten: Die SPD liegt in einer bundesweiten Umfrage nur noch auf dem dritten Platz – hinter der AfD.

German Of The Day: Allzeittief

That means all-time low.

Trend

According to the “Germany trend” survey taken by the ARD, the popularity of Germany’s dominant sister party union of CDU/CSU (Angela Merkel/Horst Sehofer) has dropped to 29 percent, its all-time low. Meanwhile, the ostracized right-wing populist party AfD has climbed to 17 percent, its highest rating so far. If an election were held this Sunday, the union and the SPD (the current grand coalition government) would no longer have a majority and land at 47 percent.

Now I’m going to go way out on a limb here but I think all of this has something to do with Germany’s still unresolved migrant crisis.

Union sackt auf Allzeittief – AfD steigt auf Rekordhoch.

When They Go Low We Go Lower

Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc, trying to move beyond a bitter dispute over migrant policy that threatened the coalition, has fallen to its lowest level since 2006, a poll showed on Sunday.

Angie

But Angela Merkel keeps on smiling. I don’t know what they pump her up with but I want some of that stuff, too. Reality enhancement enchantment medication, I figure. “It’s good to be the Empress.”

The Social Democrats (SPD), who share power with the conservatives in Merkel’s coalition, failed to capitalize on those losses, also falling one point to 18 percent.

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) was unchanged at 15 percent while the Greens rose 2 points to 14 percent, their best showing this year, according to Bild am Sonntag.