German Of The Day: Nichtwähler

That means non-voters.

Non-voter

And who do German non-voters vote for? Die Partei, of course.

Twelve straight years of Angela Merkel have left politics feeling a little dry for young people in Germany. But now a satirical party is experiencing a surge in popularity after it was set up as a joke at the expense of the old system…

In the last few months the party has seen its membership swell to reach more than 25,000, just shy of the 26,000 members of the rising and much-publicised extreme-right party Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD), which is expected to enter parliament for the first time this year.

Nichtwähler wählen: Die Partei.

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First, Split Your Vote

Then overhang it on a balance seat. That’s how Germans vote, folks. And they smirk at our electoral college? Of course we do, too when we lose. But still. No wonder they can’t vote Merkel out of office. Es ist einfach kompliziert. It’s simply complicated.

Voting

How are seats calculated in the Bundestag?

The system starts to get complicated when Germans split their votes, meaning they vote for a candidate from one party in the first vote and for a different political party in their second vote. That can throw off the balance of seats in parliament so that one party is more strongly represented than they should be based on the results of the proportionate second votes.

So Germans created “overhang” and “balance seats.” Those are extra seats in the Bundestag that ensure every candidate who was directly elected gets a seat while political parties are still proportionally represented based on the number of votes they received. A German state’s population is taken into consideration when votes are converted into seats.

After Germany’s 2013 parliamentary elections, there were 631 seats in the Bundestag, including 33 overhang and balance seats.

 

Russians Hack German Vote-O-Meter In Futile “Trump For Chancellor” Bid

Germany’s infamous Wahl-O.Meter app, a popular program that uses a series of questions to help undecided German voters (some 50 percent of the electorate) find the political party that suits them best, has been compromised by a group of mean and nasty Russian hackers, apparently in a vain attempt to get Donald Trump elected Chancellor of Germany.

Wahl

Unfortunately, however, there is no such thing as a direct ballot for the office of German Chancellor so that “went into the pants” (was a complete flop), as the Germans like to say. But you can’t blame those clever Ruskies for not trying.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the Wahl-O-Mat’s main focus has been to mobilize younger voters. In fact, all 38 questions posed in the app chosen by a group of young and first-time voters. “Young people have contributed towards this product, which is aimed at furthering the political education,” Krüger said. “That is what lies at the very core.”

Martin Schulz Takes An Unpopular Stand For German Votes

Breaking with SPD vote pandering tradition, Martin Schulz has decided to show some real backbone by telling German voters what they do not want to hear.

Martin Schulz

In a shock move nobody here could have possibly expected, and with the German election just weeks away, Schulz has decided to reshuffle the playing cards by coming out to savagely criticize American President Donald Trump.

Like, you got have courage, you know?

DER SPIEGEL: Before the U.S. election, you told us that as president of the United States, Donald Trump would be “not only a problem for the EU, but also for the entire world.” You were right.

Schulz: It has actually been far worse.

DER SPIEGEL: What do you mean by that?

Schulz: It was clear to me that the White House’s solemn atmosphere would not civilize Trump. But the merciless nepotism with which he conducts politics, in which he places himself and his family above the law, I wouldn’t have considered that possible. And on top of that there is this reduction of complex political decisions to 140 characters. When it comes to a U.S. president, I consider the reduction of politics to a tweet to be truly dangerous. Trump is a risk to his country and the entire world.

 

Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Voting Machine

Machines that tell you how to think (media machines) are old school. Now we’ve got machines that tell you how to vote, like the Wahl-O-Mat here in Germany.

Wahl

Just fiddle with a few parameters and out comes your vote for you. The rest is history.

That there have been cases in which operators have never managed to get the “preferred” party to come out that they actually prefer is another story. They (whoever they are) are still working on the details.

Es soll jedenfalls schon Nutzer gegeben haben, die den Wahl-O-Mat Dutzende Male bedient haben. Und nie die Partei empfohlen bekamen, die sie tatsächlich präferieren.

Literally Dozens Of Anti-Trump Protesters Rebuild Berlin Wall

Like in a manner of minutes or something, too.

Trump

Although it is still unclear to me why they did this. I mean, just because they say that Trump “is a narcissist, xenophobe, fascist, racist and a phony populist,” doesn’t necessarily mean that he isn’t a nice guy.

Stranger still is that they then tore their Berlin wall right back down again. Talk about your never-ending, Sisyphean task. Sheesh.

And the shocking historical ignorance they demonstrate here really infuriates me, too. Everybody in Berlin knows that Donald Trump was not in the least responsible for tearing down the Berlin Wall. David Haselhoff was.

Americans residing abroad tend to be far more left-wing than their compatriots back in the US.

Good Question

Could Germans vote to exit the EU?

Dexit

In a word, no.

Germans could only vote on exiting the EU if they first change their constitution to include such “direct democracy” at the national level. Only then could the Berlin government or parliament call a referendum.

Now isn’t that convenient. You’re not asked if you want in, you’re  not asked about anything while you’re in and you couldn’t even ask to leave if you wanted to. So like why even ask?

And besides, what would you call the damned thing? A Dexet? A Gerexit? It just doesn’t have the right Klang.

Germany’s More Democracy organization has long called for making possible popular national referendums in the country. On its website, the group argues that the government merely presents “politics without any alternative” which parliament then “nods through.”

The Stammtisch Unchained

Everybody who is anybody who is politically correct in Germany is all hot and bothered about the marches being staged by PEGIDA or the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West” in Dresden these days. They have to be. It’s their job or something.

PEGIDA

I say take a chill pill already and don’t take these folks so seriously, you other folks. It’s just diffuse bitching and moaning pur (pure). All this is is the biggest Stammtisch party we’ve seen yet. It’s Oddity 384 all over again (shameless ebook plug), in other words.

Oddity 384. A real German is always being “verarscht” or taken for a ride by somebody “da oben” or up there. All Germans belong to a symbolic “Stammtisch” or regular’s table, whether they actually belong to a real local regular’s table or not. This is the place where the unappreciated man on the street regularly complains about the abuse he is receiving from his employers, the rich or the ruling political caste and how they are all personally out to get him. Strangely, at least with regard to this ruling political caste, these same men on the street regularly reelect said politicians with large majorities or enable them to remain in power by not going to vote at all.

Die „Pegida“-Bewegung habe einen Nerv getroffen. Bisher sei Deutschland nicht für Populismus dieser Art anfällig gewesen.

Why Are These Eurosceptic Parties Winning?

The professional Europeans in Brussels made clear that they don’t want this to happen.

Alternative

So what do they do then? They do what they always do: Ignore what just happened and carry on with EU business as usual, whatever that is. Well, one thing we do know about EU business as usual in the meantime is that it is carried out by a Brussels political elite that Jane and Joe European simply does not understand nor feel represented by.

Not that anyone out there cares or anything, but the voter turnout for this latest round of European elections was absolutely pathetic and those who did vote voted in one-fifth of the new European Parliament’s seats to political parties critical of the EU’s previous policy, whatever that was. You would think that the elite would finally get the message here, right? Nope. It ain’t happening. And that’s why it ain’t happening with Europe.

I know. Why doesn’t Brussels consider acknowledging this overwhelming European apathy and start respecting how those Europeans who did vote have voted and slowly start the process of giving back competencies to the countries in question? You know, decentralize and let Europeans start deciding more for themselves at the local level again? Na. Wozu (what for)? If it wasn’t decided in Brussels, it didn’t happen.

Für den schlichten Normaleuropäer sei der schwierige Konsensfindungsprozess in der EU zu komplex. Der leider etwas beschränkte Bürger wisse gar nicht, wie gut die EU für ihn sei. So redet sich die „europäische Elite“ das Wahlergebnis schön und blendet die Tatsache der drastisch schwindenden Zustimmung aus.

PS: Speaking of winning, Tempelhof loses. I mean wins?

Tell Me How To Vote Oh Great And Powerful Vote-O-Mat!

Do you have any idea what the reaction over here would be if this were a freakin’ US-Amerikan invention?

Vote

That’s right, the Wahl-O-Mat is a specially designed hi-tech online device that will instruct undecided and/or clueless German voters who to vote for. Just answer 38 questions posed by Spiegel Online ITSELF and something called The Federal Center for Political Literacy and you will gladly be told precisely where to place your X in the upcoming European Election. And not to worry, the Wahl-O-Mat just can’t be evil because, well, it comes from here.

Hmmm. I wonder if these are going to be used in the upcoming Ukrainian referendum, too.

Testen Sie, welche Partei Ihren Ansichten am nächsten kommt!