Monday, September 28, 2009

Germany to the Left: NaNaNAHNa, Hey-Hey-Hey--Goodbye!

Wow. The German electorate spanked the parties of the left in the election yesterday.

Here was the final poll, not quite two weeks ago: And now for the actual results:
Linke (Left)--12%

Some interesting things:

1. D-land's next foreign minister will likely be FDP head Guido Westerwelle. This may be the highest world office ever held by an openly gay person. And that's part of the reason I like the FDP, even if they are sort of fuddy-duddy. They are pro-market, want to cut spending, and actually walk the walk when it comes to libertarian principles on sexual freedom.

2. That pompous ass Steinmeier got reamed. SPD should fire him. But SPD should fire a lot of people. They got smashed. Just smashed.

3. Oskar Lafontaine, with his ridiculous move to Der (correction: Die) Linke in 1999.... what now, dude?

4. Germany: A fundamental realignment? Will the US go the same way in 2010? Perhaps Obama really IS the best cure for what is wrong with the Repubs, by reminding us what nut jobs the Lefty Dems are?

5. Turnout in this race was historically low, just over 70%. That's way, way down. Fact is, nobody cares very much. That's how Angus and I like it: if politics becomes boring, because we all know that ALL the parties are corrupt, and government is incapable of doing anything but harm, the world would be a better place.

One more thing, though: Much of the "promise," such as it was, that got the CDU/CSU /FDP coalition into power is "We are going to cut taxes." Folks, deficits are future taxes, it's just that simple. If you don't cut spending, then tax cuts are actually tax increases on the future. If the new German government does not come to grips with the "gimme other peoples' money" mentality that has come to dominate German society, then the tax cut approach (already discredited by the Busholistas) will be disastrous.


John Thacker said...

, with his ridiculous move to Der Linke in 1999.... what now, dude?

I think Lafontaine is feeling satisfied overall. He captured most of those fleeing the SDP; they had the second highest positive swing and their best result ever. The CDU/CSU also got one of its worst results ever, losing 1.4% but gaining seats due to vote splits. They won a lot more plurality vote constituency seats, and lost party list proportional top-up seats.

The Left actually won 16 constituency seats; the FDP won 0, getting all its seats on the party list. The FDP got 9.4% in constituency vote and 14.6% in party list; the CDU/CSU combined got 39.4% in constituency and 33.8%. So about a third of the FDP support voted (presumably mostly) CDU/CSU in the plurality races.

Die Linke did about as well in the constituency vote as in the list vote, indicating that their 11% of votes are pretty hardcore who really dislike the SDP, unlike the FDP which has more soft support who will support the CDU/CSU as least worst.

John Thacker said...

Without the proportional seats (and ignoring that people would vote differently), the FDP would have 0 seats but the CDU/CSU combined would have 218 of 299, an enormous majority.

John Thacker said...

If you want to know what Lafontaine is probably more upset about, it's that taking over the Left wasn't enough to pass the SDP in his home state of Saarland in the August 2009 state elections, though it gained a lot. The polls had him hoping for at least second place.

John Thacker said...

Note that in that very Speigel article that you link:
Left Party co-chair Oskar Lafontaine was once the chairman of the SPD. If it was his goal to humiliate the party that he left in 1999, then he has succeeded.

Anonymous said...

You forgot another interesting thing: Why did whoever made this graph put the Left on the right and the Right on the left?

Anonymous said...

Why do you refer to the Repubs as "us"? That's the problem with Libertarians: you guys are reliable GOP voters so the good in your message re tolerance and getting gov't to leave you alone is lost because you always bite on promises of lowered taxes even when it doesn't make sense.

John Thacker said...


I didn't read that sentence that way. Try substituting "the electorate" for "us" in that sentence:

"Perhaps Obama really IS the best cure for what is wrong with the Repubs, by reminding [the electorate] what nut jobs the Lefty Dems are?"

I believe that works.

Tom said...

I don't see how a low turnout in elections can reduce the harm done by government. The winners will claim a mandate no matter what.

I am thankful to Obama for teaching us (the electorate!) that "change" means More Of The Same.