Saturday, September 21, 2013

The German election

on a CDU poster outside of Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

The German election to the Bundestag will be held tomorrow here in Germany. Since it is Bundestag I am not allowed to vote as a foreigner but of course, since I live & work here it is very much in my interest how the outcome will be. To take it one step further... it is and should be in the interest of  the entire Europe how the election will go in Germany. What is interesting here is that it seems as if the world and Europe do not care. Everyone cared very much in Italy, everyone cared about the election in France but in Germany? Not so much. Why is that I wonder?

Even though I am not allowed to vote I decided to make the Wahl-O-Mat to check which party would be the best one for me. To my surprise the first one became the Piratenpartei that is fairly young party that was started up with the entire European wave concerning internet rights, storage of personal information etc. For the last election they hardly had a party program but only pushed one point. Today it has become a more established party and their ideas and opinions correlate very strongly to the young German population. I have not talked to a single young person in Germany where Piratenpartei did not end up among the three top parties on their Wahl-O-Mat list. My second party on the list was Die Grüne and as a big chock Die Linke came in on third place. I have no clue how that happened and I would never vote on them since I find it appalling when a political party in one of the biggest democracies in the world are pushing that they should not send soldiers on UN missions because they might die. Sorry but as a democracy that is one of the burdens you must carry to keep the world at some kind of peaceful level and any party coming with idiotic things like that will never be taken serious by me.

There was recently an election in Bavaria (not Bundestag but Landtag) which gave CSU (a political daughter party to CDU) the sole majority down there. Their previous coalition partner FDP (also in Bundestag for CDU) received less then the %-age boarder to enter Landtag.

Many CDU voters in the rest of Germany are not very happy with the power of CSU since they usually demands very heavy positions in the Government so since a long time there has been a slightly uneven coalition between the two parties or better put between the mother and the daughter. This is not something that will change as long as CDU/CSU remains in power but hopefully it will change at some point in time since political security leads many times to cowardness as well as stupidity. In my opinion every country needs a change in political power to remain healthy for the long run.

So then the question becomes... who will win the election? Since Europe and the world does not seem care I assume that all of them are betting on Merkel to continue. I have almost no doubt that that is also correct and Merkel will remain in power also after this election due to that simply too many people are having a good life in Germany at the moment. The question is from where does this come? Is it due to Merkel? No, it really isn´t. Frau Merkel is very clever and she has been excellent at keeping status quo in Germany but there are several problems building up in the future and I would wish those problems to be addressed today when Germany is doing well in comparison to 10 years from now when things will most likely start to get tougher.

The reason for why is due to aging population and the retirement demands they have which is not covered, due to mini-jobs (400 € per month, that is not enough to support you and you always need extra social help to pay the bills and even to put food on the table), due to increased healthcare and eldercare costs that are not soaked up by society but which must be paid by the children and grandchildren to these retired people. An infrastructure (not as bad as in the US) but that are currently taking some serious beating (with some small plasters added here and there) and we must not forget that this infrastructure needs to carry all the goods from the east of Europe to the west and vice versa. The German infrastructure must be among the best ones in Europe to keep things at a high level.

My brother sent me a very interesting article the other day which was written by Dr. Oliver Marc Hartwich and it can be read here. What Dr. Hartwich brings up in his article is that the only reason for why Germany is standing strong today is because SPDs Gerhard Schröder committed political suicide back in March 2003 when Germany was on the brink of falling into pieces since the German industry, due to the exchange rate Euro vs. D-Mark, had no chance to compete with the other European countries. The political suicide he then committed is the reason for why Germany is so strong today but 10 years later new reforms are highly needed to deal with the rest of the "kicking the can down the road" problems that are still there which I mentioned above.

The article is mainly focused on Germany and with a highly interesting final twist or well... one can read it also in the title the author wants Tony Abbott in Australia to take the responsibility to make the reforms. Australia needs those reforms to be able to build up a future for when China no longer buys iron ore in the quantities they have done and when the property market collapses from the massive bubble it is currently in mainly due to China.

Anyway back to Germany... new reforms are needed... status quo needs to stop and personally I would have loved to see CDU/CSU form a great coalition with SPD or that Angela Merkel would be forced to do something with Piratenpartei with the effect that FDP would be kicked out from Bundestag and the political power slightly shocked up!

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