Monday, September 19, 2005

Germany loses its own election-Spiegel

Spiegel online puts German election into perspective as an event that could lead to the formation of the weakest government in its post-war history:

German elections are over and both Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his challenger Angela Merkel are claiming victory. In truth, both did poorly -- but they may end up leading Germany together anyway. It will be a coalition of the losers.

A quick glance at German election results will tell you that Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), got the most votes. A total of 35.2 percent to be precise. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his Social Democrats (SPD), on the other hand, only managed to garner 34.3 percent of all votes cast. She wins, he loses. Time to form a coalition government.

But German political theater this autumn is a bit more complex than that. Angela Merkel's results, as it happens, are nothing short of catastrophic. In June, just after she was nominated as the Union's candidate for the chancellery, surveys indicated that she had a shot at an absolute majority of over 50 percent. That soon proved overly optimistic, but even in the days before Sunday's election, no survey had her receiving less than 40 percent. But on election day, her result took a steep dive and will go down in history as one of the worst ever for the Union -- even worse than the 38.5 percent the party got in 2002...

To read the article in full go here.