Friday, August 11, 2017

German national elections in September - blink and you miss the campaign

So, there will be national elections in Germany in about six weeks, and the blogster almost missed the official start of the campaign season.

Exciting German campaigns tend to be extremely boring by American standards. No billion dollar extravaganzas spread out over more than a year, no competing lawn signs, no "honk for whatever".

And the current one is not even exciting by German standards.

Only orderly campaign posters in standard sizes fastened to light poles and trees with zip ties. To be recycled later.

The height off the posters off the ground varies with the height of the volunteers on the pickup trucks that slowly work their ways through towns and cities.

It also seems to depend on the attractiveness of a party to vandals.

Which means that the populist right AfD tends to go higher than the traditional mainstream Christian Democrats or Social Democrats.

None of the much dreaded Russian election interference has materialized either. Imagine that.

Even the Russians don't care.

Polls have the Christian Democrats of chancellor Merkel in an unbeatable lead, the second largest Social Democrats in the same pitiful spot somewhere below 30% that has been their home ever since the great disappointment of the turn of the century, when the supposedly social party took the chainsaw to several social security programs.

"Free market liberals", populist right, Greens, and the Left party fight over what remains of the voting share.

The populist right AfD had its day in the sun in last year's state elections and has been heading downhill when migrant numbers dropped and the country did not become Muslim within a few weeks.

The Social Democrats enjoyed a brief honeymoon with voters when they brought Mr. Schulz in from his cozy European job to tackle the seemingly immovable Ms. Merkel.

It didn't work.

The initial appeal to social justice and the aim to undo some of the "reforms" to the social system were quietly put on the back burner in favor of a half hearted attempt to copy Ms. Merkel's "We made Germany great" style non-campaign.

Calls for a quota for electric cars has replaced it.

So, yes.

Wake me when it is over.

In time for the asteroid the size of a house in October.

[Update 8/13/2017] Even the Germans are bored by this campaign and are now debating - yes - why the campaign is so boring.

And the up and coming Christian Democrat poster boy makes headlines by complaining about wait staff speaking English in Berlin cafes.

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