Sunday, October 02, 2005

Democracy in Deutschland (addendum vier)

Germany still hasn't sorted out the results of last month's federal election. (I wrote about it here, here, here, and here.) Preliminary results from the postponed election in one of Dresden's districts show Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats ahead of Gerhard Schroeder's Socialists (SPD), but coalition negotiations will continue next week regardless of the outcome there.

There was initially talk of a red-yellow-green "traffic-light coalition" of the SPD, the Free Democrats (FDP), and the Greens, as well as of a black-yellow-green "Jamaica coalition" of the CDU-CSU, the FDP, and the Greens, but it seems that the Greens and the neo-liberal FDP are reluctant to form a government together as junior partners in any such coalition. It now look more likely that the two major parties will form a so-called "grand coalition," though it remains to be seen whether Merkel or Schroeder, or someone else, would become chancellor under such an arrangement. There are rumours that Schroeder is set to resign, but Merkel also has her detractors in the CDU and the CSU (the CDU''s Bavarian sister party), especially after her party's poor showing in the election after leading so formidably in the polls leading up to it.

However, a red-red-green SPD-Left-Greens coalition is still possible, assuming that Schroeder recants on his promise not to negotiate with the Left Party (a union of left-wing SPD dissenters and former East German Communists). So, too, is a CDU-CSU/FDP minority government, or, less likely, an SPD/Greens one. So, too, however, is another election -- neither a "grand coalition" nor a minority government would likely last long.

See here for an excellent analysis of the election's aftermath, "a race to self-destruction".

I'll write more when there are further developments.

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