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German guy

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Hello guys,

just joined the forum and thought I'd drop a "hello". :)

I'm a college student in Berlin, Germany (BA political science), interested in both European and American politics and always interested in learning about new perspectives.

As political leaning, I chose "moderate", although I'm not sure I am by American standards (many of which is mainstream and moderate over here is probably considered "liberal" in the US, while this term has an entirely different meaning in Germany). I believe in individual liberty and think the state should not tell people what to do in their private life, especially when it comes to lifestyle and sexual orientation, yet I believe the state should make sure there are basic social safety nets for the unfortunate, within reasonable limits. I think protecting the environment is important, but where possible, market mechanisms should be used to achieve that rather than rigid regulation. I'm not a pacifist, but I think war should not be considered a common, legitimate tool of politics, but must be the very last resort.

So, I am looking forward to learn to know you!
 

digsbe

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Welcome to debate politics!

Judging by how you described yourself I would say you seem more centrist/moderate even by American standards.
 

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Welcome to DP German guy.:2wave:
 

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As political leaning, I chose "moderate", although I'm not sure I am by American standards (many of which is mainstream and moderate over here is probably considered "liberal" in the US, while this term has an entirely different meaning in Germany). I believe in individual liberty and think the state should not tell people what to do in their private life, especially when it comes to lifestyle and sexual orientation, yet I believe the state should make sure there are basic social safety nets for the unfortunate, within reasonable limits. I think protecting the environment is important, but where possible, market mechanisms should be used to achieve that rather than rigid regulation. I'm not a pacifist, but I think war should not be considered a common, legitimate tool of politics, but must be the very last resort.
Welcome to Debate Politics!

By US standards, you lean to the left. How far to the left depends on the details of your stances on any of a number of subjects, I'm just giving you a best-guess estimate.

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb from the European perspective seems to be that our left is your right, which puts our right even further out than your right. :lol:

At least that's what ArcanaXV tells me, she's in Switzerland.
 

German guy

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Welcome to Debate Politics!

By US standards, you lean to the left. How far to the left depends on the details of your stances on any of a number of subjects, I'm just giving you a best-guess estimate.

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb from the European perspective seems to be that our left is your right, which puts our right even further out than your right. :lol:

At least that's what ArcanaXV tells me, she's in Switzerland.
Thanks! =)

Maybe what you say about your left being our right is true ... so far, I used to think our left and right maybe differ as much as the right wing and the left wing of the Democrats. And then, you have religious nuts, this religious right ... we don't have anything like that. But in exchange, we have a very similar thing, just algebraic signs reversed: A dogmatic far-left! (Those who even call someone like Obama a "socialist" would shudder if our far-left tought them what genuine socialism is!) :p

Can you recommend a particular debate for a nice start?
 

TacticalEvilDan

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Can you recommend a particular debate for a nice start?
Hoo boy, that's a question for the ages.

If I were you, I'd click on the link in the top-left corner, "New Posts." That gets you a list of threads you haven't read. The ones up top saw the most recent activity, and then it goes backwards from there. Find a thread title that sounds interesting and plunge on in, that's what I do all the time.

Another option is to hit the main index and look for a subforum about a subject that interests you, there are many different kinds. There's also a sub-forum exclusively for European politics, if you prefer to discuss matters relating specifically to your own continent. :D
 

Civil1z@tion

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Welcome!

From your description I'm guessing you're an FDP supporter, correct? For comparison, on social issue the FDP is solidly on the American left while on economic issues they wind up close to the American center. In American terms you would probably wind up as a left-libertarian rather than a straight up moderate and the Democrats would likely be the party you're politics are closest too.
 

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Welcome!

From your description I'm guessing you're an FDP supporter, correct? For comparison, on social issue the FDP is solidly on the American left while on economic issues they wind up close to the American center. In American terms you would probably wind up as a left-libertarian rather than a straight up moderate and the Democrats would likely be the party you're politics are closest too.
Hey, you know about the German parties? Where do you live? Are you European as well?

I'm fond of some of the FDP's stances and part of their basic ideology and would have almost voted for them in 2009. But now I'm glad that I didn't. I think their actions in the government have been rather weak so far (except for their corrections on internet censorship plans by the CDU, maybe). I ended up voting for the Green Party, like I did most of the time, although I'm clearly more fond of their "right", more realistic wing than of their more extreme ideas. It also happened in the past that I voted for the SPD.

So I guess I'm somewhere in the triangle between these three parties. I don't like the socialist Left Party at all, and am generally suspicious about the CDU.

What about you?
 

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welcome, i'm guessing you're from somewhere in Africa? :mrgreen:
 

Civil1z@tion

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Hey, you know about the German parties? Where do you live? Are you European as well?

I'm fond of some of the FDP's stances and part of their basic ideology and would have almost voted for them in 2009. But now I'm glad that I didn't. I think their actions in the government have been rather weak so far (except for their corrections on internet censorship plans by the CDU, maybe). I ended up voting for the Green Party, like I did most of the time, although I'm clearly more fond of their "right", more realistic wing than of their more extreme ideas. It also happened in the past that I voted for the SPD.

So I guess I'm somewhere in the triangle between these three parties. I don't like the socialist Left Party at all, and am generally suspicious about the CDU.

What about you?
I'm an American myself but I find European politics fascinating. Unfortunately I don't know German politics in quite as much depth as I do American or British politics, but I know enough to understand the basic positions and ideologies of each party as well as who is most likely to form coalitions with each other.

As for who I like the best, its the FDP hands down. I'm an economic conservative and social liberal and the FDP's ideology matches well with mine. For the Greens I'd probably vote for them if I couldn't do FDP but I have major reservations about them (including their opposition to nuclear power). The CDU/CSU kind of reminds me of a moderate republican party which means they're OK on economics but kind of suck when it comes to social issues. The SDs I'm not huge fans of and the SP kind of seems like a bad joke to me (seriously in 2005 they could have had a left-coalition of the SDP, the SP, and the Greens but the SP decides not to because of some bitter feelings between the ex-SDP members and those who stayed in the party? There really wasn't that great a difference in their programs from what I saw).

I do have a couple of questions, I heard about the North Rhine-Westphalia where the CDU kind of took a beating. First, did this cause the CDU/FDP to lose the Bundesrat or not? Second, why do you think that result happened?
 

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I'm an American myself but I find European politics fascinating. Unfortunately I don't know German politics in quite as much depth as I do American or British politics, but I know enough to understand the basic positions and ideologies of each party as well as who is most likely to form coalitions with each other.
Kudos to you! I don't often meet Americans who care so much about Europe, let alone know so much about our politics! :)

As for who I like the best, its the FDP hands down. I'm an economic conservative and social liberal and the FDP's ideology matches well with mine. For the Greens I'd probably vote for them if I couldn't do FDP but I have major reservations about them (including their opposition to nuclear power). The CDU/CSU kind of reminds me of a moderate republican party which means they're OK on economics but kind of suck when it comes to social issues.
Their social conservatism is the main reason for my skepticism towards the CDU. To be fair, though, it has moved quite a lot into the center under Merkel. You even hear some CDU politicians advancing stances they would have ridiculed the Greens for only 15 years ago. Take for example CDU minister for families, 31 year old Schröder: She said "homosexuals in a marriage are living conservative values, because they take responsibility for each other". :eek:

When that's the new CDU, it may soon become electable for me. :mrgreen:

The SDs I'm not huge fans of and the SP kind of seems like a bad joke to me (seriously in 2005 they could have had a left-coalition of the SDP, the SP, and the Greens but the SP decides not to because of some bitter feelings between the ex-SDP members and those who stayed in the party? There really wasn't that great a difference in their programs from what I saw).
The problem was that the socialists (or Left Party, as they call themselves) only got that strong because of their fundamentalist opposition of Schröder's (SPD) reform of the unemployment support system. The Left Party's entire success was based on anti-SPD-populism -- their voters would have never bought it if they had allied immediately with the SPD of all parties.

And then, there is another problem: The Left Party's predecessor was the PDS, which was the successor of the former communist state party of the East Germany, the SED. And although they had reformed their party, thrown the hardliners out and generally embraced the democratic system, they still had the stigma of communist dictatorship, Berlin Wall killings and stalinism attached to them. Ironically, that didn't keep them from being successful in the East part of Germany, but resentment against them was (and still is) very strong in the West. So if the SPD had allied with them, it would have likely resulted in many West German supporters to turn away from the SPD in protest. The SPD didn't want to risk that (and only slowly try to make the voters accustomed to it, by first forming coalition with the Left Party on local and state level, until the outrage has worn off).

I do have a couple of questions, I heard about the North Rhine-Westphalia where the CDU kind of took a beating. First, did this cause the CDU/FDP to lose the Bundesrat or not?
Yes, it did. The CDU/FDP coalition will have no choice but appeasing at least the SPD when it comes to laws that require passing the Bundesrat. And this is the case no matter which coalition will be formed eventually in NRW (most likely are "grand coalition" of CDU and SPD, or a "spotlight coalition" of SPD, Greens and FDP. All other options are off the table).

Second, why do you think that result happened?
First, it was almost inevitable that it would happen, because the CDU/FDP's victory in 2005 was an exception. NRW is a structurally very left-leaning state (you got the old coal mining and heavy industry there, like in the US "rust belt"), and the state had been an SPD stronghold for almost 40 years. CDU and FDP could only score a victory in 2005, because the voters were extremely angry at the SPD/Green federal government. Without that anger, it would have been almost impossible for the CDU to win so many votes in NRW again.

So part of the CDU's losses were just "going back to normal". It's a left-leaning state, after all.

The second major reason was discontentment with the current CDU/FDP national government. That made the CDU's losses even worse. The national government has really been given a bad impression in the last 6 months: The coalition partners seemed to be more busy picking on each other, than on the opposition. The FDP clinged to the mantra of tax cuts, although nobody believed them anymore, nor was it popular anymore, because of the tensed budget situation -- and finally, the FDP skipped this one big promise. Then the FDP was blamed for advocacy of lobby groups. Then Merkel lacked leadership during the Greece and euro crisis, first took one stance, only to change it the next day.

Much like the midterm elections in the US, state elections in Germany often are used to slab at the incumbent national government. I think this was very much the case this time too.

Hope I could help! :)
 

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Kudos to you! I don't often meet Americans who care so much about Europe, let alone know so much about our politics! :)
Thank you. Though I must say the multi-party system tends to make European politics more interesting to me (two-party dynamics get a little boring after a while). I've kind of got a soft spot for Germany in particular because of all the places I've visited in Europe, the Germans have been the most polite, friendly, and approachable (even more so than the Dutch who have a higher proportion of English speakers than Germany, but are a bit more withdrawn in my experience).

Their social conservatism is the main reason for my skepticism towards the CDU. To be fair, though, it has moved quite a lot into the center under Merkel. You even hear some CDU politicians advancing stances they would have ridiculed the Greens for only 15 years ago. Take for example CDU minister for families, 31 year old Schröder: She said "homosexuals in a marriage are living conservative values, because they take responsibility for each other". :eek:

When that's the new CDU, it may soon become electable for me. :mrgreen:
Wow that is rather surprising. Good for them.

The problem was that the socialists (or Left Party, as they call themselves) only got that strong because of their fundamentalist opposition of Schröder's (SPD) reform of the unemployment support system. The Left Party's entire success was based on anti-SPD-populism -- their voters would have never bought it if they had allied immediately with the SPD of all parties.

And then, there is another problem: The Left Party's predecessor was the PDS, which was the successor of the former communist state party of the East Germany, the SED. And although they had reformed their party, thrown the hardliners out and generally embraced the democratic system, they still had the stigma of communist dictatorship, Berlin Wall killings and stalinism attached to them. Ironically, that didn't keep them from being successful in the East part of Germany, but resentment against them was (and still is) very strong in the West. So if the SPD had allied with them, it would have likely resulted in many West German supporters to turn away from the SPD in protest. The SPD didn't want to risk that (and only slowly try to make the voters accustomed to it, by first forming coalition with the Left Party on local and state level, until the outrage has worn off).
Alright that makes sense. :)

The second major reason was discontentment with the current CDU/FDP national government. That made the CDU's losses even worse. The national government has really been given a bad impression in the last 6 months: The coalition partners seemed to be more busy picking on each other, than on the opposition. The FDP clinged to the mantra of tax cuts, although nobody believed them anymore, nor was it popular anymore, because of the tensed budget situation -- and finally, the FDP skipped this one big promise. Then the FDP was blamed for advocacy of lobby groups. Then Merkel lacked leadership during the Greece and euro crisis, first took one stance, only to change it the next day.

Much like the midterm elections in the US, state elections in Germany often are used to slab at the incumbent national government. I think this was very much the case this time too.
Good to know that politics is essentially the same everywhere.

Hope I could help! :)
Indeed you have, thank you!
 

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Welcome aboard, German Guy.
 

German guy

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Thank you. Though I must say the multi-party system tends to make European politics more interesting to me (two-party dynamics get a little boring after a while). I've kind of got a soft spot for Germany in particular because of all the places I've visited in Europe, the Germans have been the most polite, friendly, and approachable (even more so than the Dutch who have a higher proportion of English speakers than Germany, but are a bit more withdrawn in my experience).
Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed your stay in Germany! =)
I guess Germans can be quite approachable ... especially if you visited during the soccer World Cup! (At least if you can stand drunken chanting and constant flag-waving) :p
Did you come here for holidays, or because of your work?

Unfortunately, I've only been to the US once, and the only places I've seen are Portland, OR and Tricities, WA. I liked it a lot. But I don't think that's by far sufficient to get a real idea about the US, and to see all America has to offer. I hope to see more in the future. :)
 

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Welcome to DP! I commend you on your facility with English. Better than some Americans.
 

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actually no, i find the whole idea of soccer morraly abhorrent, i'm Australian
LOL ... which makes me realize that I know very few about Australia. I don't have the slightest idea what kind of sport is most popular there. Considering the climatic situation, I doubt it's ice hockey. :D So my next best guess it's something weird that stems from British rule, like Cricket. Or, because of your local animals giving a good example, it may be sack race! :p

So what do you guys like to play and watch down under?
 

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Welcome to DP! I commend you on your facility with English. Better than some Americans.
Thank you!
And I think I'm blushing now. I assume you're just being polite. I'm sure I make mistakes. ;)

At any rate, I really like the English language. Compared to other languages I have attempted to learn, the simple grammar stands out and proves the point you don't need all that unnecessary flection for precision, and it gives that language a unique elegance. German may be better suited for technical manuals or complicated theories, and French more for poetry, but English enables you to sound cool even when expressing simple thoughts. It just has this unpretentious elegance. :D
 

spud_meister

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LOL ... which makes me realize that I know very few about Australia. I don't have the slightest idea what kind of sport is most popular there. Considering the climatic situation, I doubt it's ice hockey. :D So my next best guess it's something weird that stems from British rule, like Cricket. Or, because of your local animals giving a good example, it may be sack race! :p

So what do you guys like to play and watch down under?
in the summer its cricket, and in winter its our own version of footy, called Australian Football Leauge, which stems from a combination of rugby and an Aboriginal game, and is the best sport in the world.
 

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in the summer its cricket, and in winter its our own version of footy, called Australian Football Leauge, which stems from a combination of rugby and an Aboriginal game, and is the best sport in the world.
Interesting. I have to admit, I have only a rudimentary idea of Cricket ... just that it's just veeery British. :D

It's interesting that each continent seems to have a different idea about how to play football. So rugby is in the Australian version ... does that bring it closer to American football? And what's the Aboriginee contribution to it? I assume you can't have a World Cup on Australian football, though, because it wasn't possible so far to convince other nations to play it too... or do the New Zealanders play it too?

Anyway, thanks for sharing! :)
 

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Interesting. I have to admit, I have only a rudimentary idea of Cricket ... just that it's just veeery British. :D

It's interesting that each continent seems to have a different idea about how to play football. So rugby is in the Australian version ... does that bring it closer to American football? And what's the Aboriginee contribution to it? I assume you can't have a World Cup on Australian football, though, because it wasn't possible so far to convince other nations to play it too... or do the New Zealanders play it too?

Anyway, thanks for sharing! :)
no-one else plays AFL, but its kinda hard to explain, so if you want, just have a look at it


that video shows my team winning :)
 
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