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Will Germany's Government Crumble?

German guy

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To answer the question: No, I don't think it will for the time being.

But the German press is asking this question now, since the German coalition government of conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and libertarian Free Democrats (FDP), in office only since 8 months, is as unpopular as never before in polls, and under heavy criticism for lack of unity and leadership by Merkel.


Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle (FDP)

Fighting, bickering and name-calling. Eight months after voters returned Angela Merkel to the Chancellery at the head of a center-right coalition, her government is not cutting a good figure. Some are asking if the chancellor herself has forgotten how to lead.

She has been called Germany's Margaret Thatcher. She has been compared favorably to the "Iron Chancellor," the country's well-respected pre-World War I leader Otto von Bismarck. At the beginning of this year, Time magazine even dubbed German Chancellor Angela Merkel as "Frau Europe."

These days, though, Merkel is striking a dramatically different figure. Just eight months into her second term in office, her center-right coalition appears frayed and it has shown a clear preference for infighting to governing in recent weeks. Even more concerning, repeated efforts by the chancellor to turn down the volume on the bickering have failed. Increasingly, Germany's erstwhile strongwoman is looking weak, like she has lost her leadership touch.

"She seems to be just muddling through," Gero Neugebauer, a political science professor at Berlin's Free University, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Her government is behaving like mere bookkeepers. And bookkeepers are just that -- they are not the head of the enterprise."

It is an impression that has been building throughout the year. Merkel was heavily criticized both domestically and internationally for her molasses-like response to the Greek debt crisis, which earned her the nickname "Madame Non," and voters in North Rhine-Westphalia delivered her party a thrashing in a state vote there in May. But as disagreements within her governing coalition have exploded into the headlines this week, there are some who speculate that Merkel's second term could very well end prematurely.

Fierce Criticism

Ironically, much of this week's bickering was triggered by Merkel's effort to finally try to provide her government with a clear mission. With Europe mired in a national debt crisis, the chancellor and her cabinet agreed on Monday to an austerity package designed to save €80 billion by 2014. Merkel, it seemed for a brief moment, would go down in history as the chancellor who not only guided Germany through the global financial crisis, but also balanced the budget afterwards.

Just days later, however, it looks as though that encyclopedia entry might have to wait. Criticism of her austerity program has been fierce, with many of the barbs coming from within her own governing coalition. Indeed, leading members of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) have blasted the package for placing too great of a burden on Germany's poor while leaving the better off untouched. Some have proposed raising taxes on those in the upper brackets -- a suggestion which, in turn, has made her already-pouting coalition partners from the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) positively apoplectic. (...)

Wild Sow and Cucumbers

Still, the austerity package debate is just one front in the intra-coalition war currently being waged. And, if anything, it is the more civilized one. Of particular note is the exchange of insults this week between the FDP and the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's CDU. For months, the two parties have tussled over competing ideas on health care reform, with Health Minister Philipp Rösler, a member of the FDP, repeatedly being singled out for critique from Bavaria.

Earlier this week, the FDP ran out of patience. Daniel Bahr (FDP), a high-ranking official in Rösler's Health Ministry, said that the CSU was behaving like a "wild sow, they are only being destructive." In response, CSU General Secretary Alexander Dobrindt blasted the FDP as a "troop of cucumbers" -- an affront in the insult-poor German language which is roughly akin to calling the party a gaggle of bumbling idiots. The CSU also called on Merkel to clear the waters.

Merkel, though, has been having difficulties doing so lately. No matter what she says these days, the bickering seems to continue -- and public support for her government continues to fall. A recent public opinion poll found that just 5 percent of the German public approve of the FDP, down from 14.6 percent on election day last September. Approval of Merkel's conservatives is at a four-year low. (...)
Letter from Berlin: Has Muddling Merkel Lost Her Touch? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

So the coalition partners of CDU, CSU and FDP seem to be more busy picking on each other than on the opposition. And the coalition has dropped in polls as low as never before -- the FDP even seems to have alienated 2/3rds of their voters within 9 months only (down from 14.6% in the September 2009 election to 5% to 6% only in polls), the CDU/CSU down to 31% (from 33.8%). Winners are the opposition parties of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) with 29% (up from 23.0% in September), the environmentalist Green Party with 15% to 18% (up from 10.7%) and the socialist Left Party with 11% to 12% -- the opposition leading by almost 20% of the votes (ca. 55%) ahead of the coalition (ca. 37%) in polls.

Only 20% still claim to be satisfied with the work of the coalition government, while 78% are dissastisfied:



Merkel's and Westerwelle's personal public support numbers have significantly dropped as well.

What do you think?
 

Republic_Of_Public

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Lack of leadership? Probably why Merkel was obscenely quick to promote the sovereignty-eating European Union's ultimate power.

Merkel's EU treaty hope dies - Scotsman.com News


As with politicians here, when you're promised a relaxation of your high-stress responsibilities without losing the trappings of power, you go for it. Someone else doing the supreme ruling puts the buck even higher than you.





I thought she was supposed to have learned from her communist-era experiences, as it's ironic that that the EU has its own version of a politburo and comintern!

http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20100513-27183.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5443S120090505


http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20100513-27183.html



The "New European Soviet": the European Union is rapidly descending into totalitarianism. Under NAFTA and the proposed FTAA, U.S. policymakers have adopted the same socialist EU program - New American, The Articles | Find Articles at CBS MoneyWatch.c

EU appointments have as much democratic legitimacy as the Politburo - Telegraph


The Euro Politburo


A new comintern: http://rinf.com/alt-news/latest-news/what-is-common-purpose-and-why-should-you-care/1370/

http://www.google.co.uk/search?clie...n+purpose+eu&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

http://www.cpexposed.com/

http://www.tpuc.org/node/107


(Sorry if I may have taken this thread off course a bit with the second paragraph, but do carry on (as I notice you will..)!)
 
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Mell

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''...in office only since 8 months, is as unpopular as never before in polls, and under heavy criticism for lack of unity and leadership by Merkel.''

Anybody who is doing anything never has a shortage of critics. But, I dont think this means that Angela Merkel is necessarily doing anything wrong or will cause the government to fail. Disagreeing for good reasons is reasonable even if it causes a lack of unity. I dont know how much lack of unity it would take to make a government fail though. There is likely a level of friction which would lead to failure, and who knows what that level is. Those who call themselves politicians should be able to make workable solutions though, even when there is friction.
 

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Lack of leadership? Probably why Merkel was obscenely quick to promote the sovereignty-eating European Union's ultimate power.

Merkel's EU treaty hope dies - Scotsman.com News


As with politicians here, when you're promised a relaxation of your responsibilities without losing the trappings of power, you go for it. Someone else doing the ultimate ruling puts the buck even higher than you.
Well, Merkel's dealing with the EU Treaty was still back in her first term, when she was still governing in a "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). Merkel was very popular in her first term. The problems and criticism for lack of leadership didn't start before her second term (at least in this intensity).

Thanks for your input!

I'm not as suspicious of the EU as you obviously are. For a genuine Politbüro, I guess it's still lacking a secret service that makes neighbors spy on their family and friends, makes people disappear and uses torture and intimidation. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong about a nice polemic now and then, so no problem with your links ... but I think the EU is really not such a big problem. It's often blamed for a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy, but actually, it's one of the most efficient bureaucracies that exist despite all the translation work that needs to be done, and its budget is -- despite encompassing 500 million people -- not even as large as that of Denmark (with ca. 5 million people).

I assume you're British? How is Cameron doing?
 

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''...in office only since 8 months, is as unpopular as never before in polls, and under heavy criticism for lack of unity and leadership by Merkel.''

Anybody who is doing anything never has a shortage of critics. But, I dont think this means that Angela Merkel is necessarily doing anything wrong or will cause the government to fail. Disagreeing for good reasons is reasonable even if it causes a lack of unity. I dont know how much lack of unity it would take to make a government fail though. There is likely a level of friction which would lead to failure, and who knows what that level is. Those who call themselves politicians should be able to make workable solutions though, even when there is friction.
Yes. Schröder's government was under similarly heavy criticism for several years, yet he somehow managed to make it through. Maybe I'm just not used to such a hostile press for a government anymore, after 4 years of all-nice-and-fine "grand coalition". So I don't think Merkel's government will fail for the time being.

But I do think they are indeed not making a good impression at the moment. It was a genious move by Gabriel and the SPD to nominate Gauck for President -- couldn't have put more pressure on the government by any other move.
 

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Thanks for your input!
Lovely.

No, the European Union isn't as much of a problem as communism, not least because there are no pressures from a totalitarian 'master' government to join its system. But there are, for the ordinary people and patriots enthusiastic on full independence, genuine impairments to freedom and the capability of authorities to run their own affairs. Albeit voluntarily, successive governments have bound themselves and without public permission.

Towards the EU Police State: EU Criminal Law overrides Member States

UKIP Policies : Emerging EU Police State

52 reasons to leave the eu - Google Search - My topic is the second!




Yes, I am British. So I can answer your question.


David Cameron, though a member of Norman Lamont's Treasury team during the '90s, is a new boy to real government. He has to find his feet as boss of the coalition government, to water down the already weakened grassroots Toryism even further to sop to a party with just 57 seats in Parliament.

The Liberal Democrats are political crazies, worse than even Labour for political correctness, Euro 'federalism' and political spin. When Cameron said he wanted to be 'heir to Blair', I bet he didn't have such keen role models in mind as fellow leaders!



Cameron's biggest fight will probably have nothing to do with the outside world for a good few years - his struggle to resist electoral 'reform'. First Past The Post, where the party with the largest number of votes holds the power, has served the system well for years. Cameron's only trouble is that even after 13 disgusting years of New Labour, his own discredited party did not manage to gain an overall majority in Parliament, in other words 51% or more of the seats.

The problem is that Proportional Representation is a system advocated by political losers to boost them into the corridors of power. They claim a wider spread of representation for people voting for smaller parties as the existing system is incredibly hard to break into Parliament with.

However, the deadlocks inherent in coalition 'government' as factions perpetually squabble, plus many small parties ganging up to hinder the most popular, is the fatal design flaw of PR. We're experiencing a sample of this right now in London. So I hope Cameron keeps the loser Libs at bay for long enough to win or lose a new election outright and allow future governments to rule us decisively* for good or ill. (Usually ill.)



* In the measure we're still allowed to with the scraps of national sovereignty still left us.

Lib-Cons con us: http://www.debatepolitics.com/europe/74964-lunatics-lib-con-state.html



Anyway, back to Germany...
 
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No, the European Union isn't as much of a problem as communism, not least because there are no pressures from a totalitarian 'master' government to join its system. But there are, for the ordinary people and patriots enthusiastic on full independence, genuine impairments to freedom and the capability of authorities to run their own affairs. Albeit voluntarily, successive governments have bound themselves and without public permission.[/url]

Well, I am not a patriot enthusiastic on full independence. I'm both a German and European patriot enthusiastic on integration where it improves the well-being of my fellow citizens and those of Europeans in general. Full independence often stands in the way of that. So I guess it's natural I'm not so worried about the EU (although I too wish more democratic responsibility for its actors). ;)

Yes, I am British. So I can answer your question.

David Cameron, though a member of Norman Lamont's Treasury team during the '90s, is a new boy to real government. He has to find his feet as boss of the coalition government, to water down the already weakened grassroots Toryism even further to sop to a party with just 57 seats in Parliament.

The Liberal Democrats are political crazies, worse than even Labour for political correctness, Euro 'federalism' and political spin. When Cameron said he wanted to be 'heir to Blair', I bet he didn't have such keen role models in mind as fellow leaders!
Too bad for Cameron. But what can he do? The voter has spoken.

Cameron's biggest fight will probably have nothing to do with the outside world for a good few years - his struggle to resist electoral 'reform'. First Past The Post, where the party with the largest number of votes holds the power, has served the system well for years. Cameron's only trouble is that even after 13 disgusting years of New Labour, his own discredited party did not manage to gain an overall majority in Parliament, in other words 51% or more of the seats.

The problem is that Proportional Representation is a system advocated by political losers to boost them into the corridors of power. They claim a wider spread of representation for people voting for smaller parties as the existing system is incredibly hard to break into Parliament with.

However, the deadlocks inherent in coalition 'government' as factions perpetually squabble, plus many small parties ganging up to hinder the most popular, is the fatal design flaw of PR. We're experiencing a sample of this right now in London. So I hope Cameron keeps the loser Libs at bay for long enough to win or lose a new election outright and allow future governments to rule us decisively* for good or ill. (Usually ill.)
Couldn't disagree more. A FPTP system is highly undemocratic. You can't complain about a lack of democratic legitimation of EU politicians on one side, but on the other side favor FPTP over PR, IMHO.

But I'm afraid we're getting off-topic here ... :p

Thanks very much for your view on Britain! I should look into some other threads you made to get a better idea what's going on on the isle these days. :)
 

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I am not a patriot enthusiastic on full independence. I'm both a German and European patriot enthusiastic on integration where it improves the well-being of my fellow citizens and those of Europeans in general. Full independence often stands in the way of that.
That is incredibly tragic. There's something in the character of a great many Europeans which misbelieves that some strong man or force can bring milk and honey, authority and security, even at the expense of freedom and sovereignty. When you lose your freedom you have no real control over how you're run, making Euro elections a sham.

Still, I can't accuse you of being dishonest. Other Euro fanatics, including thiose in government, always say 'of course Britain is ultimately independent, just that we have to do as we're told nowadays'.


And lastly, it actually isn't inconsistent to "complain about a lack of democratic legitimation of EU politicians on one side, but on the other side favor FPTP over PR". With PR, more parties may enter Parliament but that only ends up with no overall majority for any party, and the most popular one often being penned in by the others ganging together in different groups for this vote or that.

PR just creates a revolting, festering dungheap of intrigue, backstairs plotting and innuendo which frankly we have too much of in government as it is. You can get a better chance of consistent, sharply-honed policies with direction and speed under a government with a clear majority and substantial mandate. And there's your perception of strength and security, well near enough, with no EU required.

Though I hate the main parties with a vengeance, I go with FPTP - things would be even worse without!


Nice talking to you too!
 
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To answer the question: No, I don't think it will for the time being.

But the German press is asking this question now, since the German coalition government of conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and libertarian Free Democrats (FDP), in office only since 8 months, is as unpopular as never before in polls, and under heavy criticism for lack of unity and leadership by Merkel.


Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle (FDP)



Letter from Berlin: Has Muddling Merkel Lost Her Touch? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

So the coalition partners of CDU, CSU and FDP seem to be more busy picking on each other than on the opposition. And the coalition has dropped in polls as low as never before -- the FDP even seems to have alienated 2/3rds of their voters within 9 months only (down from 14.6% in the September 2009 election to 5% to 6% only in polls), the CDU/CSU down to 31% (from 33.8%). Winners are the opposition parties of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) with 29% (up from 23.0% in September), the environmentalist Green Party with 15% to 18% (up from 10.7%) and the socialist Left Party with 11% to 12% -- the opposition leading by almost 20% of the votes (ca. 55%) ahead of the coalition (ca. 37%) in polls.

Only 20% still claim to be satisfied with the work of the coalition government, while 78% are dissastisfied:



Merkel's and Westerwelle's personal public support numbers have significantly dropped as well.

What do you think?
I agree she will hold out for now, however I doubt she will win the next election provided that the opposition gets its act together and they have that opportunity now. It is not that much difference than in Denmark btw, which is kinda funny.
 

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To answer the question: No, I don't think it will for the time being.
Agree.

They have a couple/few years of leadership before the next swing into campaigning.
It's hope by leftists, and why not blow up things out of proportion? They have nothing to lose.

Guido the Torpedo should push the center-left CSU/CDU harder.
Cut taxes, gut regulations, and reduce government spending.

I think Roland Koch's short and sweet statement the other day was spot on.
Paraphrasing: "Every relationship has its ups and downs and we will get past this one."

To me it's the German press blowing up disagreements to... assist their socialist allies.
More sewer pipe.

In two years this will be forgotten... and I'd add, if they agreed on everything, someone wouldn't be thinking or stretching the realm of possibilities.

.
 
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That is incredibly tragic. There's something in the character of a great many Europeans which misbelieves that some strong man or force can bring milk and honey, authority and security, even at the expense of freedom and sovereignty. When you lose your freedom you have no real control over how you're run, making Euro elections a sham.
It's interesting you'd say that. That's exactly why I'm wary of nationalism: People think their national leader will bring milk and honey, authority and security, even at the expense of freedom and the welfare of our friends and neighbors. That's why I think a European court that is obliged to fundamental human and civil rights that watches over our national leaders will help minimizing abuse on the national scale.

And then, what is sovereignty anyways? Depends on whatever construct you chose to consider important, local, national or European level. I'm a Berlin citizen, yet Bavarians have a say in the German government and decide against the will of Berlin people. Does that mean Berlin has no sovereignty? At the same time, I am European citizen. So when the EU decides against a decision by the German government, but which is supported by a majority of other EU states (and maybe even Berlin citizens), does that mean I am not sovereign?

In the end, freedom is always an individual thing. I don't see why I should place more trust in the sovereignty of one collective I am member of, than in another collective I am member of.

Still, I can't accuse you of being dishonest. Other Euro fanatics, including thiose in government, always say 'of course Britain is ultimately independent, just that we have to do as we're told nowadays'.
It's obvious that EU members share sovereignty, so I agree, it's dishonest to claim otherwise. And by no means do I think EU member states which are wary of losing too much independence should be forced into the EU. If Britians don't want to share sovereignty with others, by all means, have a referendum and leave the EU. Doesn't make much sense when the people doesn't trust the elite.

Oh, and I wouldn't say I'm a "Euro fanatic". I'm not happy with many aspects of the EU, especially the lack of democratic legitimation of the actors on EU level. For example, why not electing the Council President in general public elections? Or the national Commission members, why can't they be elected in the respective member states, like US Senators? Or at very least, why can't the Parliament elect the Head of Commission -- and left is running against right, with genuine opposition candidates?

Apart from that, I think there are some things that can better be decided locally, some better nationally, and others on European level. For example, I don't see why we shouldn't have a common market and currency, but along with that, a harmonization of economic policies. Or defense. I don't see that the many small and few medium sized EU states can do much to defend themselves or even take responsibility abroad alone. So I think a united defense policy would be a good thing. Cultural matters, of course, should stay on the local or national level.

And lastly, it actually isn't inconsistent to "complain about a lack of democratic legitimation of EU politicians on one side, but on the other side favor FPTP over PR". With PR, more parties may enter Parliament but that only ends up with no overall majority for any party, and the most popular one often being penned in by the others ganging together in different groups for this vote or that.
Yeah, but that's more democratic. It's hardly democratic when a party that has won not even 35% of the public vote gets a majority of seats. You can say that's more efficient, and more stable -- but certainly not more democratic. If you go polemic, you could say FPTP is constant dictatorship of the minority over the majority. PR gives at least a more realistic image of public opinions.

PR just creates a revolting, festering dungheap of intrigue, backstairs plotting and innuendo which frankly we have too much of in government as it is. You can get a better chance of consistent, sharply-honed policies with direction and speed under a government with a clear majority and substantial mandate. And there's your perception of strength and security, well near enough, with no EU required.
Fair enough. But with the same argument, you could say parliaments should be abolished alltogether -- they just cause bickering and nothing gets done. Why not skip the parliament and instead go for a mere constitutional monarchy? :p

Nice talking to you too!
Thanks, I enjoy debating with you too. It's always nice to learn about different opinions!
 

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I agree she will hold out for now, however I doubt she will win the next election provided that the opposition gets its act together and they have that opportunity now. It is not that much difference than in Denmark btw, which is kinda funny.
Unless Merkel doesn't get her candidate for the office of Federal President through, Christian Wulff (CDU) -- if too many of her coalition members defect and vote for the highly popular, non-partisan opposition candidate Joachim Gauck (a former East German civil rights activist who played an important role in the 1989/90 events), Merkel's authority would be severely damaged and that might cause her to resign. That election is on June 30th.

I don't know what's going on in Denmark. What's the situation there?
 

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Agree.

They have a couple/few years of leadership before the next swing into campaigning.
Indeed. If the last decade has proven anything, it's that so much can change in public opinion within one single year that it's almost impossible to make predictions that reach further than a few weeks or months. If the government gets through the election of Federal President on June 30th and gets their act together, they may soon rise again in public opinion.

It's hope by leftists, and why not blow up things out of proportion? They have nothing to lose.
Ya well, the left is in the opposition. It's the opposition's duty to hammer the government at any opportunity, even if that means blowing things out of proportion. The right did the same when Schröder's SPD/Green government was in office.

Guido the Torpedo should push the center-left CSU/CDU harder.
Cut taxes, gut regulations, and reduce government spending.
The problem, nobody even wants to cut taxes anymore. The budget situation is too tensed after Greek and euro safety bailouts. Not even FDP supporters are fond anymore of cutting taxes.

The FDP has been successful cutting spending, though. The coalition has just decided on a 80 billion cut of spending within the next 4 years. Good work!

I think Roland Koch's short and sweet statement the other day was spot on.
Paraphrasing: "Every relationship has its ups and downs and we will get past this one."

To me it's the German press blowing up disagreements to... assist their socialist allies.
More sewer pipe.
You should really get off your partisan blinders. Sure, opposition politicians hammer the government harder than necessary, that's their job.

But you can hardly blame the press in general for partisanship. They did the same, I think even much worse when it came to criticism of Schröder's SPD/Green government in 1999 and between 2003 and 2005. And you have to admit that the coalition has indeed been giving a very, very, very weak show and impression so far. When they attack each other within the government much harder than even the opposition attacks them, then it's certainly not the left's fault when they call them on it. And I was told the American press too was rather harsh with Merkel after her lack of leadership in the Greek crisis.

In two years this will be forgotten... and I'd add, if they agreed on everything, someone wouldn't be thinking or stretching the realm of possibilities.

.
Agreed. But when they keep attacking each other within the coalition as "wild sows" or "troops of cucumbers", I doubt people will appreciate that.
 

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Unless Merkel doesn't get her candidate for the office of Federal President through, Christian Wulff (CDU) -- if too many of her coalition members defect and vote for the highly popular, non-partisan opposition candidate Joachim Gauck (a former East German civil rights activist who played an important role in the 1989/90 events), Merkel's authority would be severely damaged and that might cause her to resign. That election is on June 30th.
True had forgotten about that.

But what I mean, is the longer a party is in power the bigger the chance of said party loosing power because of people getting tired of them. Helmut Kohl stayed in power for 16 years because of his work reuniting Germany, and Konrad Adenauer who was the first one after the war, however the average length of a German chancellor (not counting the two named) is about 5 years or so and Merkel is reaching that now. And with the amount of animosity against the supposed bail out of Europe (which is a load of crap in many ways), and other issues, then chances of her staying in power are getting less and less..

I don't know what's going on in Denmark. What's the situation there?
We have had a Liberal-Conservative coalition since 2001 with two liberal party leaders as Prime Minister.. the first one Anders Fogh Rassmusen quit to become NATO General Secretary. Before that we had 9 years or so of Social Democrat rule and before that 10 years of Conservative-Liberal rule. The rule of thumb is pretty much about a decade or so of power before they get thrown out and we are nearing that at the next election. However this time around the economic situation is far different than it was at the last change, so who knows. But as it stands now the Conservative party is self imploding due to lack of leadership, and the polls show the Social Democrats would gain power if there was an election now.

But my point is most countries have periods of government on the left, and then followed by the right and baring scandal and death, those periods are pretty uniform.
 

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I understand the opposition hammering away.
I am not to thrilled with their propaganda arms(s), those supposed journalists. That's all.

I'm also not overly thrilled with Merkel on MwSt, and taxation in general... or Greece; she should have demanded reform before delivering gold.

.
 
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I understand the opposition hammering away.
I am not to thrilled with their propaganda arms(s), those supposed journalists. That's all.
Yes, there are quite a few biased journalists in favor of the opposition. But I think there is a fair deal of government sympathizers as well (German media in general may be biased when it comes to the American right, but when it comes to the German parties, they are more evenly distributed :p).

I'm also not overly thrilled with Merkel on MwSt, and taxation in general... or Greece; she should have demanded reform before delivering gold.

.
Agreed on Greece. As for taxes, well, I guess nobody really likes them. It's just a necessary evil if you want the state to be able to afford something. So I guess it's just natural that the question where and what should be taxed. On the plus side, the FDP made sure there are at least no tax raises, when the spending cuts were decided on. :)
 

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True had forgotten about that.

But what I mean, is the longer a party is in power the bigger the chance of said party loosing power because of people getting tired of them.
Yes, I think small coalitions which face a strong opposition are usually under much stronger criticism than a "great coalition" (like the one in the last term from 2005 to 2009). It was unnaturally popular. So maybe this just means "back to normal".

Helmut Kohl stayed in power for 16 years because of his work reuniting Germany, and Konrad Adenauer who was the first one after the war, however the average length of a German chancellor (not counting the two named) is about 5 years or so and Merkel is reaching that now.
I agree Merkel may have just crossed her peak ... but I'm not sure we can draw much conclusions from the average, because there are many extremes: 14 years for Adenauer 49 to 63, 16 years for Kohl 82 to 98, but only 3 years for Erhard (63 to 66) and Kiesinger (66 to 69) each. The latter draw the average down (I think I once calculated it and found 7 years, which would put Schmidt with 8 years (74 to 82) and Schröder with 7 years (98 to 05) in the middle). Brandt quit after 5 years, but not because of a lack of popularity, and Schmidt had to despite popularity, because his small coalition partner defected.

So no idea if it's normal that during the 2nd term, a Chancellor becomes unpopular and is finally diselected ... two did much longer, and most had to quit earlier, usually not because of a failed election, but because of coalition arithmetics.

And with the amount of animosity against the supposed bail out of Europe (which is a load of crap in many ways), and other issues, then chances of her staying in power are getting less and less..
That's what it looks like now... but if Merkel's government makes it through this summer, they have a chance of staying. Before the next regular election in 2013, nobody will remember or care anymore what happened today. Much like they had forgotten Schröder's poor first year in 1999 when the 2002 election was approaching.

We have had a Liberal-Conservative coalition since 2001 with two liberal party leaders as Prime Minister.. the first one Anders Fogh Rassmusen quit to become NATO General Secretary. Before that we had 9 years or so of Social Democrat rule and before that 10 years of Conservative-Liberal rule. The rule of thumb is pretty much about a decade or so of power before they get thrown out and we are nearing that at the next election. However this time around the economic situation is far different than it was at the last change, so who knows. But as it stands now the Conservative party is self imploding due to lack of leadership, and the polls show the Social Democrats would gain power if there was an election now.
That's interesting. Are you decided whom to vote for? And when will the election take place?

But my point is most countries have periods of government on the left, and then followed by the right and baring scandal and death, those periods are pretty uniform.
Yes. This rhythm has just been a bit affected by the "grand coalition" of the two large parties from left and right in Germany, from 2005 to 2009. That coalition was rather popular. A genuine center-right government had not been in power since 1998 before Merkel's 2nd term. So you might think it's not time for a normal pendulum swing yet.
 
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PeteEU

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I agree Merkel may have just crossed her peak ... but I'm not sure we can draw much conclusions from the average, because there are many extremes: 14 years for Adenauer 49 to 63, 16 years for Kohl 82 to 98, but only 3 years for Erhard (63 to 66) and Kiesinger (66 to 69) each. The latter draw the average down (I think I once calculated it and found 7 years, which would put Schmidt with 8 years (74 to 82) and Schröder with 7 years (98 to 05) in the middle). Brandt quit after 5 years, but not because of a lack of popularity, and Schmidt had to despite popularity, because his small coalition partner defected.
Adenauer was the father of the federal republic... as in a special case. Kohl was the father of a united Germany.. aka a special case. Of the rest there was a max of 8 years and minimum of 3 years and dear Merkel is nearing her 5th year so.. But the point I am trying to make is that rather than a new leader of Merkels party coming forward to take over, there is a larger chance that the opposition will take over and this is based on how long she has been in power.. people get tired of governments especially in crisis years and if there is a viable alternative then they will switch.

That's what it looks like now... but if Merkel's government makes it through this summer, they have a chance of staying. Before the next regular election in 2013, nobody will remember or care anymore what happened today. Much like they had forgotten Schröder's poor first year in 1999 when the 2002 election was approaching.
Yep.

That's interesting. Are you decided whom to vote for? And when will the election take place?
I live abroad so cant vote, but if I could it would be for the Liberal Party as always. They are further to the right of the Conservatives but far more pragmatic and not so stuck in their ways as the Conservatives. They are as the true definition of Liberal in many ways.

Yes. This rhythm has just been a bit affected by the "grand coalition" of the two large parties from left and right in Germany, from 2005 to 2009. That coalition was rather popular. A genuine center-right government had not been in power since 1998 before Merkel's 2nd term. So you might think it's not time for a normal pendulum swing yet.
We shall see. The big elephant in the room is the EU oddly enough. Many of the false rumours that are causing so much pain in the markets now days, originate in Germany and many countries are getting increasingly pissed of that.
 

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Yes, there are quite a few biased journalists in favor of the opposition. But I think there is a fair deal of government sympathizers as well (German media in general may be biased when it comes to the American right, but when it comes to the German parties, they are more evenly distributed :p).



Agreed on Greece. As for taxes, well, I guess nobody really likes them. It's just a necessary evil if you want the state to be able to afford something. So I guess it's just natural that the question where and what should be taxed. On the plus side, the FDP made sure there are at least no tax raises, when the spending cuts were decided on. :)
JFK, (R-MA) told the world how government can achieve maximum revenue 38-years ago. He is a German hero, but his economic advice ignored. Then again, it is here too.

When you have a populous fed garbage and turned into a Neidgesselschaft (community of envy for those non-German speakers), then you are pretty much screwed. It requires debate to escape that poverty stricken mentality, and that is truly limited in Deutsch-e-land.

JFK (R-MA) Address at the Economic Club of New York, December 14th, 1962
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset+Tree/Asset+Viewers/Audio+Video+Asset+Viewer.htm?guid={A138FFB8-5B6A-4C6A-A8CC-70C6E4FF39DA}&type=Audio

In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan have borne this out.

This country's own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.

I repeat: our practical choice is not between a tax-cut deficit and a budgetary surplus. It is between two kinds of deficits: a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy; or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues, and achieve--and I believe this can be done--a budget surplus. The first type of deficit is a sign of waste and weakness; the second reflects an investment in the future.
Kirchoff was correct, but the German press, being a socialist machine, was totally blind to economic history and didn't even permit a discussion.
They pulled out the sledge hammer and pummeled Kirchoff and Merkel.

That is what I mean by sewer pipe. Discussion is visciously cut off, and that is dangerous for any nation.

The Persians also said it well, and succinctly ages ago: When taxes were low, revenues were high. When taxes were high, revenues were low.

Think how much capital and investment would be unleashed if regs were slashed and taxes slashed? All the cash locked away in places like Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, to name just three?

Let me also voice my absolute disgust with Merkel on another issue that happened a couple years ago:
Nokia. I think the plant was located in Bochum. They were given tax breaks for a certain number of years to set up shop.
Once the tax break expired, the company closed it down. Merkel and others went ballistic over 2,000 jobs.
It became a big show, running for weeks.
Now, the lesson is, if you set up a situation where companies can prosper, they will come an stay. When the margins are too thin they can go elsewhere. Companies are not social programs, but businesses seeking profit.
Merkel should have used it as a warning to further cut taxes for all... instead they actually said they would boycott Nokia products.
DUMB. Not just about missing the opportunity to educate the masses...

NOW...

What company seeing that would want to come to Germany after seeing that disgusting display???

I couldn't believe the idiocy I was witnessing. It paralleled the stupidity by Schroeder to save the construction company... Philip Holzmann. Another wasted opportunity to educate the masses. I expect it from Schroeder, Gysi, Bisky, Trittin, Roth & Co... but not Merkel.

Deutsche Dude,
Enjoy the game, and the beer.

Cheers,
Zim.

.
 
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German guy

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JFK, (R-MA) told the world how government can achieve maximum revenue 38-years ago. He is a German hero, but his economic advice ignored. Then again, it is here too.

(...)
The Persians also said it well, and succinctly ages ago: When taxes were low, revenues were high. When taxes were high, revenues were low.

Think how much capital and investment would be unleashed if regs were slashed and taxes slashed? All the cash locked away in places like Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, to name just three?
Ya well, all nice and fine, Laffer Curve and all that ... but I'm not sure it's that simple. That cutting taxes automatically leads to better revenue may have a true core, but has hardly ever been proven to work as a general rule (or at least I was told so in political economics class in college). Sometimes, under special circumstances, it works to some extend, but more often than it did, it has not worked at all. Tha "Laffer Curve" may be a nice, simple ideological buzzword, but it's hardly a magical spell.

And full employment due to lower taxes? When Schröder reformed the income tax in his first term, lowering the top of the tax from 52% to 39%, it did not have any recognizable effect on the labor market at all -- unemployment was above 5 million and never even came close to falling below this margin, despite tax cuts. So I think this alone won't do it. I blame the unflexible labor protection laws more than redistribution.

When you have a populous fed garbage and turned into a Neidgesselschaft (community of envy for those non-German speakers), then you are pretty much screwed. It requires debate to escape that poverty stricken mentality, and that is truly limited in Deutsch-e-land.
Agreed. The good side may be that unlike in the US, people in Germany at least care for fairness, and equality is more important for them. That's legitimate. But as you say, the bad flipside is a "Neidgesellschaft". When I hear Gysi or especially Lafontaine talk, I often want to puke because of their cheap populism, and my fingers start itching to vote for the FDP. Add to that that way too few people have knowledge of even basic principles of market mechanisms. It's a paradise for "Neid"-populists.

One thing I agree on, though, is that I'm wary of many things that go on in the financial sector. Would be nice if actors there took a little more responsibility for the whole of society, like enterprisers and employees do as well.

Kirchoff was correct, but the German press, being a socialist machine, was totally blind to economic history and didn't even permit a discussion.
They pulled out the sledge hammer and pummeled Kirchoff and Merkel.

That is what I mean by sewer pipe. Discussion is visciously cut off, and that is dangerous for any nation.
To some extent, I agree with you. But I wouldn't generalize it too much. Kirchhoff actually had a very good image and much support in the "bürgerliche Presse", when when BILD and the left pummeled him.

I see many parallels to the American right here. Germany is more or less a negative mirror image of the US public in these regards -- we have an irrational dogmatic left and their supporters in the media, you have the same thing on the right. We have dogmatic Marxists, you have religious right and rabid hawks, and both have about the same degree of merit and both rely on strong media support that silences down opposition by spreading lies, populist chest thumping and clinging to mere ideology. What's "social fairness" for us is rabid rah rah patriotism for you. It's very similar, just algebraic signs reversed. IMHO.

Let me also voice my absolute disgust with Merkel on another issue that happened a couple years ago:
Nokia. I think the plant was located in Bochum. They were given tax breaks for a certain number of years to set up shop.
Once the tax break expired, the company closed it down. Merkel and others went ballistic over 2,000 jobs.
It became a big show, running for weeks.
Now, the lesson is, if you set up a situation where companies can prosper, they will come an stay. When the margins are too thin they can go elsewhere. Companies are not social programs, but businesses seeking profit.
Merkel should have used it as a warning to further cut taxes for all... instead they actually said they would boycott Nokia products.
DUMB. Not just about missing the opportunity to educate the masses...

NOW...

What company seeing that would want to come to Germany after seeing that disgusting display???

I couldn't believe the idiocy I was witnessing. It paralleled the stupidity by Schroeder to save the construction company... Philip Holzmann. Another wasted opportunity to educate the masses. I expect it from Schroeder, Gysi, Bisky, Trittin, Roth & Co... but not Merkel.
You may be surprised, but on this point, I couldn't agree more with you. If just a little more people here had read at least one popular science book on economics, that would likely change a lot already. Both Nokia and Holzmann were cheap populist stunts, not more -- and probably even economically harmful.

(Although, to be fair, what did Schröder spend on Holzmann? 20 million? In times when governments have to make three digit billion bailouts for banks, just to keep them from collapsing because of their own ineptitude, these 20 million look more like peanuts.)

Deutsche Dude,
Enjoy the game, and the beer.

Cheers,
Zim.

.
It's fun chatting with you.

Although I'm still recovering from the Germany-Serbia hangover ... what a disappointment. The referee was a bit harsh ... not saying he did not act correctly, just that he gave out cards more often than others would have, which ended in red for Klose. Still Germany played well in the second half, at least until the penalty shot they failed to turn into a goal. Damn! How bad are the odds they miss a penalty shot? And they missed two other nice chances, crossbar shot and goalpost ... with a little more luck, this could have been 2:1 for Germany. But well, losing is part of the game. ;)

And what did I see? The USA behind, but catching up to a 2:2 against Slovenia? I didn't see most of the match ... just the end. Would have almost been a 3:2 for the US. Why did the referee decide not to count it? I missed the commentary, just saw that goal looked really nice.

So all my best wishes and enjoy the games!
 

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I recall P.Holzmann was 100 million.
Doesn't matter though, 20 or 100... that was a tremendous opportunity to educate the masses... wasted.
He should have let P.H. fail, and explained the contracts, jobs and employees would have been picked up by companies that were responsible. It would have been a mere shift... badly managed companies should be permitted to fail. P.H. eventually did... silently.

The ref. screwed a well played, honest aggressive match between Germany and Serbia. Shame to see a ref. insert himself into a match like that. He should be eliminated from the next rounds.

The disallowed 3rd US goal was also a bad call. But that's sports. In that case the ref might have seen something that didn't occur. Oh well. Now they have to smoke Algeria.

Prost und ein Schönen Abend ... GO ALGERIA! (vs. England)

:)

PS. Laffer is correct. His theory takes into account human nature.
 
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''I'm not overly thrilled with Merkel on Greece; she should have demanded reform before delivering gold.''

Reform would not be possible without political stability in Greece, and political stability would not be possible with the severe budget cuts the Greek government would have needed to make to fix the economy...

As well as that, the bailout from Germany is not without strings attached. Germany is planning to gain from it, in time, which is necessary to keep their own political situation stable by reducing public disgruntlement amongst Germans who feel they should be entitled to more because of patience with economic dips and good work ethics. As well as that, the Euro was dipping and something needed to be done to prevent further EU ecomomic problems, so thus the bailout of Greece by Germany was the best of the bad options.
 

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I dont think the German government cares what their people think until the next election in 3 years. They seem to be deaf in their left ear and blind to the urgent problems as a whole. There batting average isnt any better than Obamas.
 

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The government will stick together although they hate each other. There is nothing like political animals that is the glue of governments. I wished they would would fold and a new left government would be built.
 

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Think how much capital and investment would be unleashed if regs were slashed and taxes slashed? All the cash locked away in places like Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, to name just three?
I don't really want to derail the thread here, but let me ask you something. Kennedy cut taxes. Revenue grew. Reagan cut taxes. Revenue grew. Bush cut taxes. Revenue grew. High-paying manufacturing jobs, however, fled to Mexico and China. Americans are now set to end the decade with lower real incomes than they started the decade with. We have no net increase in employment in ten years. Wealth has become increasingly concentrated in this country while we have millions of households struggling to meet basic needs. Meanwhile, deficits grew--in spades. So my question is why would a wealthy German invest in Germany when he can get cheaper workers with a laxer regulatory environment in Eastern Europe or the Far East? Your argument looks liken the same supply-side crock Americans were sold thirty years ago: "If you build it, they will come." Yeah, investment would be unleashed, but where? :confused:
 
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