Monday, September 25, 2017

Left narrowly wins German election!

Not exactly, but:

Seat apportionment after Sunday's election, via Frankfurter Allgemeine.
If you added up all the seats won by the right—the "Union" parties of the Christian Democrats and their "Christian Social" Bavarian branch (down from 41.5% of the vote four years ago to not quite 33% this year, in their worst showing in the history of the Federal Republic) plus the Nazioid Alternativ für Deutschland which will be in parliament for the first time, with a frightening 96 seats—they'd be six representatives short of a majority; and if you added up all those of the non-right, including the miserable Social Democrats (also in their worst showing in the history of the Federal Republic, down from 25.7 to 20.8%), the resurgent Federal Democrats ("liberals" in the old free-trader sense like the old British Liberal Democrats or the new French "République en Marche") who were shut out four years ago and are now back, the Greens and the solidly anti-capitalist Left, you'd have enough to form a government.

Not that that's going to happen. It looks like there's going to be what they're calling a "Jamaica coalition"—black, gold, and green, meaning conservatives, "liberals", and Greens, and I have no idea how that's supposed to work (somebody on BBC was saying that the Greens and the Bavarian conservatives hate each other with a keenness that goes beyond the bounds of German normal).

The Sozis will be leaving the coalition to serve as the Official Opposition, which is a thing in Germany, and there's apparently something more to that than just trying to prove they're different from Merkel's conservatives; if they had stayed in the coalition, the Nazioid AfD would be the Official Opposition, with little constitutional power, but an extended right to committee seats and a front rank in questioning and criticizing the government, and it looks as if everybody else has agreed that they need to avoid that.

The AfD's 13% of the vote, and the 96 seats in the Bundestag it gets them, feel very shocking, but it could be worse. Remember Marine Le Pen got 21.3% in the first round of the French presidential, and 33-something in the second round. I wish the Sozis could think of something to get votes with, but in the meantime nobody in German politics is quite like a Republican, and they've got an incredible health care system.

Jamaican flag via.

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