Friday, April 23, 2021

Germany note

 This is so cool—the Greens are now the most popular party in Germany, via the English-language The Local:

At 28% next to the Christian Democrats' 21% and the Social Democrats' third place with a pathetic 13%. This doesn't mean they're going to win the September general election, obviously. I don't see where they compete, really, except in those places where the SPD normally dominates, in the rich urban northwest and the area around Berlin where the post-Communist "Linke", otherwise very weak, is also a force.

2017 German general election results, constituency vote (where you vote for your representative by name) on the left and party list vote (where you vote for a party) on the right, via.

To win a majority, they'd have to win all the SPD's seats and make some inroads in the solidly conservative (and even richer) south, and I don't see how that happens. But if you look at all the places on the map where the SPD wins constituency votes but conservatives win the party list, in the Rhineland and in the Bremen and Hanover and Hamburg conurbation in the north, maybe the now-popular Greens could make a difference to the size of the overall left.

The Greens have also for the first time named a candidate for the chancellorship, the job Angela Merkel is finally leaving, Annalena Baerbock, a 40-year-old lawyer originally from Hanover but representing the eastern state of Brandenburg, with two kids, a master's degree from the London School of Economics, and three bronze medals in trampolining. Politically, she stands for a move to the "center" in contrast with the SPD and Linke, which in current German politics apparently means favoring a pro-NATO, pro-Europe foreign policy and suspicion of Russia, which is supposed to appeal to disaffected conservatives (and maybe that's what this poll is telling us about), but the party remains green in the sense of irreducibly environmentalist. 

Pleased to have been named by Robert Habeck and the party leadership as Green candidate for the chancellorship, and the slogan says, "A policy that looks ahead, dares to do something new, listens to people and trusts them—that is what I stand for." So German politics gets interesting again, at the very least, and kind of more cheerful.

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