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Forums - Politics Discussion - german election on sunday

On sunday the german general election is happening, so I thought I make a thread here.

importance

This is an election for the national parliament, the Bundestag. The Bundestag then goes on to elect the government including the chancellor, the person most closely in the role of the nations leader. The government including chancellor is elected by the Bundestag, not directly by the people (like the president is in the USA, Russia or France).

To elect the governement, some parties that won seats in the parliament usually form a coalition, that besides deciding the government, also find an agreement on some political issues of importance. The chancellor usually is selected from the party with the most seats, but that is not a set rule. The government has to be elected by 50%+1 seats in the parliament.

side note: We also have a president, but in germany he is mostly representative and has near to no real power. He is also not elected directly by the people.

election rules

Germany has some of the most complicated election rules, so I give a short breakdown:

  • every voter has two votes
  • first vote decides the local representative called Direktmandat/direct mandate (majority of votes in that district, that is basically what US, UK, Japan and others have as only vote)
  • second vote decides the proportion of seats the party gains
  • if a party wins more direct mandates than they would be allocated via the second vote, the number of seats in the whole parliament is inflated, until they get so much seats for second vote, as they won with the first one already, this results in more seats for other parties as well, the system is called Ausgleichsmandate/leveling seats
  • a party must win at least 5% of the second vote nationally or at least 3 direct mandates, or they will be excluded from gaining seats through second vote (although they may keep direct mandates, if they won only one or two, happened before to the left, that had for four years only two seats)
  • a party that wins at least 0.5% of the vote gains public financing for two years, which means they get money from the state for each vote they get and for donations

There is also another rule, that in the parliament two parties that are *not* running in the same provinces can form a fraction together and will be counted in the parliament practically as one party. This was only ever done by the CDU and CSU.

situation

In the last election seven parties made it into the Bundestag (but as CDU and CSU always form an alliance in the parliament, it is often referred to as six):

  • CDU/CSU: conservative party (like Democrats in the US), strongest party in the elections of the past one and a half decade
  • SPD: social democrats, coalition partner in the government
  • AfD: conservative-right, their position is a bit hard to describe, except it is most often the opposite of what the government does (their name is literally 'alternative for germany)
  • FDP: liberals and strong pro market
  • the Left: well, left-wing party
  • the Greens: well, green party

Other parties that may be of some importance:

  • Volt: Volt is a new party founded as an european party, but has national sections as currently you have to have national parties to participate in elections
  • free voters: kind of a more locally oriented, somewhat conservative/liberal party, they gained importance in southern provines
  • the PARTEI: PARTEI is literally translated party, they are a satirical party that has currently two representatives in european parliament as many vote for them if fed up with the current parties
  • ödp: another green party
  • animal protection: well, their name says it
  • pirate party: the pirates have some successes throughout europe (including one german representative and more from other countries in the european parliament), they are a party focussed on political issues influencing digital topics
  • NPD: the right wingers (well, they are basically Nazis, but avoid to be seen as such, they nearly dodged becoming illegal in the past)
  • MLPD/DKP: marxist/communist parties
  • die Basis: they are a party formed around protest against the measurements against COVID-19, some members openly deny the existence of the virus or opposing vaccines
  • humanist party: they are based in science and humanism, more concretely secular humanism

Our chancellor was Angela Merkel since 2005 (16 years), but she already has announced to step back after the election, so in either case we get a new chancellor. The candidates of the free biggest parties are:

Angela Merkel is from the CDU, and CDU/CSU were the strongest fraction in the past, but polls show them currently much weaker. The current government is formed as an coalition between CDU/CSU and SPD.

The current polling situation is very bad for CDU/CSU, they are possibly losing the majority. CDU/CSU, SPD and Greens are currently polling around 20%, everyone of them reaching the top of the polls in the last months. The following graphs shows the average of the polling institutes over time (Union=CDU/CSU, Linke=Left, Grüne=Greens).

47 parties are trying to get elected, 40 are at least in some provinces electable via second vote (some are having only in some districts a candidate for first vote).

major topics

The most major topic is climate change, given more importance with the floodings in middle europe in summer, which lead to nearly 200 deaths in germany alone and massive destroyed buildings. As this is basically the topic of the Greens, they are in a much better position than last election.

Behind that in polls usually on second and third place in the eyes of the public are pensions/social issues and economy/jobs. In social issues usually the SPD or the Left is seen most competent, in economy the CDU/CSU or FDP.

With the COVID-crisis the issue of health is also important.

And as always migration is also an important topic for a lot of people.

last election (2017)

The results of the last election is as follows. I only show results from the second vote, as this is the most relevant. I also lump together CDU and CSU, as this is usually done and is the factual outcome.

party result seats notes
CDU/CSU 32.9% (CDU: 26.8%, CSU: 6.2%) 246 (CDU: 200, CSU: 46) about 8.6% loss compared to 2013
SPD 20.5% 153 about 5.2% loss compared to 2013
AfD 12.6% 94 nearly 8% more than 2013
FDP 10.7% 80 nearly 6% more than 2013
the Left 9.2% 69
the Greens 8.9% 67
free voters 1.0% -
the PARTEI 1.0% -
animal protection
0.8% -

Other parties got less than 0.5%, so I am excluding them here.

As you can see, the last election already resulted in a major loss for the parties forming the government (CDU/CSU+SPD), but they still had more than 50% of the seats and made a new government coalition.

So, what do you think. Are you interested in this election? Which party will win in your opinion?



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The official results are out:

https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/bundestagswahlen/2021/ergebnisse/bund-99.html

These results are preliminary to give time to correct possible errors or people to dispute results. But usually nothing happens here, so we can expect this to be the final result or at least close to it.

Let's start with the winners of the districts and their party assignment.

party direct won districts
SPD 121
CDU 98
CSU 45
AfD 16
Greens 15
the Left 3

As a reminder:

  • these are only the direct won districts, the final seat shares are determined by the second vote
  • in parliament CDU and CSU form a united fraction, so they end up together with 143 seats directly won in districts
  • the 3 won seats for the Left are important, as they failed to reach 5%, but these three districts secure them their seats based on second vote
  • this could've been also important for CSU, which only had 5,2% and barely cleared that hurdle

Important for the final share of seats in parliament is the second vote. This is how they ended up:

The less strong colored bar shows the result of that party in the last election. Sonstige translates to others and includes all parties failing to clear the 5% barrier. One exception is Südschleswiger Wählerbund (SSW). That party represents a minority group and is excluded from the 5% rule. First time I can remember they got enough votes for one seat. Again, CDU and CSU are combining their seats in parliament.

As some parties won more districts in some provinces then they are assigned per second vote, leveling seats were added to adjust for that. So instead of 598 we have this time 735 seats in the parliament. This is how they are assigned:

The full result in all detail. Sorry that this is a screenshot, but it was too much otherwise:

On the left side is the result of the first vote, on the right the second vote. The first rows before the parties are:

  • eligible to vote
  • voters
  • invalid votes
  • valid votes
Last edited by Mnementh - on 27 September 2021

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The CDU/CSU is NOT comparable with the Democratic Party in the US, especially not the CSU lol. If anything they are comparable with the Republican Party.



I'll be rooting for the AfD's Endsieg.

But the preferable result is that Die Linke fails to get to 5% and as a result enables a majority for a simple red-green coalition. That would be the highest possible stability for Germany and by extension the EU.

I doubt the CDU/CSU will be in the next government. SPD and Grüne want them out real bad, so they'll do their utmost to make that happen. Either as red-green, red-green-yellow or red-green-red.



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TheGamer_1995 said:

The CDU/CSU is NOT comparable with the Democratic Party in the US, especially not the CSU lol. If anything they are comparable with the Republican Party.

The policies of the Republican party equal a policy mix of AfD/die Basis/NPD here in germany. The US is far right wing compared to a lot of the OECD countries.



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RolStoppable said:

I'll be rooting for the AfD's Endsieg.

But the preferable result is that Die Linke fails to get to 5% and as a result enables a majority for a simple red-green coalition. That would be the highest possible stability for Germany and by extension the EU.

I doubt the CDU/CSU will be in the next government. SPD and Grüne want them out real bad, so they'll do their utmost to make that happen. Either as red-green, red-green-yellow or red-green-red.

Luckily Austrians are not voting in germany.

The SPD and the Greens have made statements that make it seems it is unlikely they will make a coalition with the Left. In the light of this, I actually think black-red-green or eventually red-green-yellow is most likely. If not the other parties had clearly distanced themself from the AfD, I would think black-blue-yellow is an option, as these have somewhat compatible programs.



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Mnementh said:
TheGamer_1995 said:

The CDU/CSU is NOT comparable with the Democratic Party in the US, especially not the CSU lol. If anything they are comparable with the Republican Party.

The policies of the Republican party equal a policy mix of AfD/die Basis/NPD here in germany. The US is far right wing compared to a lot of the OECD countries.

Indeed. While the CSU has been drifting off into xenophobia repeatedly (a definite trait of the republicans), they do not deny things like climate change and corona.



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Mnementh said:

Luckily Austrians are not voting in germany.

The SPD and the Greens have made statements that make it seems it is unlikely they will make a coalition with the Left. In the light of this, I actually think black-red-green or eventually red-green-yellow is most likely. If not the other parties had clearly distanced themself from the AfD, I would think black-blue-yellow is an option, as these have somewhat compatible programs.

They've made these statements because of the known fearmongering that is brought out, most prominently by the CDU/CSU. But red-green-red is by far the most compatible three-party-coalition there is and the probability is high that the Left will forego some of their demands regarding foreign politics if it means to keep the CDU/CSU out of the government. Fear of the Left in the government is unfounded, because it's logical that a party with only 5-7% of the votes won't have much say, so the things that they'll get through will be in neutered form and therefore pretty much align with what the SPD and Greens want and most people don't have a problem with what the SPD and Greens want.

The FPD's wishes are largely incompatible with SPD and Greens, but it's a proposed coalition that doesn't instill fear in Germany's people. For that reason it's seen as more likely than red-green-red, but I doubt it's going to work. Much more likely to end up in another Lindner-moment of "It's better not to govern than to govern wrongly" after months of talks.

On the flipside, the desired partner of the CDU/CSU is the FPD, but these two parties don't look like they'll get close to the necessary votes.

The three most likely outcomes of this election are, in order:

1. Red-green-red.
2. Red-green.
3. Failure to form any coalition, resulting in another election.

That's assuming that the polls are close to accurate.



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RolStoppable said:
Mnementh said:

The policies of the Republican party equal a policy mix of AfD/die Basis/NPD here in germany. The US is far right wing compared to a lot of the OECD countries.

Indeed. While the CSU has been drifting off into xenophobia repeatedly (a definite trait of the republicans), they do not deny things like climate change and corona.

This. Also general public health insurance, same-sex marriage and abortion are accepted by CDU/CSU. So in general these two are much closer to democrats in the US, than to republicans.

But yeah, comparisons between parties in different countries might be difficult at times, not always everything fits nicely. But I wanted with the comparisons to different countries paint a general picture about these parties, as VGC is international.



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RolStoppable said:
Mnementh said:

Luckily Austrians are not voting in germany.

The SPD and the Greens have made statements that make it seems it is unlikely they will make a coalition with the Left. In the light of this, I actually think black-red-green or eventually red-green-yellow is most likely. If not the other parties had clearly distanced themself from the AfD, I would think black-blue-yellow is an option, as these have somewhat compatible programs.

They've made these statements because of the known fearmongering that is brought out, most prominently by the CDU/CSU. But red-green-red is by far the most compatible three-party-coalition there is and the probability is high that the Left will forego some of their demands regarding foreign politics if it means to keep the CDU/CSU out of the government. Fear of the Left in the government is unfounded, because it's logical that a party with only 5-7% of the votes won't have much say, so the things that they'll get through will be in neutered form and therefore pretty much align with what the SPD and Greens want and most people don't have a problem with what the SPD and Greens want.

The FPD's wishes are largely incompatible with SPD and Greens, but it's a proposed coalition that doesn't instill fear in Germany's people. For that reason it's seen as more likely than red-green-red, but I doubt it's going to work. Much more likely to end up in another Lindner-moment of "It's better not to govern than to govern wrongly" after months of talks.

On the flipside, the desired partner of the CDU/CSU is the FPD, but these two parties don't look like they'll get close to the necessary votes.

The three most likely outcomes of this election are, in order:

1. Red-green-red.
2. Red-green.
3. Failure to form any coalition, resulting in another election.

That's assuming that the polls are close to accurate.

Well, you are right that the programs of SPD, Greens and Left are pretty compatible with each other, but the statements were made. Maybe that is to avoid fear-mongering (which is happening anyway), but it seems that there is some substance. Also I doubt the Left will easily let go of their pacifist foreign policies, as this would split the party and make them even more irrelevant. But you are right again, that the Left is pretty weak at the moment.

Greens have shown in the past on provincial level, that they are quick to abandon their ecological agenda for a coalition with the CDU, leaving only some token policies to look like they keep their promises. So despite their strong language regarding climate agenda, I can totally see them give in to be part of a coalition. For the SPD we already know this for a long time, that they give up whatever agenda they have, to be part of a coalition. This lead to SPD voting against their own proposed laws, because they were brought to vote by the opposition and SPD voting for a law only to vote against it a few months later (there was an election in between, and SPD was going from government to opposition).

So overall i think red-green-red is quite unlikely, between the distancing statements and the overall weakness of the Left. It will not be enough for red-green, I highly doubt it (but if there are just enough seats, I actually see that as the most likely coalition). If red-green has not enough seats, then I see them going for CDU or FDP.

A reelection is highly unlikely, as the big parties all probably will lose even more votes. Before that happens, I see CDU voting for a SPD-Green minority government. That would actually put the CDU in a comfortable position to oppose everything while red-green isn't able to get anything substantial done.



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