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Forums - Politics Discussion - german election on sunday

Mnementh said:

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.

As far as I know, neither the SPD nor Greens have made explicit statements against a coalition with the Left. Instead they merely opted against endorsement of such a coalition which is not the same as ruling it out. From the side of the Left, in their paper for possible coalition talks after the election they have not included their usual call for Germany to leave the NATO, so that's kind of the same thing going on. All three parties are remaining purposefully vague because they all know of the paranoia and don't want to lose votes on the final stretch of the election campaigns.

If you've watched any of the three-way discussions on TV in recent weeks, it has been pretty obvious that SPD and Greens see it as a high priority to keep the CDU/CSU out of government. Scholz and Baerbock repeatedly teamed up against Laschet despite not agreeing on everything with each other. That's why I see neither the SPD or Greens pursuing a coalition with the CDU/CSU, so all other possible options will be evaluated first, the obvious exception being the AfD which nobody likes.

Right now, red-green-red has about 50% of the current polling, so that's a majority after the insignificant parties get removed from the equation. In case that the Left fails to meet the 5% threshold, we'd be looking at ~10% of the total amount of votes getting discarded, meaning that SPD and Greens would need only ~45% of all votes to hold a majority of seats. If the Left falls below the threshold of 5%, it's likely that those votes would be lost to the SPD and that would result in ~45% for SPD and Greens combined.

As for parties abandoning parts of their agendas in coalitions, that's the necessary compromise to get something done instead of nothing. How much a party can get through in a coalition strongly depends on their share of votes in the election. The only Bundesland where you can really criticize the Greens is Baden-Württemberg, because it's the only one where they lead the coalition and could definitely get more done than they do. The reason why you see less bending from the CDU in coalitions is because in almost all of them they are the leading party.



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If we believe what the political parties are saying before the election then there aren't a lot of options when it comes to forming coalitions.

CDU/CSU most likely won't win the election and have already declared that they won't be the junior partner in a coalition. So the only way they could get into government is by doing a black-green-yellow coalition. But there's no reason for the Greens to betray the other left parties to form a coalition with two conservative parties when they have other options as well. Therefore, the upcoming coalition won't involve CDU/CSU.

Red-green-red is possible but the SPD is still pissed off at the Left because a bunch of them used to be SPD members and the Left is the most critical towards the SPD for having lost the left ideology. The Left would like to form a coalition with the SPD but not vice versa. However, since there aren't many options I could imagine that most SPD members would agree to the coalition in the end. Also a coalition like this already exists in three of the 16 Bundesländer.

Red-green seems unlikely. Even if the Left wouldn't be able to achieve the 5% treshold (they are currently trending between 6% and 8% so I don't see it happening) red-green might not get a majority.

Only other realistic option would be red-green-yellow. But that highly depends on the FDP and considering they didn't want to form a coalition with the Greens at the last election they might not want to do it this time either.

Last edited by Barozi - on 22 September 2021

RolStoppable said:
Mnementh said:

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.

As far as I know, neither the SPD nor Greens have made explicit statements against a coalition with the Left. Instead they merely opted against endorsement of such a coalition which is not the same as ruling it out. From the side of the Left, in their paper for possible coalition talks after the election they have not included their usual call for Germany to leave the NATO, so that's kind of the same thing going on. All three parties are remaining purposefully vague because they all know of the paranoia and don't want to lose votes on the final stretch of the election campaigns.

If you've watched any of the three-way discussions on TV in recent weeks, it has been pretty obvious that SPD and Greens see it as a high priority to keep the CDU/CSU out of government. Scholz and Baerbock repeatedly teamed up against Laschet despite not agreeing on everything with each other. That's why I see neither the SPD or Greens pursuing a coalition with the CDU/CSU, so all other possible options will be evaluated first, the obvious exception being the AfD which nobody likes.

Right now, red-green-red has about 50% of the current polling, so that's a majority after the insignificant parties get removed from the equation. In case that the Left fails to meet the 5% threshold, we'd be looking at ~10% of the total amount of votes getting discarded, meaning that SPD and Greens would need only ~45% of all votes to hold a majority of seats. If the Left falls below the threshold of 5%, it's likely that those votes would be lost to the SPD and that would result in ~45% for SPD and Greens combined.

As for parties abandoning parts of their agendas in coalitions, that's the necessary compromise to get something done instead of nothing. How much a party can get through in a coalition strongly depends on their share of votes in the election. The only Bundesland where you can really criticize the Greens is Baden-Württemberg, because it's the only one where they lead the coalition and could definitely get more done than they do. The reason why you see less bending from the CDU in coalitions is because in almost all of them they are the leading party.

Which is why I'd prefer a red-green-yellow coalition over red-green-red.

Not that I'm a fan of the FDP but at least there would be one somewhat conservative party to oppose the more radical left ideas. Also red-green-red would ignore all conservative voters (about 50%) and thus divide society even further.



What are the differences between SPD and the Left?



Flilix said:

What are the differences between SPD and the Left?

The original party (PDS) fused with the WASG in the early 2000s which consisted of former SPD members who weren't happy with chancellor Schröder (SPD) and other members of government. Together they formed the Left party.

The Left is the successor of the former leading party of the German Democratic Republic. That's why they are much stronger in East Germany and almost non-existent in West Germany. They also aren't too critical when it comes to the previous undemocratic system in the GDR and what their former party has done. There exist a few even more extremist left parties in Germany but the Left isn't that far off either.

SPD slowly moved closer and closer towards the center and nowadays they aren't too different from CDU/CSU (specifically CDU). But I think it would be unfair to say that they share the same political view. The difference is quite big though as the Greens are usually considered to stand between the Left and SPD in the left spectrum.

Last edited by Barozi - on 22 September 2021

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Flilix said:

What are the differences between SPD and the Left?

SPD is more to the mid. Overall the differences are not big, but the Left often stands for pacifism in foreign relations and vote against military deployments.



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Barozi said:

Which is why I'd prefer a red-green-yellow coalition over red-green-red.

Not that I'm a fan of the FDP but at least there would be one somewhat conservative party to oppose the more radical left ideas. Also red-green-red would ignore all conservative voters (about 50%) and thus divide society even further.

Society gets divided because society is stupid. Too many people are fine with consuming only news that reinforce their views, including views about others. It's much like racism which thrives on people make a conscious choice to never make any effort to actually learn something about others. But engaging more with others would make them realize that they aren't that different, certainly not as much to be scared about them and their ideas.

Which more radical left ideas are you concerned about, by the way?



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If I were German, I'd probably vote for the Pirate Party (if it could become significant enough to get seats), The Left, and/or Greens (if they moved toward an Ecosocialist platform like the American Green Party.) Probably means I would vote for the Left even though something like the Pirate Party would more closely align with my views. But that is without considering strategic voting, which with an Mixed Member Electoral system seems a bit confusing.



sc94597 said:

If I were German, I'd probably vote for the Pirate Party (if it could become significant enough to get seats), The Left, and/or Greens (if they moved toward an Ecosocialist platform like the American Green Party.) Probably means I would vote for the Left even though something like the Pirate Party would more closely align with my views. But that is without considering strategic voting, which with an Mixed Member Electoral system seems a bit confusing.

Before the introduction of leveling seats a few years ago, it was strategically clever to vote for different parties with first and second vote, as this would maximize the effect of your vote. Now it is not that important anymore.

One strategic consideration though: It not only makes sense to vote for a party, if they clear the hurdle to gain seats (5%), but before you can help them to reach 0.5%, which is the hurdle for getting money for the votes and donations. Reaching this milestone really can help a small party getting financed and be able to grow.



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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.

I'll be rooting for AfD's ultimate demise and burial into the sad dark history pages of proto-fascism. 

Anyway, it looks to be SPD anyway. I just hope the Greens get into government.