I’ve been harshing on the Union and
their little dog Toto the FDP pretty nastily throughout the campaign.1 Surely, though, I should spare a thought for Die Linke.
It’s easy to fail to pay the ‘Left Party’ the attention they deserve, mostly because nobody is likely to form a coalition with them. But still it should be noted: they did very well in this election. They should receive the congratulations they deserve.
Congratulations, then, wendebeschädigte East German communists: you polled surprisingly well, once you put yourselves under a West German carpetbagger.
And congratulations, Oskar Lafontaine. Many years ago you were the only major German political leader willing to speak the truth about the cost of unification. What a way you’ve come since then, finishing your career by becoming the first West German head of the SED.
1 But as for the Union: the latest figures show them less than 1% ahead of the SPD.
Holy cow. That’s almost inconceivably bad. Schröder called early elections in what was universally, and correctly, regarded as an admission of failure. Virtually every important indicator is worse than it was during the last elections, when Schröder scraped through with the skin of his teeth. And nonetheless, this time round the Union actually lost vote share, polling worse than it did in the last elections.
Poor Angela is for it. I can’t pretend to be distressed at the Union’s electoral failure but, janey mac, I like the Germans and, if they ever have to live under a Union government again, I could wish it a decent one. But no, it’s Stoiber and Merz and Koch for this lot, it seems. Time to tend the garden, I think.