German Election: Lawyered Up

Well, it’s back to another wave of German electoral goodness. The latest bizarre artefact of coalition weirdness is that Angela Merkel’s team are frantically denying claims that they have a secret plan to call new elections in the event that the elections end in a hung parliament. Obviously, this would rely on Merkel actually becoming Chancellor, but without a working majority…and would mean a really tiresome bout of national self loathing.

As the election campaign powers into the final desperate dash, some rightwingers have been frantically signalling that they might, might, just go in for a grand coalition (read: that way we can ditch the bitch AND get back in power). The CDU’s deputy leader, and chief in Rheinland-Pfalz, says at the link above that this would encompass “their duty as citizens”. Ha. (What is it with people from RP?)

Meanwhile, on the Handelsblatt‘s election futures market Wahlstreet, where the percentages are quoted to two decimal places and the cigarettes are paid for on the bill, the CDU showed a marked turn for the better, pushing back over 40%. But the Greens also showed an uptick, or perhaps only a technical rally, getting back to 8.1%. The result? Neither black-gold or red-green can quite make the nut. BG is hovering around 47-48%, with RG around 41% – which sounds like a decisive margin until you remember that the Linke are still in the game, with enough points to push RG over the finish line. And, equally, there are still enough FDP about to give the Ampelkoalition a majority over all other parties….

Everyone is getting very wary of the so-called overhang mandates, a curious feature of the German system that can grant extra seats to parties that get more seats through the second, proportional, vote than the first, majoritarian, vote. According to the HB, the CDU’s projected share of overhangs is showing signs of crumbling.

And everyone’s gone completely mad about this story. Angela Merkel suggested that the Finance Ministry already had a secret plan of unpopular cuts ready. The SPD accused her controversial pair of potential finance ministers, Friedrich Merz and Paul Kirchhof, of having a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam make massive cuts in the budget. Both sides claim the documents don’t exist. Now, Merkel is promising to call a parliamentary inquiry into the conduct of the current finance minister, Hans Eichel. And Hans Eichel is threatening to sue her for libel. Woo!

In minor news, the last remaining court case against the very existence of the elections was thrown out on the grounds that the parties involved were not represented in Parliament and therefore had no interest in the outcome.

2 thoughts on “German Election: Lawyered Up

  1. Obviously, this would rely on Merkel actually becoming Chancellor, but without a working majority…and would mean a really tiresome bout of national self loathing.

    No, it would depend on her not becoming chancellor. In any case this is up to the president only. New elections can be called only if the Bundestag elects a minority government and the president does not accept a minority government.
    I would prefer that to a hung parliament. There’s no reason not to demand the voters to make up their minds and to tell them that they screwed up.

    that get more seats through the second, proportional, vote than the first, majoritarian, vote.

    The other way round :-)

    And consider that this is extremely unpredictable in the questionable states.

  2. Checking out this blog for the first time, it looks really great. Keep up the good work.

    Now, for my two cents: I just found out this morning that the couple I am friends with in Germany have already voted by mail — for Angie.

    Nothing scientific here, but they voted SPD in the last two elections, and they are not xenophobes by any stretch of the imagination. If that’s any indication, the election could turn out to be a lot more decisive than the polls are now predicting.