Old questions reawakened

Europe’s history is littered with questions, some answered, some left unanswered for centuries. For those of you interested in the Schleswig-Holstein question, Randy McDonald has an interesting post on how the remaining Danish and Frisian minority in Schleswig-Holstein could hold the state’s balance of power after Sunday’s elections and how that could affect the politics of Germany as a whole.

10 thoughts on “Old questions reawakened

  1. It is not an old question. It is just a small party putting the axe onto its own being. With an exemption to electoral laws come certain responsibilities.

  2. The Danish minority’s party is exempt from some limitations ordinary parties operate under. Operating under these rules it would have no seats at all.

    These exemptions are perfectly justified if their aim is giving a minority a voice and their representatives are perfectly justified to use their entire power to serve their ethnic group.
    But if the party wants to do full blooded governmental politics and use their exemption to reverse an election, then they overstep their mandate and obliterate the justification of the exemption they benefit from.

  3. ‘Reverse an election’? Maths were never my strong suit, Oliver, but if my counting is correct, CDU/FDP did not win a majority in the Landtag.

    If SSW, by siding with SDP/die Gr?nen, could somehow mysteriously negate a CDU/FDP majority, your complaint would have some substance. As it is, you might reflect on the nature of parliamentary democracy in jurisdictions that do not use a FPTP system.

    And that nature is such that at this moment we still do not know the outcome of this election. It could be Red/Green or Black/Yellow; or it could even be a grand coalition, in which case the SSW will not have had the chance to offend your delicate sensibilities. In none of these cases, though, would it be correct to speak of the election having been ‘reversed’.

  4. ‘Reverse an election’? Maths were never my strong suit, Oliver, but if my counting is correct, CDU/FDP did not win a majority in the Landtag.

    That is precisely the point. If all votes were counted by the same rules, they would have a majority. This is not an issue of parliamentary democracy. It’s about fairness.

  5. “If all votes were counted by the same rules, they would have a majority.”

    How so? Would the CDU go into coalition with the NPD? (From what I read from you on Fistful, I wouldn’t be surprised.)

    And where in the German Constitution does it say that the special rule for ethnic minority representatives goes with special limitations on their powers as representatives?

  6. One more thought: would there be a 5% rule for all without exemptions (the only “one rule for all” Oliver apparently considered), the Danes would most probably have voted Green or SPD by now – there goes that majority again.

  7. As the NPD isn’t a party with representatives how could anyone make a coalition with them, even if they would? At least at present the NPD is not fit to let loose on a state and will not for years. The further future is unpredictable.

    As for how they would have voted, a guess is a guess.

  8. So it was as I had expected. Mrs Tilton and DoDo already mentioned what I have to say about the topic, so I’m going to refrain from adding further to a pointless discussion.

  9. As the NPD isn’t a party with representatives…

    As you were thinking about a hypothetical situation where the SSW would have no representatives,
    your point is bizzarre.

    As for how they would have voted, a guess is a guess.

    An educated guess is better than a wild guess (i.e., yours about a CDU+FDP majority). It is pretty obvious that no self-respecting minority Dane would vote for the current CDU with its nationalistic rhetoric, while it is also pretty obvious that those who felt compelled to vote for one party advocating school reform (SSW) would vote for another advocating the same (SPD).

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