Problems. And Games.

Unfortunately, following our recent move to a different hosting provider, some Euros in the Fistful are still experiencing technical difficulties when trying to post. We’re trying to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, other people are experiencing problems as well. The “K-question”, the question who will become the next Chancellor, and presumably the amjor stumbling block on the way to true coalition negotiations between the CDU and the SPD, is still as close to a solution as it was when the polls closed on September 18. Both parties are still hoping the other one will blink first.

While the CDU’s leadership is now trying to bribe the SPD’s top brass into accepting Angela Merkel as chancellor by offering to accept more SPD- than CDU-held ministerial posts in a future cabinet (and thus, bizarrely, liekely strengthens the SPD’s overall position), the SPD is not falling for simple divide et impera games. The two main party wings, the conservative “Seeheimer Kreis” and the left “Parlamentarischw Linke”, have just released a statement demanding not to accept any solution without Schröder as Chancellor. Their position probably includes the “Israeli-solution” of a shared Chancellorship – two years for Schröder, followed by two years for Merkel.

Still, it’s too close to call. Depending on the pressure from within the parties, the decision will now possibly be made next Sunday evening, in another “priavte” conversation between Chancellor Schröder, Ms Merkel, SPD-Chairman Müntefering, and CSU-chairman Stoiber. Should no decision be made then, the next level in this game would probably include (less silent) threats from some within the SPD to form a minority government supported by some votes from the Linspartei.PDS. The CDU/CSU would probably move to make more important concessions to the Greens in order to revive the idea of a “Jamaica”-coalition.

The games people chose to play. Should you want to play this game too, here’s your chance. For those of you, gentle readers, who speak German, there’s the “coalition calculator“, and for everyone (language options), some power-indicators from – Who forms the next government?, and more interestingly,

Surprisingly, betting one Euro on Angela Merkel will only get you 1.18 Euros should she be elected. But betting on Gerhard Schröder will yield 8.40 Euros. Do they know something we don’t?

5 thoughts on “Problems. And Games.

  1. Do they know something we don’t?

    They can do math. The red/redder/green majority is 327. They need 308. They are unlikely to have the time to form something solid from this. In conclusion Schröder would likely get a plurality but not a majority. So the SPD can force new elections, but not more.

  2. However, Schröder could still be “the next chancellor”, if he were to serve 1 year, to be followed for 3 years by Merkel. (I don´t know if that is a good idea. It certainly isn´t priced into the offers that betting site makes, though. Maybe I should take a position…)

  3. That would require the CDU to
    a) yield a position they have called selfevident
    b) trust the SPD not to engineer another dissolution then

    And it would very much mean that Merkel is a thing of the past. She wouldn’t hold out a full year.

    And on the third hand, it would smack of instability and thus be unpopular.

  4. >selfevident…

    yeah, I think we can all see how self-evident this is. Everytime they repeat it’s self-evident they are in fact reiterating that it is not. If it actually were, they should be able to make it happen. What’s the importance of a tradition when there was never a situation in which it could have be handled differently?

    Quite frankly, I think their biggest hope to receive a self-evident outcome is that the SPD will deem it useful for the future to establish that tradition in a more formal way than it is now.

  5. If it actually were, they should be able to make it happen. What’s the importance of a tradition when there was never a situation in which it could have be handled differently?

    Exactly. If we look into the constitution, then the standard solution would be new elections and a minority government afterwards if it should be required.
    The problem is that the conventional wisdom strongly supports a grand coalition. It does so based on the states’ practice, but these are federal elections.

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