Monday, September 19, 2005

The day after


An amazing comeback by Gerhard Schröder, for the Social Democrats to come just 3 seats behind the CDU.  After voting on 2 October, delayed because of the death of a candidate, the SPD might even draw level. Here are the results (source: BBC), arranged roughly from right to left. (Unlike in France, the far right took a tiny percentage of votes and no seats in Parliament.)

Free Democrats: 9.8% (61); CDU/CSU: 35.2% (225 seats); SPD: 34.3% (222); Greens: 8.1% (51) ; Left Party: 8.7% (54)

So, what does it mean? For Bernard Guetta, Angela Merkel took a a neo-liberal step too far, when she appointed an economics adviser who favoured a flat tax. (Interestingly, Philip Stephens wrote a piece in the FT Tuesday, 13 Sept, called 'A flat tax would flatten the Tories'.)  Secondly,  as Pierre Moscovici pointed out, the splintering of those who reject any reform, die Linke, from the mainstream left prevented the Social Democrats from forming a majority, with the Greens, in the Bundestag.

Update: I didn't find too many blogs talking about the German elections. There is this, though,  especially the reply from coralie (reuters), all in French. The delayed voting in Dresden involves one constituency, but it could swing 2 seats. Some put the CDU-SPD score at 225-222, others at 225-221. In the latter case, 2 seats changing hands would seem to lead to a dead heat. But there is probably more to it than that. There is a later post from Ceteris P here. Even the 613 total number of deputies is only provisoire, it would seem. I thought it strange that the BBC said the delayed voting 'will not tip the balance of power', but perhaps they are right after all.

The comments on. this thread at Fistful of Euros also seem interesting.  
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Quite a turnaround. On Sunday, it was being reported that food aid to North Korea was to cease. On Monday, North Korea has agreed to rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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