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Sun Aug 13, 2017, 03:19 AM

 

Angela Merkel races ahead in polls with six weeks to go

Source: The Guardian

Kate Connolly in Berlin
Saturday 12 August 2017 23.54 BST

Not long ago, he was seen as a bearer of hope, not just for his own party, Germany’s Social Democrats, but for the whole of the embattled European left. He was nicknamed “Sankt Martin”, the man who had the potential to topple Angela Merkel from her throne after almost 12 years and bring a wave of fresh ideas that would reinvigorate a political landscape turned staid by her long-term presence.

Martin Schulz, 61, was even being looked to closely by Jeremy Corbyn’s advisers at a time when the Labour leader was struggling to mobilise support. They marvelled at how he had burst on to Berlin’s political stage and was inspiring a new generation of young voters, while encouraging those who had abandoned the party to return in their thousands.

Now, with six weeks to go until Germans go to the polls, Schulz is trailing Merkel miserably and already appears to be settling for a seat on the Bundestag opposition benches. “The SPD candidate is toiling hard, but no one is taking any notice,” wrote leading commentator Heribert Prantl in an editorial for the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The polls show Schulz’s SPD trailing Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance by about 14%, having been almost neck-and-neck just a few months ago. Polling analysts are not so much blaming Schulz’s campaign, which has seen him off on an energetic tour across Germany at the same time as Merkel has been happily relaxing in the South Tyrol, but on the strength of his opponent’s brand, the sense of reliability she exudes, and the continuity she will offer a Germany that is on an economic high.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/12/germany-election-angela-merkel-martin-schulz



Yeah, I'm an American liberal rooting for the reelection of a German conservative.

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Reply Angela Merkel races ahead in polls with six weeks to go (Original post)
Doug the Dem Aug 13 OP
True Dough Aug 13 #1
BigmanPigman Aug 13 #2
DFW Aug 13 #8
Alice11111 Aug 13 #11
Vetteguy Aug 13 #3
SunSeeker Aug 13 #4
rpannier Aug 13 #5
SunSeeker Aug 13 #6
Alice11111 Aug 13 #9
SunSeeker Aug 13 #12
DFW Aug 13 #7
LiberalLovinLug Aug 13 #14
DFW Aug 13 #15
LiberalLovinLug Aug 13 #16
Alice11111 Aug 13 #10
dalton99a Aug 13 #13

Response to Doug the Dem (Original post)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 03:25 AM

1. Go Angela!

She represents the best of the lot among the right-wingers! Hopefully no Russian shenanigans screw up her chances as the race heads into the stretch.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 03:33 AM

2. My thoughts exactly.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 04:28 AM

8. In German eyes

She also represents the best of the lot among left-wingers. As long as the SPD insists on allowing only "seasoned" old bureaucrats to rise to the level of "Kanzlerkandidat (candidate for Chancellor)," the CDU will beat them if they seem less stodgy, and no mismanaged crisis can be pointed to as a good reason for the electorate to vote for a party change.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 06:58 AM

11. ...

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Response to Doug the Dem (Original post)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 03:41 AM

3. Outstanding!

 

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Response to Doug the Dem (Original post)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 04:05 AM

4. The Trump effect.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 04:16 AM

5. Yep

Everything he attacks grows in prestige and numbers
Everything he supports crashes: Le Pen, Gert and so on

Maduro in Venezuela must be so excited

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Response to rpannier (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 04:19 AM

6. Exactly. Look what happened to May when she held Trump's hand.

Her support collapsed in the UK.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 06:52 AM

9. Melania knows that & snaps her hand away before he can

infect her with contagious disease for Republicans, Racist Ignorant Narcissist, RIN

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Response to Alice11111 (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 11:21 AM

12. LOL

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Response to Doug the Dem (Original post)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 04:23 AM

7. The Guardian apparently feels the need to put on more of a leftward spin on than reality warrants

It's simpler than the story, as written, implies.

Schulz is no Sanders, not even a Corbyn. He is a faceless bureaucrat who hasn't even spent much time in Germany of late. He was living the high life of the overpaid (with everyone else's taxes, as usual) EU bureaucrat in Brussels at the European Commission. Much of what they do over there is dream up rules on paper that make people's lives complicated when put into practice. Schulz hardly "burst on to Berlin’s political stage." What a bunch of nonsense. He was just hiding from it for a couple of decades. He had one, count 'em, ONE slogan: "mehr Gerechtigkeit (more justice)." For whom? How were he and the SPD going to bring that about? They had about as much in the way of specifics as those who thought they would be "Making America Great Again." Beyond a desire to take the chancellor's seat away from Merkel, they had nothing to offer.

As an opposition, you have to present what the incumbent has done wrong, and how you intend to do it better. Merkel, despite her missteps, has not made many, and Schulz has not presented a valid argument why Germany should ditch Merkel in his favor. If he had Macron's dynamic campaigning style, the voters might overlook his empty content--after all, they did it for Macron. But Schulz is about as dynamic as a corner pharmacist filling a prescription for penicillin. The only dynamic, interesting up and coming politician in Germany right now is someone who scares the pants off the men of Schulz's SPD AND Merkel's CDU, mainly because it's another woman. The German macho politicians were never comfortable with Merkel as chancellor, even as the voters were more and more so. The one politician who really seems poised to step into her shoes is Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. The men of the CDU hated her as Family minister, mainly because she was popular, poised and smart. They arranged for her to be shuffled to Defense, a post that has been the deathbed of many ambitions of German politicians. Von der Leyen has been presented with a few crises in her new post, but has, at least in the public's eye, acquitted herself well. She is clever and difficult to unsettle. Ironically, the men of the CDU will probably have more of a chance to sabotage her if Merkel gets another term, because they can lay more traps for her as a sitting cabinet minister than as a member of the opposition.

My wife, another Green/SPD voter who is fed up with the tired macho leadership of the SPD, is also contemplating giving Merkel her vote in the national election. Our local SPD and Greens are far better than their national counterparts. She told me (I'm still in the States, but we talk every day) this afternoon that when Merkel is in the news every day, and doesn't even mention Schulz. It's almost as if she were running unopposed. The media have no story on any of her comments on Schulz because there are none. Merkel is an invisible moving target that Schulz can't hit. My wife was driven nuts when she was in the States last year, because almost ALL our media had all Trump all the time. At the airports, the CNN screens--not even Fox--were carrying Trump speeches in their entirety and ignoring Hillary. In Germany, they can't do that, and are required to give equal time. The macho politicians don't WANT a woman who exudes insufficient dynamism (for them) leading their country, but with all the crap going on around them, a nut case leading Turkey, Putin getting belligerent, Trump scaring everyone, refugees still pouring in, and tax revenues beating expectations by tens of billions with a thousand suggestions as to what to do about it, Merkel still gives off an air of confidence and competence. Trump may have pulled the wool over enough American eyes to beat that, but Germans have been down that road before, and have no intention of following our example with a repeat performance. Merkel is conservative with a small "c:" Cautious, and tries to think out her moves (and words) before exposing them.

What the British left may not like is something most of the American left has not forgotten-- a "conservative" chancellor in Germany would be considered a flaming "libbrul" in the States. If Merkel has committed some grievous offense recently that has pleased our Republicans, or pissed off our Democrats, I can't recall what that might be. Others outside Germany might have other gripes, but Germany is doing comparatively well right now. Today's Germans, especially in light of their past, and the fact that every neighbor except Switzerland and Denmark is doing worse, like their "boring" status quo. I suspect the national vote will reflect that.

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Response to DFW (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 01:19 PM

14. "..than reality warrants"?

What does that mean?
It seems to me a very critical and "reality" based piece on the more left Social Democratic Party. On questioning and examining why they are not doing better.
And it also speaks of the press coverage that Merkel gets in comparison to Schulz.

But I don't see any leftist proselytization in the piece.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #14)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 02:37 PM

15. The gist of the piece I got was "Schulz should be doing better, why isn't he?"

Schulz gets plenty of press coverage in Germany. I'm in the States for the moment, but I live there and speak fluent German, it's not like I am picking and choosing from "friendly" blogs. It's just that Schulz is so uninspiring that his low numbers are deserved, something the Germans seem to get better than the Guardian's article's author. I came away with the feeling that the article implied that Schulz ought to be doing better. It's too bad that the political editor of the Guardian has changed since the days they asked me to do something for them (going back about ten years or so), or else I would been able to ask her directly.

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Response to DFW (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 03:18 PM

16. Yes. So why is this not a valid question?

The article says how he was neck and neck not to long ago. So it is questioning why Merkel suddenly is now far ahead. I agree with others and would suggest that being the (involuntary) face of European distaste of Trump, probably helped.

" It's just that Schulz is so uninspiring that his low numbers are deserved, something the Germans seem to get better than the Guardian's article's author."

I read plenty of criticism of the SDP and Schulz in the article. Including "The party suffered setbacks in regional elections, and despite Schulz expressing the importance of social justice – Gerechtigkeit – his campaign buzzword, at a time of a widening rich-poor divide, the euphoria ebbed amid complaints there was little substance in his plans for Germany."


Its not that important. But I'm just more alert these days to the seemingly organized plan of de-legitimizing any news source or pundit that is stating an opinion that is coming from the left of center. even on DU. which is shocking to me. It is perfectly logical for a more moderate/left paper to be concerned about the decline of a moderate/left party as well I would think. So I just don't see what the issue is.

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Response to Doug the Dem (Original post)


Response to Doug the Dem (Original post)

Sun Aug 13, 2017, 11:23 AM

13. Good sign.

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