Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dude. The SPD (and the Greens) got the shit beat out of them. See, if you will, this link. If you can't read the German, click around the maps. Otherwise, trust me.

Two big surprises from my perspective: 1) that they would do so poorly [a loss wasn't hard to imagine, but this?], 2) that the disgruntled voters didn't choose one of the smaller parties on the left or (Dog forbid) right.

One bit of good news, I suppose, is precisely this last point: the Nazis faired quite poorly.

So. Schröder's response is fascinating. He is calling a snap federal election for the fall, arguing that he wants to know what the folks really think, and if they don't want him then they need to say so.

Risky. But it just. Might. Work. I am predicting, here and now, that he will pull it off.

And now a bit of philosophizin'. I reckon the SPD has a problem not unlike that facing New Labour and the New Democrats. Namely: in their lust for power they shed most of their convictions, and folks noticed. The average voter isn't inclined to support folks who come off as cynical, I reckon, and I think that's what's happening here. For example, a couple of weeks ago the general secretary of the SPD gave a speech in which he took a poke at hedge funds who tear companies to pieces and sell them off for short term profit. He likened them to locusts. Folks around the country said "Hell yeah! We've been saying that around our bar table for years!" But they also said "Dude! YOU can't say that! You and your party have been making sweet sweet love with those locusts since 1998!" They called bullshit, in other words.

Sadly, they turned to the (marginally) greater evil.

We will see, I suppose, how this all turns out. I am living in an exciting time.


At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Scott said...

What's even better is that the agitation for reform/changes in the leftish parties is that it's coming from the grassroots.


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