Sunday, August 28, 2005

For those who care, here is your German election update:

The trends have continued and it now seems pretty clear that there is a real chance of an SPD-Green-Linke coalition government (should the three be willing to cooperate). Things may look different tomorrow because as I type this Oscar Lafontaine (of the Linke) is having a tv debate (sorta, more a moderated conversation) with Friedrich Merz (CDU finance smart guy). I am not watching, but Birgit is and said that she isn't sure that Lafontaine is coming off well.

An interesting facet of this campaign is that the CDU is showing more interest in the Linke than the SPD are. Basically, the Linke are running a campaign of (fairly shameless) populism. The CDU is concerned because they were counting on protest voters to turn to them. Their problem is that they think that the SPD "reform" program hasn't gone far enough (lots of voters think it has gone too far, and this is what the Linke are playing to).

There are only a few weeks left, but they will be exciting.

In other news, I see that New Orleans is facing The Big One folks have long feared. I hope they dodge this bullet, but it doesn't look good. I will go ahead and switch to the past tense here and say that I'm sorry for the poor folks who have lost their lives and those who have lost their livelihoods. I also want to say that I'm happy that I got to spend time in New Orleans before the hurricane. Its one of the few cities I've ever visited that gave off a truly organic vibe. By this I mean that the city was/is more than the sum of its parts. I miss it and am saddened by the thought that I may have lost it forever.

Obviously the city itself will survive, but if the hurricane hits it like they think it will, then something fundamental will have changed forever, I fear.


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