Oh, man…Germany is crumbling

Schroeder’s Social Democrats Suffer Major Loss in Key Election

I don’t really know anything about German politics, but Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats (SPD) just took its worst beating in fifty years in it’s traditional stronghold. (I’m totally taking the word of the site I’m linking to on this.)

The clear winner was the Christian Democratic Party (CDU). The CDU, which performed above expectations under the leadership of North-Rhine/Westphalia party chief Juergen Ruettgers, will likely form a coalition government with the Free Democrats (FDP), a party that favors lower taxes and smaller government and held on to finish a distant third despite taking some losses.

The CDU sounds like a bunch of Bible-banging Jesus freaks to me, and that FDP just means trouble if they’re at all serious about lower taxes and smaller government.

How on earth did this happen in Germany? Is Karl Rove really that powerful? (That’s a joke, people…Yes, I know that he’s that powerful.)

For more information, including Schroeder’s call for early national elections, see Medienkritik. (this is also via Instapundit)


  1. The issue in Germany is more of less simple, unemployment. The current unemployment rate in germany is 11.4% The german unemployement rate has been around 10% for the last 10-12 years. German governments could blame, the cost of rebuilding East Germany. (any yes, that excuse does not make economic sense) The current government was looking to fall in 2002, but thanks to Bush, they made it. This was one of the main reasons Germany was so antiwar… Germany is caught in a demographic & policy nightmare. 1) They have one of the lowest birthrates, while having one of the highest welfare states. This creates high tax rates, thus businesses cut costs(jobs) as much as possible. Firing an employee is basically, transfering the employee to a position of getting paid 80% salary for a year, without having the employee work for you. 2) Germany is anti-imigrant, thus keeping the tax base low. 3) Germany gave up its economic independance to the EU and the current EU policy is bent on restraining inflation thus has a comparitively high interest rate and low liquidity, further increasing buisiness costs. 4) Germany’s powerfull trade unions have blocked much needed policy reform. 5) They share a border with France – Just on general principle -that is never good

  2. Well said James. As far as point #5 goes:’They (Germany) share a border with France – Just on general principle -that is never good.’ HOW TRUE! It reminds me of one of General George Patton’s statements: ‘I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me!’

  3. Personally, having socialist governments in Europe might not be a bad thing for us. Aside from Britain, a strong ally, having a resurgent Europe with functional economies could pose some serious problems for the US in the future. A prosperous Europe and a prosperous China (Odds are that both of these wouldn’t happen at once) could combine to ‘contain’ the US. Better that the Europeans stay weak.

  4. Sharing a border with France is convenient if you are seeking conquests and willing collaborators afterward.

  5. Yes, Buckethead. A weak Europe / Germany. Perhaps you are not aware of the fact that last year, according to the WTO, Germany was the largest exporter of goods (by monetary value) on this planet, ahead of the US, Japan, and China.

  6. And Germany also has the smallest population of the 4 biggest exporters in the World (US, Japan, China, Germany) to boot.

  7. Just one thing: No, the CDU and their small bavarian sister party CSU (together they form the so called Union) aren’t ‘a bunch of Bible-banging Jesus freaks’. They are just a conservative party with a somehow strange name. After the party was founded in 1945 people of all other (former) conservative parties joined them, and Christianity doesn’t play the biggest role in the party. (Just one example: Though the European Constitution didn’t refer to god, and though the CDU/CSU of course protested against that, over 95% in the Bundestag – many of them members of the CDU/CSU – voted for the constitution.)