Germans, how will you vote? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2002, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Germans, how will you vote?

Schroeder or Stoiber?

I, of course, favor Schroeder but I can understand why many Germans would want a change. I don't get to vote of course.

How will you vote? What are your reasons?


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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 11:30 AM
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Neither nor.

Well, you have to know (if you don't) that the German chancellor isn't elected directly. The parliament elects him. German people can only vote for a party.
The new German Bundestag will have 598 members (or maybe a few more, but that's quite complicated). To get into it, your party needs at least 5 % of all votes (there's another possibility, but that's quite complicated too). There are only 5 parties who have got a chance to get in:

SPD - social-democratic party. Schröder is in it. It's rather left (but not much).
CDU - christian-democratic party. Stoiber is in it. Rather conservative (but not much either, in fact both are quite similar).
FDP - liberal party. They have candidate for chancellor as well (Guido Westerwelle), but that's more a joke.
Bündnis '90/Grüne - the Green Party. Currently governing with the SPD. Foreign minister Joschka Fischer is a member of it.
PDS - party of the democratic socialism. Origin was the KPD of East-Germany, and it's still mostly based in the east part of Germany.

To govern, you need more than 50 % of the places in the Bundestag. If one party doesn't reach that (and it won't happen), there has to be a coalition.
SPD and Green party want to continue. CDU wants FDP. FDP would take SPD or CDU. No one wants the PDS.

Right now it seems the SPD will win. But probably all depends on the PDS. If they get in, maybe none of the combination above will reach 50 %.
Solution: maybe big coalition (SPD/CDU, rather unlikely), 'Ampel'-coalition ('Ampel' means traffic-lights = SPD/Green/FDP = red/green/yellow).

Will be close.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 11:35 AM
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Uhm...honestly I don't think you have a right to ask. Of course, if they wanna tell you it's fine, but I think it's private. I mean, I don't even know what my parents vote, and they don't tell each other either.

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 12:50 PM
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 01:17 PM
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adnil, everyone asks everyone in USA how they vote. Quite a few people say "none of your business" but for the majority, most people discuss who they vote for and why.

It's good to discuss because then you become more intelligible on the subjects.....for example here, I had no idea that the German government was a puzzle....like the American government

Could Scott, or GoDominique do a little profile on each of the main candidates so I can see what each stand for?

Thanks


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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 02:04 PM
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I kind of agree with Linda. Here it's a bit touchy to ask someone who they vote for. I mean if you are talking politics with someone, and the give up who they vote for without you asking, then it's OK to discuss it, but many people don't want to say who they vote for, or many people don't stay with one party, etc. I do discuss with my Dad about voting, and I know who he votes for, but Mum didn't like to discuss who she voted for much. I told my Dad who I voted for last election, but he knows that I think our elections are a joke and I hate all politicians anyway. Here we HAVE to vote - if you don't, you get fined! Now that's just wrong to start with!

But then if people don't want to say who they vote for, then they don't have to post it! That's quite simple.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 03:51 PM
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Sarah, is that Australia? YIKES, that is a total violation of personal freedom.


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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 03:56 PM
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Yup, that's in Australia! And I know, it's not very democratic MAKING us vote! But I don't want a fine, so I vote anyway...they wonder why they get so many "donkey votes" (ie people who don't vote properly)...well, probably because those people didn't want to vote in the first place!

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 04:40 PM
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IIRC, voting is also mandatory in Belgium. I too agree that it's a horrible violation of personal liberty, and bring this up to any Belgians or Australians who claim the American system is undemocratic.

Go Dominique: Getting into the Bundestag with less than 5% of the vote isn't that complicated. Roughly half the seats are single-seat constituencies (much like the US House of Representatives, or the Canadian or UK Houses of Commons). The other half are divided up in such a way that parties with at least 5% of the vote will have a percentage of seats in the Bundestag about equal to their percentage of the vote. However, your party can get around the 5% hurdle by winning at least three (IIRC) of the single-seat constituencies (which is how the PDS have gotten into the Bundestag.

Now, I don't understand the Überhangsmandaten, except that it benefits the CSU. Note that Stoiber doesn't actually belong to the CDU, but to its Bavarian sister party (and more conservative), the CSU. Bavaria is like the US South in that it's made the butt of jokes for no good reason other than prejudice. Stoiber has been the state premier in Bavaria for about a decade now, and by all accounts has done an adequate job. IIRC, he's the first Bavarian to run for Chancellor since Franz-Josef Strauss. (Strauss did run for Chancellor, right?)

BTW: Will the SPD be hurt by the Justice Minister's comments comparing Bush to Hitler? What she said is no better than anything Jürgen Möllemann has said during the campaign.

I find it amazing that so many German politicians go on and on about "Fremdenfeindlichkeit" (xenophobia), but "Amerikafeindlichkeit" is considered almost a virtue. Are Americans no longer considered foreigners in Germany?
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 04:51 PM
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I studied politics for an AS and got a B Its something i take great pride in i love to debate and share my opinion.

So what kind of electral system is there in Germany?

First past the post?
List system( the % of the vote=% of seats in the Bundestag)
Aditional member system
Single transferable vote

don't remember quite how the last 2 work

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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It's parliamentary democracy I would assume, I have some info on it from my comparative gov't class last year.

GoDominique, I did know that, sorry I didn't clarify. I thought that it was basically a vote for the person you want to lead, as he represents that party, etc. But I'm often wrong.


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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Profile: Gerhard Schroeder
August 27, 2002 Posted: 1531 GMT


BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is running for re-election in the September 22 election under the banner of his Social Democratic Party.

Gerhard Fritz Schroeder was born on April 7, 1944, in Mossenburg, Germany, the second child of Fritz Schroeder, an unskilled worker and lance corporal.

Schroeder's father died soon after, during World War II in Romania, without ever having seen his son. Schroeder's mother remarried in 1947 to Paul Vosseler, an unskilled worker, who died in 1964. That marriage produced Schroeder's three half-siblings.

Education

After elementary school, Schroeder worked as a commercial apprentice at an ironmonger's hardware shop until 1961, and as an unskilled construction worker and commercial employee until 1964.

That year, he completed his intermediate high school certificate in Goettingen. Two years later, he took his school-leaving exam. From 1966 until 1971, Schroeder studied law and took the state law examinations in 1971 and 1976.

Career in politics
In 1963, Schroeder joined Germany's SPD and became involved in organizing the party's Young Socialists. In 1971 he became head of the Young Socialists in SPD's Hanover district, and was elected federal chairman of the Young Socialists in 1978.

Schroeder was a member of the German Bundestag from 1980 to 1986, when he withdrew and ran unsuccessfully for minister-president of Lower Saxony against the incumbent from the CDU, Ernst Albrecht.

Schroeder ran again four years later, in 1990, and was successful, with the SPD overtaking the CDU as the strongest party in Lower Saxony with 44.2 percent of the vote.

In the mid-1990s, Schroeder became more involved in federal politics. He was a member of Rudolf Scharping's shadow cabinet with responsibility for economic, traffic and energy policies.

Scharping, Schroeder and Oskar Lafontaine became the leading "troika" of the SPD, and opinion polls in 1997 showed Schroeder having a better chance than Lafontaine of defeating incumbent Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Schroeder's name soon entered conversations as a possible candidate for chancellor.

State elections in Lower Saxony in March 1998 were expected to determine who would face Kohl in national elections, and Schroeder won convincingly with 47.9 percent of the vote. Federal SPD Chairman Franz Muentefering then announced that Schroeder would be the party's candidate for chancellor.

In federal parliamentary elections on September 27, 1998, the SPD received the largest share of votes, 40.9 percent, and a month later Schroeder was elected as Germany's new chancellor.


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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Profile: Edmund Stoiber
August 27, 2002 Posted: 1528 GMT


BERLIN, Gemany (CNN) -- Bavarian premier Edmund Stoiber is running for the post of German chancellor in the September 22 election under the joint banner of the Christian Socialist Union and its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union.

Stoiber was born on September 28, 1941, in the German town of Oberaudorf.

His father was a businessman from Upper Palatinate, and his mother was from the German region of Rheinland.

Education

After his school-leaving exam, Stoiber entered military service in Bad Reichenhall and Mittenwald in the mountain division.

After his service, he studied jurisprudence and political science in Munich, then began working at the University of Regensburg after taking the first state law examination in 1967.

He took the second law exam in 1971 then completed a doctorate.

Career in politics
Stoiber entered the Bavarian state parliament in 1974, where he developed a "good personal acquaintanceship" and "seamless political agreement" with then-CSU chairman and Bavarian premier Franz Josef Strauss.

In the 1978 state election, Stoiber was one of four CSU candidates who bucked the trend and gained votes -- after which he became CSU secretary-general and Strauss's right-hand man.

After Strauss's death in 1988, Stoiber became interior minister in the cabinet of new Bavarian premier Max Streibl.

In 1993 Stoiber became Bavarian prime minister. At state elections in 1994, the CSU achieved an absolute majority and Stoiber was re-elected as head of the Bavarian government.

He became CSU chairman in 1998 after Theo Waigel resigned.

Leading CSU politicians tried to push Stoiber to run for chancellor in early 2001, but he repeatedly said he wanted to remain Bavarian prime minister.

A year later, though, Stoiber became a candidate representing both the CSU and the CDU, after CDU leader Angela Merkel announced she would not enter the race.


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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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and this discusses the issues a bit:


German election too close to call
By CNN Frankfurt Bureau Chief Chris Burns
Friday, September 20, 2002 Posted: 0938 GMT


COLOGNE, Germany (CNN) -- Germany's election has turned from certain defeat for Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder into a cliffhanger.

Schroeder has clawed his way back in the polls against conservative challenger Edmund Stoiber in a race that's now too close to call.

Through most of the summer, the writing on the wall seemed to spell Schroeder's political demise.

Economic bad news piled up -- more than 4 million unemployed again, nearly 10 percent -- forcing the Social Democrat to eat the words he uttered four years ago when he defeated longtime Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

At the time, Schroeder said if he couldn't cut unemployment by half a million, he wouldn't deserve to be re-elected in 2002.

Schroeder unwittingly handed Stoiber a stick to beat him with -- over and over again.

"Let's stick to the facts," Stoiber said during the candidates' first televised debate. "Four years ago (Schroeder) promised to cut unemployment significantly. He said there would not be more than 3.5 million unemployed. He added he wouldn't deserve to be elected if he didn't achieve that."

Stoiber built a lead of nearly 10 points, promising to slash taxes and loosen Germany's strict job protection rules to stimulate the economy. But his lead evaporated.

Schroeder, telegenic and personally more popular than Stoiber, became a comeback kid thanks to a bit of luck, charm and political acumen.

Despite his Achilles heel of unemployment, Schroeder managed to claw his way into a horserace by jumping out ahead of his challenger on two other major issues: Germany's devastating summer floods, and the possibility of a war in Iraq.

The chancellor spearheaded the relief effort during the country's worst floods in more than a century, promising billions in aid.

That earned Schroeder major points in the region where he needs them most -- the depressed former communist east.

And as Washington's threats against Baghdad intensified, Schroeder turned it into a campaign issue, vowing that Germany would not take part in an attack.

"What the Middle East needs is not more war, but more peace, ladies and gentlemen," Schroeder said.

The polls indicate a large majority of Germans oppose their country getting militarily involved in Iraq.

Schroeder was widely seen as winning the second and final televised debate, in part by challenging Stoiber to make his position clear on the issue.

Stoiber says that to pressure Iraq, the war option must remain open, though with U.N. backing.

Ironically, Washington may have handed Schroeder an issue that just may put him over the top -- though anything can happen in this last week of campaigning.


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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2002, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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And to the people saying it's not polite to ask, I don't see why. At least here we openly debate it... why is it so personal? You're not picking a lover, you're choosing a leader for your own people. But, if people don't want to answer, I'm not forcing them too. I was just looking for imput from some Germans.


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