View Full Version : Germans, how will you vote?

Sep 19th, 2002, 11:39 PM
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. :p

How will you vote? What are your reasons?

Sep 20th, 2002, 11:30 AM
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. :)

Sep 20th, 2002, 11:35 AM
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.

Sep 20th, 2002, 12:50 PM
I'm luckily in Leipzig for tennis, thank God! So the tv & radi can't annoy me :p

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Sep 20th, 2002, 01:17 PM
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 :)

Sep 20th, 2002, 02:04 PM
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.

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Sep 20th, 2002, 03:51 PM
Sarah, is that Australia? YIKES, that is a total violation of personal freedom.

Sep 20th, 2002, 03:56 PM
Yup, that's in Australia! And I know, it's not very democratic MAKING us vote! :fiery: 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! :rolleyes:

Ted of Teds Tennis
Sep 20th, 2002, 04:40 PM
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? :confused:

Sep 20th, 2002, 04:51 PM

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

Sep 20th, 2002, 05:10 PM
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.

Sep 20th, 2002, 05:11 PM
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.


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.

Sep 20th, 2002, 05:13 PM
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.


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.

Sep 20th, 2002, 05:16 PM
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.

Sep 20th, 2002, 05:20 PM
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.

Ted of Teds Tennis
Sep 20th, 2002, 06:31 PM

I think I answered your question in my previous post. IIRC, half the seats are first-past-the-post, the other half are proportional representation. However, the PR seats are allocated so that each party's total of both PR and FPTP seats will be roughly the same percentage as of their vote. If there aren't enough PR seats to do this, a few more (called Überhandmandate IIRC) are added to make up the difference. In the last election, they needed to add about 10 seats for the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of the CDU.

Complex, isn't it? :D

Sep 20th, 2002, 07:34 PM
Well, OK, maybe it isn't that complicated, but it's VERY complicated to me to explain all this in English, because I have to look up every second word in a dictionary. ;)

Actually, I think at the last elections the SPD got more Überhangmandate, although I'm not really sure. In each case, it could play an important role on sunday. BTW, there has been a lawsuit (I think 8 years ago) whether these Überhangmandate are maybe unconstitutional. They are not, but still I am against them, as it doesn't make sense. We should just get rid of the first vote (=single-seat constituencies ?). BTW Ted, you are very well informed. :)

Considering what the Justice Minister said: Well, she didn't really said 'Bush is like Hitler'. If she said what she is said to have said, she said ;): Bush makes war plans to take attention away from inner problems, he's not the first one to do this, (she named a few) and even Htler has done this (or something like that). That's not very smart of course, but she probably didn't know that press was there. :o Anyway, no one is agreeing with what she said. She probably won't be fired right now, but it's unlikely that she will get another job if the SPD will win again.

Consdering the war plans: Most Germans are against war and participation of German soldiers, and as it's election time, politicians just say what the people want to hear. Who knows what will be next week ? :rolleyes:

And considering Möllemann: He's a madman. ;) No, really, he IS crazy, and hopefully the FDP will finally dump him now.

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Sep 20th, 2002, 07:40 PM
Hmmm....sounds like both candidates are mainline liberal to me....must be nice ;)

I'm still unsure about how I feel about the present situation in Iraq regarding whether or not they should be attacked....but I would probably use that decision on the basis of these 2 candidates I vote for, because that seems to be the only major thing separating them.

How I wish there was another Ralph Nader out there in a serious chance for presidency of a big country.

Sep 20th, 2002, 09:36 PM
Once the Republicrats ruin our country, Ralph Nader-ish people will have a chance. But unfortunately in this country you have to hit people in the face with the brick before they'll realize it exists.

Ted of Teds Tennis
Sep 21st, 2002, 02:12 AM
Ralph Nader would be a horror. He's a populist in the mold of Jörg Haider and Umberto Bossi. All three of them seem to have the basic premise that there's an "us" and a "them", and that the "they" are the reason why we have the problems in the world we do. The solution that populists give is that if only government's power could be used to punish "them", then "we" would all be much better off. For Haider and Bossi, the "we" are the native-born (white) Europeans with the "they" being immigrants; for Nader, the "we" are salaried workers while the "they" are businessmen and anybody else whose bank account maked Nader jealous.

I'm horrified by the notion of using the power of government to turn it upon some disfavored group.

BTW: I vote Libertarian, and not for the Republicans or Democrats.

Sep 21st, 2002, 05:23 AM
Nader isn't like that at all :confused: I get the feeling you're rich :p

Btw, Libertarians are all gun-toting anarchists ;)

Sep 21st, 2002, 07:47 AM
Originally posted by GoLleyt
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.

:p I didn't say it wasn't polite. I just said that here people often don't like to talk about it, and I did also say that if people didn't wanna say, they didn't have to! ;)

Sep 21st, 2002, 04:58 PM
Scott and Joshua, of course if people want to answer the question, it's fine. You could turn the "good to discuss" thing around, and say it can lead to a lot of confrontations you don't need. Your best friends can vote someone you don't like, and that can cause a lot of problems between you, while in fact it doesn't matter cos it doesn't change them as a person. See my point? Only few people know what I would have voted last may if I would have been old enough ( :fiery: I wanted to vote! And I want the cabinet to fall around march/april so I can vote than ;)), and I won't discuss it with them.

Ted of Teds Tennis
Sep 21st, 2002, 07:41 PM

Actually, I'm opposed to the whole idea of proportional representation. I think one ought to be voting for an individual, not a group. Also, I think having an individual representative who is specifically there to represent a certain geographical area is a good thing. There are certain countries (I belive Belgium and Finland among others) which require parties to have quotas based on genitalia in forming their party lists. I've suggested elsewhere that some party ought to have a list consisting of 50% men in suits and 50% men in drag. :)

Now, I don't know that first-past-the-post is the best system. Some sort of runoff system would be best, IMO, although the French might not agree any longer after this year's presidential election. Perhaps an "instant runoff" system (like in Ireland IIRC) in which people number their first, second, and third-choice candidates. After the votes are counted, the candidate in last place is eliminated and that person's first choice preferences go to the candidates marked as second-choice on the respective ballots. Continue this until one candidate has a majority of the votes. The ballot is probably more complex, but it's also better than almost anything else currently being used.

I have relatives in Germany (Passau, which suffered flooding, but not as bad as Dresden), and listen to Deutsche Welle's news program "Funkjournal" almost every day. And I listen to their Bundesliga coverage every Saturday morning. So that's how I keep so well informed. :)

Ted of Teds Tennis
Sep 21st, 2002, 07:43 PM
Let me guess Adnil -- deep down inside, you wanted to vote for Pim Fortuyn. :D

[ducking to avoid the flames...]

Sep 22nd, 2002, 03:55 PM
Only 5 minutes left until polling stations close !

Then we will get the first projection ! :bounce:

Sep 22nd, 2002, 04:02 PM
Here it is:

CDU - 38 %
SPD - 38 %
Green - 9 %
FDP - 7,5 %
PDS - 4 %
Others - 3,5 %

Sep 22nd, 2002, 04:04 PM
Will PDS get it ? Probably not with %.

And not with 3 'direct entries' either, it seems.

That would mean that Schröder will be chancellor again.

Sep 22nd, 2002, 04:05 PM
Other TV channel has CDU 39 %, SPD 37 %. :eek:

Sep 22nd, 2002, 04:33 PM
Currently CDU is leading SPD, but Greens are leading FDP. PDS is probably out. :o

Sep 22nd, 2002, 04:46 PM
It seems that we have a repeat of Bush vs. Gore. :o

Sep 22nd, 2002, 04:58 PM
CDU (Stoiber) has most definitely won the elctions over SPD (Schröder). Still, that doesn't tell anything about the upcoming government.

Sep 22nd, 2002, 05:03 PM
i think Schröder will win few "überhangmandate" (sorry i don´t know the english word) and so it will be enough for red-green (i hope so)

Go Joschka :wavey:

Sep 22nd, 2002, 05:04 PM
i´m from Bavaria (Stoiber is there prime-minister)
and i can say i don´t like his politic
i hope Schröder will stay in Berlin, and Joschka as foreign-minister

Sep 22nd, 2002, 05:10 PM
LMAO, the FDP still hasn't had anyone speaking to the press. Their aim was 18 %. :p They are probably all looking like this: :o.

Sep 22nd, 2002, 05:16 PM
no they are looking like this --------> http://images.bravenet.com/brpics/smilie/15_weeping.gif

Sep 22nd, 2002, 05:26 PM
But in the end they might look like this :D if they are part of government. ;)

Sep 22nd, 2002, 07:55 PM
So are we cany closer to knowing? :o

And Adnil, my best friend and I are polar opposites on the political scale, but it doesn't bother me :)

Sep 22nd, 2002, 09:25 PM
It seems like the current socialist-green coalition will get another term. The christian-democrats are the biggest party, the socialists have lost a bit but their green coalition part has won some votes.

Ted of Teds Tennis
Sep 22nd, 2002, 09:52 PM
Hmmm. Only two posts in the last four hours. How long will it take them to count the absentee ballots? As best as I can tell, it's looking like it will take absentee ballots to determine the final seat distribution -- and whether anybody has a majority. As of 23.25 CET, Infratest have red/green ahead by 0,5%; FG have red/green ahead by 0,3%; and Forsa have red/green ahead by 1,6%. :confused: regaring Forsa, as they've been giving red/green a much larger margin than the other two all evening.

Sep 22nd, 2002, 09:55 PM
I want Schroeder to win solely because he has impressed me in standing up to Bush. The world needs a strong anti-war leader, and it seems that we can find that in Schroeder.

Sep 23rd, 2002, 01:37 PM
Schröder (SPD) 38,5 %
Stoiber (CDU/CSU) 38,5%
Greens 8,6%
FDP 7,4%

Schröder will partner up again with the greens and so he can stay as german chancellor

Sep 23rd, 2002, 01:38 PM
maybe a bit late
but maybe it helps:
(from www.cnn.com/germany )
Here is a brief guide to the German election process:

Citizens 18 or older may vote and run for office. Voters elect a Federal Assembly during the national election every four years. Each voter casts two votes:

The first vote is cast for candidates running within hundreds of election districts; the top vote-getter in each district is sent to the Bundestag.

The second vote is cast for lists of candidates provided by the political parties.

Voting generally takes place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on election day, but casting ballots by mail is also possible and increasingly popular.

The Federal Assembly, known to Germans as the Bundestag, is the lower house in Germany's bicameral parliamentary system. It is the country's main legislative body. Its 598 deputies are elected for four-year terms.

The seats in the Bundestag are filled by a mixed system of direct voting and proportional representation.

A party's percentage share of the second vote -- for lists of candidates provided by each party -- determines how many seats it holds. But if it wins more directly elected seats than its percentage share would allow, more seats are created, expanding the number beyond the normal 598 total.

A party is allowed to sit in the Bundestag only if it has received at least 5 percent of the votes cast in the second ballot. But there is an exception -- if a party manages to get three or more deputies directly elected, it is allowed into parliament even if its share of the vote is less than 5 percent nationally.

The Bundestag must convene its first session no later than 30 days after the election.

A coalition government is normally formed if none of the parties represented in parliament wins an absolute majority of votes. A coalition consists of two or more parties represented in parliament. Before formally agreeing to a coalition government, the parties negotiate to define the new government's priorities. Coalition governments have been a hallmark of postwar Germany.

The federal chancellor -- who leads the executive federal government and appoints federal ministers -- is elected by a simple majority of the Bundestag.

Sep 23rd, 2002, 01:39 PM
That's good news!

Sep 23rd, 2002, 04:44 PM
Well congrats to the Greens! They have a lot of power right now I bet too. ;)

Thanks for the info Matthias :)

Sep 23rd, 2002, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by GoLleyt
Well congrats to the Greens! They have a lot of power right now I bet too. ;)

the GREEN´s won it for Schröder cause everyone expected the FDP stronger then the GREEN´s.

now the german environmental politic will continues :D

Sam L
Sep 24th, 2002, 01:25 PM
So the GREENS are pretty powerful in Germany now I hear.

Good news, Excellent news :D

Sep 24th, 2002, 01:34 PM
i wouldn´t call it powerfull
but they can do few things for the nature and against war and all this stuff.

and i looking forward to the day when the first nuclear power-plant will be shutdown :bounce:

Sam L
Sep 24th, 2002, 01:53 PM
I agree matthias, but relatively they are very powerful.

I mean take Australia for example, the GREENS party here is virtually non-existent :eek:

So relatively they are in a very powerful position.

I suppose if you look across the world there are very few nations with a GREENS party having this much power :mad:

Sep 24th, 2002, 05:26 PM
i´m quite happy about the german environmental politic
but when i see nations like Japan and the USA i get sick
they a not interested in nature, animals and climatic questions
(we saw it few weeks before in south-africa)

i hope germany can be a good example for other nations