Monday, September 19, 2005

German Elections 2005: Reaping a bitter harvest

I am anxious to return to writing about African news and issues but it would be uncharacteristic of me not to say just a few words about the German elections that took place yesterday September 18th. News media headlines across the globe today are declaring the surprise election results a catastrophe and an economic and political crisis for Germany, Europe, and the developed world.

However, for Deutschland Kenner (people in the know about Germany) there is absolutely nothing surprising at all about this political stalemate as the election results simply reflect the deeply divided, confused, fearful character of not only the political leadership in Germany but also the German people themselves. The only surprise is that now it is out in the open for everyone to see and cannot be kept under wraps by the German media, business, and political community’s propaganda machinery. This is a real mess Made in Germany and you the reader should dig a lot deeper into what Germany and Germans today are really all about. The closer you look the messier Germany gets. Downright ugly.

The present political leadership under Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder has over the past 7 years proven itself to be totally incompetent in running the country properly, taking bold and necessary steps to resolve the myriad problems facing some people living in Germany way too late. This government has proven to be untrustworthy with its long-standing allies and partners in international crisis and problem resolution and is unwilling to meet its responsibilities in helping to solve regional conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and in Asia. Schroeder’s promises of generous financial aid and debt relief to various developing nations are empty and undeliverable. Germany’s Treasury is flat broke. Pleite.

Many Germans nonetheless seem to like it this way and their main problem with the
SPD and The Greens coalition government is a weak economy and lack of jobs. Global issues such as world security, human rights, poverty alleviation and fair trade with developing nations take a backseat to the more important domestic issues like the economy, high salaries and wages, immigration and integration, and a 36-hour long working week with 6 weeks of vacation per year. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the guaranteed job-for-life for union workers regardless of their job performance and qualifications. Made in Germany costs money, lots of wasted money and to be honest you can find better deals elsewhere.

I personally feel that a return to power of the
CDU-CSU-FDP coalition under the leadership of Angela Merkel would be much better for Germany and certainly better for the so-called Trans-Atlantic relationship as well as for the rest of Germany’s global partners, but I am an American citizen and do not vote here, thank goodness. These are Deutschland’s political and socio-economic problems and for once I hope that they can get it right. Following are various lowdowns on the election from distinctly German points-of-view:

Der Spiegel International Online:
German Elections 2005 Special
Select articles from Der Spiegel’s English language coverage:
Daily Take (blog): Who Wants to Be Germany’s next Chancellor?
German Papers: Do We Have a Government or Not?
Postcards to the Chancellor: Gerd and Angie You’ve Got Mail
Dirty Dawgs: German Politician Offends with Coffins of U.S. Soldiers
Daily Take: Schroeder Plays the Iran Card in German Election

Deutsche Welle (English):
Election 2005 Special
DW: A Dummy’s Guide to German Elections
DW: Germany Not Ready for Change

German Embassy – U.K.:
Election Special 2005

Sign and Sight (independent German online magazine):
Election Special
Chancellor Schroeder’s post-election TV appearance: What was Schroeder On?

3 comments:

Brian said...

http://www.boston.com/news/world/africa/articles/2005/09/18/un_forces_in_congo_battle_a_reputation_for_ineffectiveness/

Looks like the LA Times article was reprinted in the Boston Globe.

Black River Eagle said...

Thanks Brian. The Boston Globe link above refers to an article referenced in Black Star Journal's post on "The Art of Peacekeeping in the DRC" dated September 12th and not to the German elections.

When asked by French President Jacques Chirac to join French peacemaking (combat) troops in the eastern DRC a few years ago, Gerhard Schröder's administration turned Chirac down citing that German military troops were not prepared to deal with the African mentality. I wonder how Schröder's Tin Soldier Army is going to handle the announced upcoming mission to southern Sudan?

Brian said...

Actually it doesn't appear truncuated now. Check again. In any case, if you check the bottom of my original entry, there is an udpated link.