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More on Germany

10.10.2005

I browsed over to the Guardian newsblog, where Luke Harding posted not long after I on the news on Germany's impending resolution of its political deadlock. He details the dismay among SPD heads to the left and right at the manner in which Schroeder has been set aside to ease the path to government.
Also it seems that already the Germans are backing my thesis that the result of a Grand coalition will be the shedding of members and support to the right and left of both parties with resultant support increases and thus increases in authority for Linkspartei, Green, FPD and neo nazis.
"With the SPD occupying crucial ministries such as finance and labour, the Left party is likely to profit in the long run when disillusionment with the "grand coalition" sets in, as it inevitably will. This is, after all, what happened last time there was a grand coalition in Germany in the late 1960s. The period yielded the Red Army Faction, a terrorist group, and the best ever result for the neo-Nazi NPD (German) in 1969, with voters drifting off to the radical left and radical right."
Its always nice to see someone agree with me, so i decided to post it. The whole thing seems like a bit of a joke, one can imagine politicians in government and the mainstream soldiering on the foster the impression of unity amidst the chaos of conflicting ministries, while the reality is that the electorate know and dislike what goes on and revert to left/right positions of a more clear cut variety.
An idea which occured to me recently, yes i do have one or two a year, is that this government is an experiment in everything "third way" politics was intended to achieve, a new way, not left, not right etc. Many foresaw the approach of third way or its variants as reconciling the long running divisions between centre left and right in a manner which secured electoral superiority for a muddled cloudy approach to society, economics, business and pretty much everything else. If such a proposition is accepted, then the disillusionment which may set in with the Grand Coalition could stand as a lesson to those other third way politicians left and right who are guarding their swing voters.
The disillusion, should it take place, may result in the reembrace by the electorate of more clearly defined positions on policy, in terms of the 4-D compass or simple 2-D left right scale. If this happens it will buck a trend which many considered the inevitable outcome of european party systems of a grouping around the middle ground in a vote-maximisation exercise. If this turns voters to the wings then it will have been a counter intuitive process, wont it?
The homogenous blob being created in the middle ground of most of Europes societies, and formerly existing in the U.S., risks becoming more of a turn off than being a dyed in the wool red. The upcoming German experiment may act as a macrocosm of the fate of moves to the Centre for those that have tried it.
I havent even started to unwind the various strands of such an idea yet, perhaps im too lazy too.
RR
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