German elections for the Bundestag, the national parliament, will take place tomorrow.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and her allies are expected to cruise to victory after a campaign that has been described as boring. Polling has put the Social Democrats a far second.
The real question will be what coalition government will form after the dust settles. The classical liberal Free Democratic Party has been polling well from 12-15% and that could give CDU-FDP the 50% needed to form a government. Others speculate if this CDU-FDP combo doesn’t reach 50%, we may see another CDU-Social Democratic government. The FDP must be pleased to see its numbers this high, but I wonder why more people are willing to support the free market party when it was the unregulated banks and companies that put us in this mess in the first place. In times of recession people usually look to social welfare and social safety nets to assuage their fears.
While the Social Democrats have been sputtering as of late, the stridently socialist Die Linke or the Left Party has seen its polling numbers improve. It’s party members must be very confident going into tomorrow. The Left is still fresh from its victories in regional elections in Saarland and Thuringia. Both the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats have refused to form a government with the Left.
Now for the Greens….
I have a feeling that they will be back in opposition after its all said and done. Let’s look at the Greens’ potential coalition partners. The Greens have been polling around 10-13%
Social Democrat-Greens: The Social Democrats are an ailing party and the Social Dems will not pull a high enough vote to reach 50%.
Social Democrat-Greens-The Left: The Social Dems have already ruled out working with the Left on the federal level.
Social Democrat-Greens-Free Democrats: The FDP and Greens have already declared that they won’t be working with each other…but such declarations can be easily forgotten…
Christian Democrats-Greens: Don’t laugh. At the local and regional level, the Greens and Christian Democrats have shown a willingness to work with each other. There are Christian Democrat-Green governments in Hamburg and Frankfort. It seems like more conservative, rich people are voting Green…Check out this article about that. But the prospect of a Black-Green government forming at the federal level seems doubtful because of ideological issues, particularly the issue on nuclear phase-out. The CDU wants to halt the phase-out and the Greens want to stay on track with the phase out. Which I might add was a provision from the old Social Dem-Green government days. But again, who knows. The entrance of the Left party onto the political scene has totally changed the dynamic of coalition building. These nice models of Social Dem-Green and CDU-FDP governments are pretty over.
Here are the latest polling numbers from Angus Reid which put the Greens at 11%.
Portugal’s federal elections are tomorrow. I don’t know much about the Greens in Portugal except that they work with the Communists there. Together, they are polling around 7.2%
Stay tuned to Green Party Watch tomorrow for election results.