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Picture of BansheeOne
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Originally posted by downtownv:
Would it be possible for you to illustrate this? I tried and it still is difficult to follow the alphabet soup.


CDU - Christian Democratic Union. This is the party that has produced chancellors such as Konrad Adenauer after WW II, Helmut Kohl in the 80s/90s, and now Angela Merkel. They are termed conservative locally, but really aren't by American standards. Like most German parties formed after WW II, they are drawing on a mix of traditions from pre-Nazi parties, in this case conservativism, economic pro-market liberalism, and Christian social teachings. In fact their conservative wing has been withering away over the last few decades, and under Merkel in particular they have been moving to the center since part of her strategy of power sustainment has been taking over any issue from the opposition that looked like it could be a threat.

CSU - Christian Social Union. As noted, generally a bit more conservative than the CDU, despite the "social" bit, and centered on Bavarian issues. For illustration, imagine there was a separate Republican Party of Texas. As a Republican in Texas, you could only vote for those Texicans in local and national elections. They would caucus with the Republicans in Congress, and their electors would vote for the Republican candidate in presidential elections, but they would never let anybody forget that they're the party of Texas first and foremost, and their leadership wouldn't hesitate to hold a Republican federal government hostage to their own interest. This would include immigration issues, since most immigrants in fact come over the Texan border.

SPD - Social Democratic Party of Germany. This is Germany's oldest existing party, with its roots going back to 1863. It's a classical European labor party, and has produced chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt in the 70s, and later Gerhard Schröder. They have been in decline since the latter though, as about everybody has been poaching on their voters. The Greens cut into their progressive base since the 80s; the Left Party emerged as an almagation of the successors to the former East German socialist state party and West German leftwingers disgruntled by welfare cuts under Schröder to save the state finances in the early 2000s. Merkel's strategy of hugging the opposition to death has been eating up their centrist voters, and recently the new AfD has been drawing away their remaining working-class base. They are currently in the fourth "grand coalition" government with CDU/CSU after 1966, 2005 and 2013.

AfD - Alternative for Germany. They started out in 2013 as a pro-market, Euro-sceptic party after the Euro crisis, nearly self-destructed over internal fighting between the original classical liberal and the growing nationalist right wing that lead to their founder Bernd Lucke being ousted, but were saved by the refugee crisis of 2015/16 and are now the sixth (or seventh, counting the CSU separately) party in parliament, and the strongest opposition party due to the SPD being in a coalition with CDU/CSU. Some of the pro-market, pro-Western wing survives, but the party has been moving steadily to the right, losing their national leader Frauke Petry who herself once ousted Lucke when she resigned after the 2017 national elections. They are occupying the space on the right the CDU vacated when they moved to the center, but are increasingly reaching into the far right which is not just anti-EU, but also anti-American, anti-Israel-to-anti-Semitic, pro-Russian, pro-welfare. This particularly goes for East Germany, where they not only want a rollback on the Schröderian welfare cuts, but suggest to bring back some of the social anemities of the old DDR.

The one party in parliament not mentioned above is the classically pro-market liberal FDP - Free Democratic Party. They were voted out of the Bundestag in 2013 after the most recent coalition government with their traditional partners of CDU/CSU, but made a comeback last year after styling themselves a more moderate Eurosceptic alternative to the increasingly radical AfD. They had the chance to enter a coalition with CDU/CSU and the Greens, but chose to increase their profile in the opposition instead. This lead to the current CDU/CSU-SPD government.
 
Posts: 1692 | Location: Berlin, Germany | Registered: April 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Banshee for laying this out for us.
So the people are fed up with the influx of "Refugees" Which party wants them shipped out the most?
 
Posts: 5805 | Location: 18 miles long, 6 Miles at Sea | Registered: January 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry, I'm on the road in France and Belgium, and only infrequently on the net.

The party with the hardest anti-immigration stance is of course the AfD, though their mere emergence has caused other parties to toughen up on the issue, too. In that the AfD is much like the Greens, just 180 degrees out of phase politically. Both emerged from general discontent with the existing political system and fears about the future (nuclear war and environmental pollution in the 60s/70s, globalization and migration in the last two decades) that led to new anti-establishment social movements and finally new parties entering parliament - the Greens in the early 80s, the AfD now.

Other parties responded by adopting the issues that showed themselves as of popular concern. The Greens' environmentalism has long gone mainstream, and the same is currently happening with the immigration issue. Most funnily, the Left Party is nearly tearing itself apart because their hard-left Bundestag group leader Sarah Wagenknecht has been calling for more identity-based politics to win back (mostly East German) voters who have gone over to the AfD for their more fashionable anti-establishment and pro-welfare stance, in marked contrast to the Left's official open-borders position.

As noted, the Bavarian CSU is another party to feel the heat particularly, due to the upcoming state election. The current quarrel is about rejecting refugees who already applied for asylum in another EU country at the German border; Interior Minister Seehofer wants to do this unilaterally, while Merkel as always prefers a joint European solution (this was at the heart of the inner-European quarrel in the 2015 crisis). In the end it boils down to the CSU having intended to start this today, while the CDU wants to wait for results of the EU immigration summit in two weeks. The latter looks likely to happen, though Merkel is taking the quarrel seriously enough to meet separately with the leaders of the most-affected other EU countries (Austria, Italy, Greece etc.) next weekend already.
 
Posts: 1692 | Location: Berlin, Germany | Registered: April 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Germany is lost. There's no going back. The gov't. will never kick out the Muslim migrants. Will never happen. They not only don't have the balls, most of the population, even if they want it done, are afraid to speak publicly about it. If Germany didn't have a secret ballot AfD would never have gotten off the ground. I go to Germany all the time and speak the language like a native.

I was last there about 10 months ago, just before the last election. At a hwy rest stop a man approached me to ask about my rental car (Opel Insignia). When he learned I was from the US, he went on and on about how great Trump was and how Germany needs someone similar, but that the best he can do is vote AfD. This conversation went on for a while. I heard the same from friends in Austria a week earlier, though they are a little more vocal about it. But the public sense of shame in expressing opinions about not wanting Muslim refugees overwhelming their society and social services is great. Don't think they don't have their own version of "white guilt." That's how Merkel has kept her job for the last three years. She should have been run out of town as soon as she said they're all welcome in Germany.

Ironically, if any country can rescue Europe's culture and identity, it will be Hungary and Poland.
 
Posts: 1118 | Location: Cave Creek, AZ | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This quarrel has remained loud and public, with carefully leaked internal statements by Seehofer that "I can't work with this woman anymore", the press asking Merkel at what point she would see her guideline competence as head of government infringed by his actions, the CSU promptly complaining that waving the chancellor's said competence about was no way to deal with a close partner, and we're going to follow through whatever she says anyway even if the government falls over it, CDU figures shooting back at the dear Bavarian co-partisans, etc.

For explanation: Per the German constitution, government ministers run their departments under their own responsibility, while the chancellor sets the guidelines of policy they are supposed to follow. There is of course quite a bit of interpretation possible, but with the usual coalition governments, in practice resolution of conflicts between cabinet members from different partners happens at the inter-party rather than legal level. Merkel could theoretically fire Seehofer for acting against her will, but the coalition agreement allocates the Interior Ministry to the CSU, and any replacement would be decided upon by - Seehofer, essentially.

Of course if it came to that point, the CSU would likely in fact withdraw from the government. There have been some suggestions that the Greens might simply step in for a Light-black-Red-Green coalition, but overall the media have been more fond of making it all a question of Merkel's political survival, and whether she will make it to the end of what is generally assumed to be her last term anyway. Indeed another suggestion is that the CSU sees getting rid of Merkel as their best chance to secure their majority in the Bavarian election come October. The other parties are obviously loving every minute of it, calling upon CDU/CSU to get over their unseemly quarrel that is damaging the country and Europe; the coalition partners of the SPD had it leaked that they're making provisions for new elections, just in case.

As always, infighting is not good for public approval, and national poll numbers for CDU/CSU have dropped between two and four points over the last ten days. On the more interesting question of whether the CSU has actually benefited in the Bavarian campaign, or if they're dragging themselves down, too, a poll today showed them dropping by the same amount to 40 percent. Merkel actually got a higher approval rating in Bavaria at 43 percent than either Seehofer or state minister president Markus Söder at 37; even among CSU sympathizers, Merkel got 61, Söder 56, and Seehofer 55. The latter two have however managed the dubious feat of getting more approval from AfD adherents than their own voters. If this trend should solidify, expect a quick quiet end of the fight soon; otherwise, predictions are a dozen a dime.

Seehofer has certainly sharpened his profile at the national level, rising to second most-popular cabinet member after family minister Franziska Giffey of the SPD, with both his supporters and critics becoming more categoric in their opinion on him. If anything, the reverse is true for Merkel, though the changes for her are probably too small to be significant. Overall, public opinion is contradictory as always on the traditional 60:40 topic of immigration. Recent surveys found that 61 percent were for rejecting previously registered refugees at the border per Seehofer - but 52-71 were also for solving the refugee issue at the European level per Merkel, including 68 percent in Bavaria. At the same time, 54-63 percent thought the CSU should compete with the CDU at the national level (though just 42 percent of CDU/CSU sympathizers) - but 58 thought that Merkel should remain chancellor.

Speaking of contradictory opinions, since Trump was mentioned in the previous post - there are of course no regular surveys of "approval rates" for US presidents in Germany, but some were done after his inauguration early last year. While he got a support of only 11.6 percent overall, agreement with some of his policy planks was quite a bit higher - 56.3 for deporting all illegal aliens, 30.7 for reduction of income tax, 26.3 for strict immigration restrictions for Muslims, about 19 for quitting free trade agreements. Approval also varied with demographic groups; East Germans 17 vs. West Germans 10.2 percent, men 16.1 vs. women 7.6 percent, age 18-24 highest at 16.2, 65-plus lowest at 8.2 percent. Most funnily, Catholics 9.9, Protestants 11.3, and Muslims ... 36.7 (yep) percent.

The greatest variation was by party affiliation. Unsurprisingly, Trump scored above-average with sympathizers of anti-establishment parties, notably the AfD with 53 and, as a very distant second, the Left Party with 13 percent; this jives with the higher approval in East Germany, where both are strong. AfD adherents obviously particularly like his anti-immigration stance, and the party welcomed his election, though that came back to bite them in the ass somewhat when he and his advisors started attacking Germany over "unfair" trade practices; the AfD lost about a third of their voters in polls at the time. His demands for higher NATO contributions are also not popular with their base, which represent the purest sample of the traditional German post-WW II "everybody in the world should just buy our stuff and leave us alone with maintaining global security" sentiment. That explains why his approval is "just" 53 percent with them, along with classic right-wing anti-Americanism about the "uncultured" US trying to eliminate Europe as a competitor.

 
Posts: 1692 | Location: Berlin, Germany | Registered: April 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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What is all of that supposed to mean?


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In a free society, one does not have to deal with those who are irrational. One is free to avoid them. - Ayn Rand
 
Posts: 83446 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't believe that graph for a second.

The top reads, "I think it's good that Donald Trump is president."

From left to right it reads, "Agree, Disagree, Don't Know, No Answer."
 
Posts: 1118 | Location: Cave Creek, AZ | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Rick Lee:
Germany is lost. ....... Don't think they don't have their own version of "white guilt." That's how Merkel has kept her job for the last three years. She should have been run out of town as soon as she said they're all welcome in Germany.

......


My friend from Germany has told me about the immigrants there. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. The country suffers from guilt from WWII and will not ever kick them out. He tells me the welfare they receive is so generous that only a proud person would work over sitting in a free home with free food spending their free allowance provided by the people of Germany. It's like section 8, plus food stamps on steroids. You can live very comfortably just sitting on your ass.

There is simply no way to undo the knot they've tied themselves in. They may not lose their country but their national identity is definitely on the way out the door.



Jesse

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Posts: 11643 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What I got out of that is that many in Europe are entirely ignorant about what Trump stands for. His "anti-immigration stance"? He is not at all anti-immigration. And quitting free trade agreements? What free trade? Trump wants free trade, but that's not what we've had for a long time.


~Alan

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Family, Guns, Country

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Posts: 19952 | Location: Out of Jersey, Into Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by kxc223:
Unfortunately I don't think any European government would have the moral fortitude to send migrants back except for some of the eastern European ones.
Most of the "migrants" don't have papers and their "governments" would not co-operate with repatriation anyways. So I don't see a resolution coming any time soon.

ANY resolution at this point would absolutely (and necessarily) involve violence on the part of the government and/or the native people. The "migrants" are not actually migrants, but rather an invading army bent on conquering europe for allah. They have won ground, and will not let a lack of host sponsored entitlements slow them down, they will resort to overt, large scale violence to keep their newly won territory.
Doubt it? File this away for a year or two (or less), file under "I told you so"...
 
Posts: 368 | Registered: September 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Can anyone tell me what all that blather means? I'm not reading through all that stuff. Given Banshee's track record, I suppose all that chicken scratch is in support of the wonderful Angela Merkel.


____________________________________________________

In a free society, one does not have to deal with those who are irrational. One is free to avoid them. - Ayn Rand
 
Posts: 83446 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If that was in response to my question, it didn't move the needle one single bit.


____________________________________________________

In a free society, one does not have to deal with those who are irrational. One is free to avoid them. - Ayn Rand
 
Posts: 83446 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Why do we care what Germans think about Trump?
 
Posts: 2104 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Please, for the love of bratwurst, don't change it! And that goes for the rest of the EU!

Confused Wink Eek Big Grin


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Posts: 14067 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: April 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Those immigrants have a lot more kids than the Germans do. And, of course, each extra kid means extra welfare benefits and more "free" stuff the taxpayers have to cover. The German welfare state is designed for families with two kids and one or two working adults. The immigrants have no working adults and more than two kids. Doesn't take a math major to see where this will lead.

Maybe some of those kids will learn German, assimilate and end up being productive adults. For the young one there is still time. But those who arrived as adults, especially the women, are unemployable and always will be. They will be lifelong wards of the state.

Germany doesn't have Home Depot parking lots full of day laborers. Sure, people work under the table there, but not even approaching the scale we have here. And why bother? The welfare benefits are pretty generous.
 
Posts: 1118 | Location: Cave Creek, AZ | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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Originally posted by Graniteguy:
Why do we care what Germans think about Trump?
I don't. I'm just monitoring the passionate love affair going on between Banshee and his sweet, sweet Angela.
 
Posts: 83446 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
bigger government
= smaller citizen
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This is well worth a read:

https://theconservativetreehou...trump-trade-demands/

I'm serious.

No one, besides the US, holds any cards in these trade debates. Watching Trump queue and then unleash Wilbur Ross on these "friends" has been pretty epic.

This video was pretty funny to listen to.

 
Posts: 7782 | Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by parabellum:
quote:
Originally posted by Graniteguy:
Why do we care what Germans think about Trump?
I don't. I'm just monitoring the passionate love affair going on between Banshee and his sweet, sweet Angela.


Ah - got it. Big Grin
 
Posts: 2104 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This video was pretty funny to listen to



Funny if you're American, not so funny if your Canadian. They are 100% correct, we are negotiating from a position of power, we can't lose a trade war with Canada period. While I'm sure it won't get to that point since we hold the cards. They are right on the Trudeau tactical error part to. You piss Trump off enough and you'll get his attention, he should have let Trump go toe to toe with China and Mexico and tried to go unnoticed, oops. I laughed so hard when they said the bit about if Trump is willing to step up to China, the world's second largest economy, then he has no problem stepping in the ring with Canada.

As for Merkel, I'm pissed we gave up so much at the G-7 Summit, it absolutely ridiculous. He could have started with one Starburst and negotiated up, instead he just gave her both.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Skins2881,



Jesse

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Posts: 11643 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BansheeOne, I don't claim to speak German, but is "kompetenz" in this context better translated as "authority" or "jurisdiction" than "competence"? Here "competence" refers to having the knowledge and skill to do something but it does not imply having the right or responsibility to do it.

Seriously. Try explaining "kompetenz-kompetenz-kompetenz" in American English some time. It'll take a bit of work.

quote:
Originally posted by parabellum:
What is all of that supposed to mean?

Lessee...

The karma Merkel generated by inviting in Syrian (and other) refugees is overrunning her dogma with wanton abandon. No one is taking action yet because Germany as a country is still working up the courage to admit that its previous assumptions about how well it could accomodate the refugees turned out to be wrong.

This is all creating a lot of stress for German politicians who are with Merkel or a part of the coalition government she put together, and there's no relief in sight.

Her allies in the coalition government seem to feel that they're getting closer and closer to the point where they can abandon the coalition government, blame the whole thing on Merkel, and hope that the Germans who voted for Merkel's party in the past will vote for their parties because they're sick of Merkel but don't want to vote for the crazies on the far right or far left (by European standards).

Meanwhile they don't want to do anything more in public than grumble. This is because public grumbling will weaken support for Merkel's government but is unlikely to constitute "saying the wrong thing" - which is to say "offending potential voters in the next election". They don't want to grumble too loudly, though, since even a little grumbling can "cost" them (as they see it) a few percentage points worth of electoral support as reflected by the polls.

Meanwhile the refugee crisis, lots of grumbling and the apparent inability of the government to do anything are raising lots of confusion - and never mind the stressful effect of things like Trump's trade demands, getting natural gas from Russia and der Mannshaft's performance at the World Cup. This confusion is exacerbated by the usual pre-election noise one hears as voters try to negotiate with parties (through the polls and the media, of course) to determine what the parties' platforms will be in the next election.
 
Posts: 21637 | Location: Deep in the heart of the brush country, and closing on that #&*%!?! roadrunner. Really. | Registered: February 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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