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A brief observation on the German elections

Here, courtesy of those lovely people at  Electoral Geography is a map of the vote for the Left Party.  Readers are challenged to see if they can reconstruct the frontier between the Federal Republic and the 'Democratic Republic':

The Saarland has a bit of a tendency to vote for its local lad made bad, Oskar Lafontaine.  Meanwhile, round of applause for Baden-Wurttemburg for giving the FDP its highest share at 18.8%

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Anonymous Frank said... 12:05 pm

I live in Saarland and Oskar is as much despised as liked; as a foreigner I keep out of arguements about him. Lafontaine's proudest moment as Ministerpresident was probably Honecker's "state" visit to Saarland.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:19 pm

Frank - I think avoiding getting into arguments with one's hosts - so to speak - is generally a good idea.

And indeed, Die Linke only managed third in the Saarland after the CDU and the SPD.  

Anonymous FRank said... 12:33 pm

Saarländer are very hospitable people and surprisingly tolerant of foreigners; I wouldn't have stayed here for 31 years if they were not. I think it has something to do with their position on what was a disputed border. Quite a lot of people in the rest of Germany affect to think that they speak French and wear berets.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:56 pm

I think folk forget that Germany has spent far more of its history divided than united. Re inter German rivalries, every once in a while I get the chance to throw out Bismarck's quip that 'a Bavarian is a cross between an Austrian and a human being'.  

Anonymous Frank said... 4:23 pm

Just one last comment: Saarland itself is a very recent construct. In the 19th Century some of it was part of Prussia and some part of Bavaria, so your Bismarck remark is well remembered. There are two parishes on the former border, known as Bavarian Kohlhof and Prussian Kohlhof, that refused amalgamate, or perhaps resisted amalgamation,during the time I have lived here.  

Anonymous Umbongo said... 5:20 pm

East Germany is the Bundesrepublik's Scotland - with the same baleful results for the rest of the country.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:01 am

Frank -The Saarland is a bit of an oddity,but unified states are generally not too keen on enclaves, exclaves and the like. The post 1870 Germany was pretty well Prussia and its fleas, so the Federal Republic at least had rather more wieldy units.

U -Up to a point, but it delivered for Kohl big time in the first post unification election,if memory serves.  

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