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Encouraging signs from Germany

Tempting though it is to think that the CDU-CSU / FDP / SPD split in Germany equates to Tory / LibDem / Labour split in these parts, things are a tad more complex, even if all three sets of twins belong to the 'correct' international groupings.

Anyway, Der Spiegel has noted the acceleration in support for the Free Democrats, up to 18% in the polls now, having barely scraped into double figures for some time. And why is this good news? Because the FDP are the nearest thing to a party properly committed to a free market economy on the other side of the Rhine:

"The party ultimately decided to sign on to the €50 billion stimulus package last week. But even as it changed course, the liberals managed to fill the headlines with its anti-tax, pro-markets message -- the same one it has been delivering for years. Indeed, say analysts, it is the party's consistency which may now be boosting its image. While the political course being charted by both Merkel's CDU and by her coalition partners from the Social Democrats (SPD) have been varying widely as the government attempts to come to terms with the financial and economic crises, FDP leader Guido Westerwelle hasn't had to budge...."There is a growing feeling that there is a lack of competence on the economy in the CDU," [Professor] Herz says. "In these times of economic crisis, the CDU has moved left, meaning that many market liberals in the party have moved over to the FDP."

Further, the successors in title to the DDR's ruling party / Lafontaine's lot (Die Linke) are making no headway at all.

So, encouraging stuff, and should they go into coalition with the CDU after the election in September I trust they will give it some backbone. Mind you, I think they win the prize for the most ill-thought out slogan in history - "Partei der Besserverdienenden" ("Party of the better-earning people"), which the party had coined in a draft manifesto for the 1994 federal elections".

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Blogger James Mackenzie said... 12:45 pm

A short response.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:11 pm

I suspect you and I are not going to see eye to eye on these things, our allegiances being what they are, but thanks for the comment anyway.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:36 am

Ah, buthe "Greens", more red than Green, are benefitting from the disarray in the SPD.

Wonder if the Labour Party will split like in 1931? Who'll be the hated-for-all-time Ramsay Mac figure?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:40 am

Incidentally the Scots Greens reflect Britn very well. One is retiring at the next election (c. 68 ans), the other is the first openly bisexual electee in Britland. He rightly spends more time on rights for bisexuals than boring old green stuff.  

Blogger James Mackenzie said... 10:13 am

Wow, so much discrimination in one response.

Also, the main thing Patrick's been working on over the last six months has been proposals for free insulation for everyone, not just bisexuals, although I don't see any reason why they shouldn't have warm homes too.

Anyway, can we get back on track with the FDP? Apologies for the derail.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:28 am

James - I am quite happy for extraneous information to stray into responses, and Hoots Mon is a regular if given to a blizzard of pseudonymns.

As to the FDP or the Tories having a bias towards higher earners - doubtless. The same is also true of the Lib Dems, and dare I say it, the Greens: compare 3.8% in the Henley by-election to the failure to stand in the likes of Easington and Barnsley. However, any party in an FPP system that only targeted the middle middles and above would face annihilation at election time.  

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