Monday, May 23, 2005

German election results: Schroder on the ropes

As I said, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Via Instapundit, I havelearned that the results of the election in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have come in, and they look very bad for our friend Herr Schroder.

Despite Schroder's recent anti-American and anti-capitalist efforts, his SPD party came in approximately eight points below the CDU in the most populous area of Germany, an SPD stronghold for the past four decades. Although national elections had not been scheduled until 2006, Schroder is now calling for the elections to be held within the next four months.

However, there's possible trouble ahead. I don't pretend to understand German politics, but this sounds rather ominous to me:

With the bitter election result for my party in North Rhine-Westphalia the political support for our reforms to continue has been called into question," Mr Schröder said. Pursuing these policies required "clear support from a majority of Germans".

However, with many in the SPD demanding a shift to the left in a bid to win back core voters, Mr Schröder could face a bruising battle with his grassroots as he draws up the party's election platform. In recent weeks senior party members have vilified short-term investors as "swarms of locusts" descending on German companies and many party members credit that aggressive rhetoric with its success in closing the gap with the opposition in the run-up to yesterday's vote.

So, the left wing of Schroder's party thinks the problem is that he wasn't tough enough in his rhetoric. Maybe within the next four months he'll manage to close the gap by getting even clearer about just who those "locusts" might be.

Fasten your seat belts, Germany. I think you may be in for a bumpy ride.


At 12:33 PM, May 23, 2005, Blogger Unknown said...

Like Blair in Britain, Schröder has nothing to worry about so long as there's no real alternative.

At 12:01 AM, May 24, 2005, Blogger WichitaBoy said...

I can't stand Schroder and his pacifist socialists. But, in all fairness, Schroder has been trying to reform the German socialist state. In a spirit of moderation, he's been trying to do it with baby steps. Even that proved too much for the coddled German unions. They voted against Schroder because they're quite happy with their 6+ weeks of vacation at exorbitant wages, thank you very much, and if that means 11 percent unemployment for those guys without jobs, bummer.

Schroder on the ropes, good; German economy continues to goosestep over the cliff, bad.


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