Politics


So apparently our new government is certain and only needs to be elected and appointed. I followed the coalition negotiations if not intensively but on a daily basis. Oh my. The idea to shift the debt into a new account and by this shallow/skeleton budget create a well-balanced national budget – were they really serious about that? Do they take us for a fool? If I had voted for the Liberal Party, I would definitely feel treated like this by now. Apparently it is common ground that election pledges are just nice sounding rhetoric, and it’s the own fault of voters who believe in them. At least this nourishes my small hope that next time the Liberals lose again and Westerwelle will resign.

Lets take a look at the cabinet. No surprises to me are the following appointments
Federal Chancellor: Angela Merkel
Federal Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor: Guido Westerwelle (oy!)
Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth: Ursula von der Leyen
Federal Minister of Education and Research: Annette Schavan
Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection: Ilse Aigner (still unsure what to think of her)
Federal Minister of Justice: Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger – I am interested if she will succeed in changing the policy about the Internet

I am surprised that the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg became Federal Minister of Defence whereas the former minister Franz Josef Jung is now Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, and Rainer Brüderle is now Federal Minister of Economics and Technology. Surprised because I thought having worked in that resort for quite some time would make you an expert. Why leave, having to start in a new field and having someone else starting from scratch? Such a waste of energy and time.

Really surprised about Philipp Rösler becoming Federal Minister of Health because the Liberals are against the Health Care Reform initiated by the SPD-CDU coalition, and I thought Merkel would not want to change the system again. The health-care reform will be one of the core topics for the next years.
Really surprised about Wolfgang Schäuble becoming Federal Minister of Finance (I really like Steinbrück.)

No real opinion about
Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety: Norbert Röttgen
Federal Minister for Special Tasks and Head of the Chancellery: Ronald Pofalla (can’t really stand listening to him, but that is just a personal thing)
Federal Minister of the Interior: Dr. Thomas de Maizière
Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs: Peter Ramsauer
Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development: Dirk Niebel (am I wrong or did he put on weight? I know, I know, these comments are reserved for female politicians and actresses only, that’s why I could not resist at all adding it 🙂 )

I have not read the coalition agreement yet, and I am not sure when and if I will find the time for it but I know I should. They will determine pretty much what the policy of the next four years will look like.

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Yesterday three federal states hold elections for their parliaments (and in another one communal elections took place as well). As usual on election days I spent the evening sitting in front of the TV and watched the announcement and the interpretation of the preliminary results.

The primary results based on SPIEGEL:

Saarland 2009 Diff. to 2004 Saxony 2009 Diff. to 2004 Thuringia 2009 Diff. to 2004
CDU 34.5 % -13% 1 40.2% -0.8% 1 31.2% -11.8% 1
SPD 24.5% -6.3% 2 10.3% +0.6% 3 18.5% +4% 3
Grüne 5.9% +0.3% 5 6.4% +1.3% 5 6.2% +1.7% 5
FDP 9.2% +4% 4 10.0% +4.1% 4 7.6% +4.0% 4
Linke 21.3% +19% 3 20.6% -3% 2 27.4% +1.3% 2
NPD 5.6% -3.6% 6
Others 4.6% -4% 9.1% +0.7%

The results are widely discussed because in four weeks the federal election will take place, and therefore the outcome is used as a seismograph. It is very tempting to shuffle the results together for interpretation, but that just does not work out properly.

I know it is so easy to scold politicians, but seriously –  a lot of their statements after an election are so tiresome. Even after they lost many of them try to sell well and pick on the other parties instead. And it is always so refreshing to listen to someone who states honestly: yes, we lost.

And it is tiresome to listen to journalists who ask so many stupid questions as well.