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RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:04 am    Post subject: Angela Merkel German Chancellor to seek 4th term Reply with quote

( merkel plans to run again even though it will be a very difficult campaign against the various opposition parties which have gained support in Germany )


Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, to seek fourth term


4 hours ago


Media captionCould Angela Merkel lead until 2021?

Germany's centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term in office.

She told her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin she expected her toughest campaign yet and would "fight for our values and our way of life".

An election is due to be held next year after four years of coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD).

Mrs Merkel's poll ratings have slipped since the height of her popularity but she retains wide support.

The chancellor, who has been in office since 2005, is also being challenged by the populist right-wing AfD party.

She announced she would stand again after meeting party leaders at CDU headquarters.

She told reporters that the decision to run for a fourth term had been "anything but trivial after 11 years in office".

She added that she expected challenges from both the right and the left of the political spectrum.

Is Merkel really on the ropes?

Profile: Angela Merkel

In September, Mrs Merkel accepted responsibility for election defeats for the CDU in several states and conceded that her open-door policy towards migrants was a factor.


In this file photo taken Wednesday, 30 September 2015, hundreds of migrants and refugees wait for Berlin's State Office of Health and Welfare, the cities central registration point for asylum seekers in Berlin, Germany.Image copyright AP
Image caption
Hundreds of thousands have applied for asylum since the mass influx of migrants into Germany last year

Germany expected up to 300,000 migrants to arrive in the country this year, the head of the country's federal office for migration and refugees said earlier this year.

In 2015, Germany received more than a million applications for asylum.


Grey line
Analysis - Jenny Hill, BBC News, Berlin

She's kept Germany guessing for weeks, but it looks as though Angela Merkel has finally answered the so called K-frage (chancellor question).

A poll for one Sunday newspaper (in German) found that 55% of Germans would vote for her. Mrs Merkel's approval ratings have gone up and down in recent months as a result of her refugee policy but they remain the envy of other world leaders.

Even so, she will be battling the tide of populism that swept Donald Trump to victory in the States and which is also washing across Europe. The anti-Muslim party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) is likely to win seats in the national parliament next year. It's highly unlikely to take Mrs Merkel down but it is leaching votes from Germany's established political parties.

Those parties are - by and large - likely to be relieved by Mrs Merkel's decision. In the past few years the job of German chancellor has become one of the most powerful political positions in the world. The next incumbent must not only lead the country but deal with a fragmenting EU, in a world which may be much changed by the new US administration.

It's widely (sometimes grudgingly ) accepted here that there simply isn't another realistic candidate for the job. As one broadcaster put it: "Angela Merkel - the indispensable".

Grey line
Merkel's three terms in office - highs and lows


Angela Merkel. Photo: December 2005Image copyright AP
2005-09
◾ Nov 05 - Becomes Germany's first female leader after stalemate elections result in grand coalition
◾ Sept 07 - Holds historic talks with exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, angering China

2009-13
◾ June 10 - Merkel's fiscal austerity programme to deal with the eurozone crisis is approved
◾ Oct 10 - Merkel says attempts to build multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed"
◾ May 11 - Nuclear phase-out by 2022 can make Germany trailblazer, Merkel says
◾ June 12 - Chancellor urges EU political union, calling for "more Europe"
◾ 2013 - Claims emerge that a US spy agency tapped Merkel' phone, straining German-US ties

2013-present
◾ Feb 15 - Merkel, along with France's president, brokers a deal aimed to stop fighting in eastern Ukraine
◾ Dec 15 - Merkel is named as Person of the Year by Time magazine in Dec 15
◾ March/Sept 15 - CPU suffers defeats in regional polls, with Merkel admitting her immigration policies being key factor
◾ Nov 15 - After deadly Paris attack, Merkel's government pledges to deploy aircraft and a navy ship to fight Islamic State in Syria


Grey line
A pastor's daughter who grew up in communist East Germany, Mrs Merkel has run the united country since 2005.

If she wins next year's general election, due to take place between August and October, she will equal the post-war record set by Helmut Kohl, who was chancellor from 1982 to 1998.

Germany - Europe's economic powerhouse - does not have term limits on the country's top job.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38042937
RCO





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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Germany jolted by AfD right-wing poll success

By Damien McGuinness
BBC News, Berlin


14 March 2016


AfD leader Frauke PetryImage copyright Reuters
Image caption
Frauke Petry's AfD won almost a quarter of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt, coming second behind the CDU

"I don't see it as an existential problem for the CDU, but I do see it as a problem," Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted as she summed up her centre-right party's poor performance in key regional elections in three German states on Sunday.

German politics is suddenly looking a lot less predictable and potentially less stable.

It's all because of the astonishing success of the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD). Many German voters appear rattled by the large numbers of refugees and migrants arriving in Germany - 1.1 million in 2015 alone.

Politicians are now getting down to the nitty-gritty of coalition-building. But all the cards have been thrown up in the air so it's a question of seeing where they will settle. And it's going to get messy.


Media captionGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel: "Yesterday was a difficult day"

Papers say Merkel 'paying price'

Splintered politics

Each of the three regional premiers should be able to hang on to power.

Popular Green party Premier Winfried Kretschmann, of the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, has shown that the Greens' success in what used to be a conservative heartland is not just a blip from a 2011 election held in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.


Rhineland-Palatinate state premier Malu Dreyer (L) looks at her challenger, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party candidate Julia Kloeckner (R), during a TV interview (13 March)Image copyright EPA
Image caption
Rhineland-Palatinate Premier Malu Dreyer (pictured) overcame a challenge from up-and-coming CDU politician Julia Kloeckner

Centre-left SPD Premier Malu Dreyer, of Rhineland-Palatinate, confidently saw off the CDU's promising rising star Julia Kloeckner by rather bizarrely doing a better job at imitating Mrs Merkel's centrist stance on refugees than the chancellor's own candidate.

CDU Premier Reiner Haseloff also held on in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, where AfD polled almost a quarter of the vote.

But this is far from a continuation of the status quo. They will have to govern with new, and in some cases untested, coalition partners.


Map of German state election results
Gone are the days of two major parties, one on the right, one on the left.

German politics has become splintered.

Smaller, more radical parties are gaining influence. And adventurous coalition combinations are now possible, including in Saxony-Anhalt, where a distinctly uncomfortable menage-a-trois between centre-right CDU, centre-left SPD and the left-wing Greens looks like the only feasible option.

The right-wing AfD's tough populist talk has attracted voters angered by the influx of migrants, chipping away at the traditional support base on both the left and the right - conservative voters who are disenchanted with Angela Merkel's pro-refugee approach as well as blue-collar left-wingers who feel nervous that state spending on migrants will undermine their own position in society.

The big question is what this means for Angela Merkel's stance on refugees. Closed borders along the Balkan route have effectively already slammed shut her open door invitation to Syrian refugees.

No credible rivals

But Mrs Merkel's pro-refugee rhetoric has barely changed. She still believes Germany, and indeed the rest of Europe, has a responsibility to shelter people fleeing war. She refuses to contemplate a cap on numbers coming to Germany.

"We need a European solution and this solution needs time," she told journalists in Berlin on Monday afternoon.


Green Party Premier Winfried Kretschmann, of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg addresses supporters. 13 March 2016Image copyright AFP
Image caption
Baden-Wuerttemberg's Green Party Premier Winfried Kretschmann saw off a challenge from the CDU

So have these elections undermined Chancellor Merkel's leadership? Yes and no.

The gains of the AfD will certainly embolden conservative critics within her own ranks, who accuse her of betraying right-wing values, by dragging her party to the centre-ground.

Awkwardly, many of Mrs Merkel's supporters on the refugee issue are in opposing left-wing parties. Not a great help when it comes to managing her own political bloc.

But Angela Merkel still has no credible rivals within her government and no other party or politician has yet come up with a popular viable solution for the migrant crisis either.

Despite the success of the AfD, this election campaign has shown that her approach still enjoys the support of mainstream society.

It was the candidates, whether on the left or the right, who backed her approach who won out.

In Rhineland-Palatinate for example, voters were treated to the astonishing sight of a TV duel in which the centre-left Malu Dreyer argued with CDU Julia Kloeckner over who was most loyal to Mrs Merkel's position on refugees.

It is not so much Angela Merkel who has been punished by these elections, as her increasingly divided government.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35806047
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not the topic, so forgive me, but this shows you how hard it is to get rid of a set of politicians under the kind of 'proportional representation' scheme that Germany has. Since she decided to admit millions (if necessary) Moslem refugees into Germany, the popularity of her government has plummeted. But she ca retain power by 'brokering' deals with other splinter parties. The opposition is dissipated amongst several rivals.

Even if she, herself, resigns, all the other figures around the cabinet table remain the same, with a few exceptions. It is almost impossible to entirely change a government, and get a new bunch in, under these proportional representational schemes.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
It's not the topic, so forgive me, but this shows you how hard it is to get rid of a set of politicians under the kind of 'proportional representation' scheme that Germany has. Since she decided to admit millions (if necessary) Moslem refugees into Germany, the popularity of her government has plummeted. But she ca retain power by 'brokering' deals with other splinter parties. The opposition is dissipated amongst several rivals.

Even if she, herself, resigns, all the other figures around the cabinet table remain the same, with a few exceptions. It is almost impossible to entirely change a government, and get a new bunch in, under these proportional representational schemes.


I do wonder how hard it would be to "change " a parliament under proportional representation , as a lot of the same members would still gets seats as long as there party got a certain % of the vote

although one advantage of the system is that a new party is guaranteed seats if they get say 20% of the vote of similar , where is under first past the post they might not get many or any seats , so it has its pros and cons

this system would also guarantee years and years of minority and coalition governments as no party would get over 50% of the vote if there was dozens of different parties running in Germany
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that's so.

Take right now -- Trump's election, None of us know how it will turn out -- yet. But there is a strong desire for a complete change in policy.

These moments are best served by the new people replacing the old people, completely or almost completely. Imagine a new administration in a PR system. Sure, maybe Loretta Lynch would go, and Hillary obviously would, and maybe one or two others -- but otherwise, most of the people around the table would have been supporters of the previous policy. And they would stay. How complete a change do you suppose they will make?

In today's Germany, if Merkel loses, a coalition partner would probably be added to the existing government, as junior partners, with the coalition under a new leader. Probably 75% of the participants in the 'new' government would be former supporters of Merkel's immigration policies, which is probably what lost her support.

It's good to shake up these complex administrative systems. Otherwise, they fall into patterns of organizational self-indulgence and become decadent. But it also means your society has the possibility of making a 180-degree turn in policy direction, rather than getting to same place by a long, slow, circular route.
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Angela Merkel German Chancellor to seek 4th term

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