Thursday, September 22, 2005

Understanding The German Elections Part 3

From The Brussels Journal " It's the German Reunification, Stupid":

Germany is the most left-wing country in Europe. In last Sunday’s elections, the parties of the left gained more than 51.1 per cent of the votes: 34.3 per cent for the Social-Democrats, 8.1 per cent for the Greens (sometimes described as “water melons”: green on the outside and red on the inside) and 8.7 per cent for the (former) communists of the Left Party. As in the previous elections of the past decade, the East-West ballot divide is striking.

Fifteen years after German reunification voters in the former East Germany still poll differently to the those in the west. German unemployment went up in the seven years of Chancellor Schroeder’s red-green coalition to almost 12 per cent. Yet in the east, where unemployment is twice as high as in the west, the Social Democrats (SPD) remained the biggest party with almost 30 per cent of the vote, while the Left Party got almost 25.9 per cent (compared to just 7.2 per cent in the west). The Greens won 4.4 per cent in the east. Over 60 per cent of the East-Germans, the so-called “Ossies,” voted for parties of the left. For the third consecutive time since 1998 they tipped the balance of power in the whole of Germany to the left.

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Red State- Blue State: Election Results: Divided Germany