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Discussion in 'Politics & Government' started by Don Alaska, May 30, 2018.
It's good to have you back, Don.
Will put my two cents in tomorrow. Am tired now after a long day.
As Tom said, she is only going to step down as party leader in early December not as chancellor although that is precisely what her opponents within and outside parliament expect of her. She called it "a risk" to remain chancellor without holding the job of the party leader, something she never wanted to do. Yet after those massive losses of her party in recent elections in Bavaria and Hesse, on the one hand, and the spiralling success of the far-right populist party AfD, on the other hand, she just had to show a reaction and that's what she then offered - a compromise. It was a surprise, nonetheless, because she had appeared to be clinging to her posts for some years.
Now the battle for succeeding her as party leader - who will also stand a good chance of becoming the next head of state in 2021 - has begun. The vote for a new chairperson of the conservative party in December is closely linked to a vote for the political course the party is going to steer. Merkel had moved the center-right party more to the center, to the dismay of many party members and voters. Two of her opponents within the party have thrown their hat in the ring as well as two of her supporters. The question of how long Merkel will be able to hold her office also hinges on which of the four candidates will get elected at December's party convention. If she gets backed up by one of her confidants as party leader (Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer or Armin Laschet), her office might last longer than in a situation where one of her opponents wins the race.
I doubt that there will be an immediate effect on Brexit negotiations because it's not Merkel who is the chief negotiator nor does Germany have any special interests in them. What may very likely change, though, if one of her opponents within the party (Mr Merz or Mr Spahn) gets elected, is the German stance on migration control. If nothing gets done on that score, the far-right AfD (Alternative for Germany) will grow stronger and stronger as it has been doing for the last three years.
As for EU policy as a whole, Merkel will gradually become a lame duck. It remains to be seen to what extent she can still partner with Macron and help him with his EU-Agenda project.
The outcome of the party convention will be decisive. It is difficult to answer the question of who is the best candidate. The participants of the party convention are not the party base. They will take into account that whoever gets elected might be the next German Chancellor, too. All candidates are hardly known within let alone outside Germany. They might get the chance of a road show to introduce themselves to the party base at regional conferences.
Is Germany ripe for yet another woman leader (Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer - difficult name also for Germans )? Can she represent Germany in international talks? Would Armin Laschet (Minister-President of North-Rhine Westphalia) do a good job? Would Putin and other world leaders be capable of ignoring that a German Chancellor had his coming out some years ago (Jens Spahn)? Then there is Friedrich Merz, a dyed-in the-wool conservative, father of three kids, a smart and eloquent lawyer currently working for the US-based global investment management BlackRock Group, member or chairman of countless companies, lobbyist. His main disadvantage is, though, that he's been out of the political arena for almost ten years and is not very popular with the party base. He'd been squeezed out of his office as leader of the parliamentary group by Merkel ten years ago and people suspect that he would basically want to take revenge on her rather than working as someone who can build bridges and does not divide the party further.
The media are rejoicing at the prospect of a very hot November and December in German politics. It will be interesting.
Thanks for the explanation @Thomas Stearn. I think the person referred to in my article/interview was AKK and was mentioned as a near clone of Merkel. It seems the CDU will have to move somewhat to the right to head off the gains by their opposition. I got the impression that the head of the majority party would become the chancellor, so thanks for clearing that up.
You are welcome.
I think that this can fit into this thread.
Switzerland has decided to close their southern borders due to the migrants coming into the country, and all of the damage that they have been causing, and the money they are costing this country.
Since the border is closed, the hordes of migrants can’t get through the border, and they are setting up their camps just below the border crossing.
What makes this even more interesting, is that George Clooney has a mansion on the shores of Lake Como, and the migrants are now camping right on the edge of his property, and trashing the area.
Since Clooney is a liberal who has been speaking up for letting all of the migrants come through and live anywhere they want to live, he now has to discover first hand what it is like to have someone unexpectedly moving onto your property and setting up their home there.
Ah yes Yvonne - so easy to preach on the outside looking in, 'now' he's tune may change or - he'll invite them all in !
It's been a couple of years for this story and needs some perspective...
Thank God us English have 22 miles of water between us and Europe.
We don't have to build a wall.
I got no problem reading it, so I assume you are being 'geo-blocked' (https://www.cloudwards.net/geoblocking-guide/). You need a socks proxy or VPN to permanently end that rot, but you might try an online proxy:
Here in Britain Brexit dominates every radio station day and night. Television is saturated with experts predicting the outcome and the public talk of little else. Well folks you voted to come out of the EU, your opinions are irrelevant, whatever you say will make no difference. Great Britain is a tiny insignificant little island with no manufacturing base. Foreign countries own our utilities and almost all London. All the big Brexit front benchers have gone and ready to migrate to Europe. You've pulled the bath plug, the water is drained and you will freeze.
We are getting a bit of news about Brexit too, but many Americans don't know what it is. Heck, with our schools, I doubt many recent graduates could even locate Britain on a blank map--so sad! I don't understand the in and out of it myself, though. I understand that May has a lot of pressure on her from all directions regarding the alleged "deal" with the EU, but the consequences of the decisions made are yet to be fully determined. I know Trump has discussed form an Atlantic Union, with the U.S, Canada and Britain. That might soften the blow for everyone if it were to come to fruition.
The reason for Brexit is that the European Union was a good idea, it ensured we didn't go to war every twenty years with our neighbours and then rely on America to win the battles. Sadly the organisation has grown like Topsy and costs a huge amount to run. it is so stupid that they move headquarters twice a year.
It has been a great gravy train for many of our politicians and their families through nepotism over the years.
One benefit for those of us living away from London has been money given back to us from the EU is allocated to areas rather than being given to Central Government. After Brexit any allocated cash will be funnelled into the London area.
That's us. You Americans seem to be having your own problems which we watch avidly. The one thing I like about your political and media commentators are their straight forward attitude, ours waffle on for ever.
That’s actually been one of our main problems. Our news isn’t news but a commentary by some “journalist” or media giant who decides how a story should be spun. Then, when we do get some hard line news, it’s so bent on being politically correct that no one can get any specific details.
Also, when we get something that concerns Europe via our own media, it’s so vague and sprinkled with ignorance that it can’t really be taken as totally credible which is why those of us with a more concrete connection with someone across the pond will ask them our questions instead of listening to our own news media.
It might sound terrible, but when I see BBC attached to a piece, I have a tendency to be a tad more interested.
But then, maybe it is just me who has a problem with all of it. Maybe Not.
I sometimes watch the BBC if I want to see what is happening in parts of the world not covered in American media, such as Africa. I read bits and pieces in the British newspapers more often. Our media is poor, just like our school systems, and is always trying to stir up a ruckus, either to sell things or support some agenda.
It looks like the "City of Light" is a little brighter than usual. Paris vacation anyone?