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« Iain Duncan Smith and Rick Santorum: A Conservative Vision Of Social Justice | Main | Charles Murray: The Hallmark of The Underclass »

Comments

Selsdon Man

"He mentions a rural and very traditional German party's failure to understand a cosmopolitan Germany of increasing immigration."

Sounds familiar!!

Selsdon Man

The Free Democrats are a traditional (classical) liberal party rather than classic conservatives - neo-liberals to use the slur of the left. They are part of the Liberal group in the European Parliament.

James Hellyer

"the business-friendly Free Democratic Party"

The FDP are not "business friendly, they are pro-market.

Busines friendly carries with it the seedy implication that businesses will be protected from market conditions that may expose their inefficiencies (for example, the US government subsidising airlines).

Jacob Träff

Germany is not the only country which lacks a real Conservative, limited-government alternative. France knows no such thing, Italy has only Berlusconi, Belgium and the Netherlands have only Christian Democrats and my own country - Sweden - used to have a credible alternative in the Moderate Party, but they have recently changed their whole image, surrendering many important issues to the Social Democrats.

The Conservative Party, thanks to its anglo-saxon origins, are one of few truly Conservative - limited government, rule of law, free market - parties in Europe. Choosing Ken Clarke would kill that too.

James Hellyer

"The CDU/CSU's failure to understand these commitments explains why it (and its FDP partners) garnered a full 10% fewer votes than Helmut Kohl did fifteen years ago - and did so despite the unpopularity of Gerhard Schroeder's administration."

So it was absolutely nothing to do with them running a rubbish campaign with policies that quite frankly were... rubbish?

Merkel's coaltion did have a 23% lead in the polls, but blew it because their tax policy was rubbish (putting up VAT) and easily generated scare stories (flat taxes).

Rick

The SPD and CDU/CSU gained votes in about the same proportion as Labour and Conservatives in May 2005......the electoral system in Germany designed to prevent strong government did not give the CDU the type of overall majority whereby the British system rewarded Labour.


Germany society is a mosaic - each piece fits to make a pattern, but no piece can be moved unless you smash the whole pattern. Germans experienced smashed patterns throughout the 20th Century and are afraid.

The collapse of the GDR economy has made many voters wonder, and the looting of Mannesmann-D2 and of Celanese and of Mobilcom and VW and corruption at BMW and Daimler makes most Germans worry they are being hi-jacked by Freebooters.

The result is understandable but also unhelpful. Had Schroeder kept Lafontaine as Finance Minister in 1998 his economy might have been much healthier since Lafontaine wanted growth when the ECB decreed stagnation......Eichel just shovelled deficits into the future and squandered the fruits of future budgeted growth before it arrived.

Germany is back to the 1920s - back to Hermann Mueller in 1928-30 - and it is not comparable with Britain in any respect which is a 'credit-junkie-property-boom-democracy' whereas Germany is a 'manic depressive deflationist society'

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