Sunday, September 27

Ich bin ein Berliner

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been returned to power in Germany, exit polls suggest, after her conservative [CDU/CSU] bloc won more than 33% of the vote.

Mrs Merkel's bloc now looks set to form a centre-right alliance with her preferred partner, the pro-reform FDP [libertarian].
If you need an introduction to Germany's parties, check out 538's. The entry on the FDP is amusing.

Yglesias editorializes:
Angela Merkel wound up winning a strange kind of election victory, the kind where your party gets less support than it got before. Still, the CDU’s support only went down a little while the Social Democrats’ support collapsed and the liberal (in a European sense) Free Democrats gained a lot. The Greens and the Left Party also picked up support. The result is going to be some controversial free market reforms for Germany (I think the evidence suggests that most Germans actually don’t want the kind of reforms that this election result will lead to) and a real moment of crisis for the SPD that needs to really rethink some things:

I note that following on the European Parliament election results and some other national results, there seems to be a continent-wide crisis of social democracy. In a great many countries, social democrats are really getting squeezed by rising far-left parties and the fact that Europe’s center-right parties tend to be inconveniently non-crazy.

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