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Germany's Government - What Now? Options
Hope123
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 9:23:06 AM

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Since Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to create a coaltion government, what may happen now after she informs the president? What are the options and consequences? (Edited - this is making me nervous. Should it?)

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
March Hare
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 9:43:04 AM

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Location: Zedelgem, Flanders, Belgium
We had a similar situation in Belgium a while back. I've just looked it up, and apparently we were without an elected government for 589 days. Oddly enough, it wasn't really that much of a problem. The former government continued to administer running matters, and in the meantime negotiations could continue until everyone was more or less satisfied.
Hopefully Germany will just go through the same thing for a while, and it will all clear up in time. (I just hope they don't break the Belgian record for longest time without an elected government. It may sound weird, but many of us are actually kind of proud of that one.)
RuthP
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 10:08:41 AM

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Hope123 wrote:
Since Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to create a coaltion government, what may happen now after she informs the president? What are the options and consequences? (Edited - this is making me nervous. Should it?)

Have they given up? Last I heard, negotiations were still ongoing.
Hope123
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 11:42:35 AM

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Yeah, I think the talks have collapsed.

In Canada I think we'd have a minority government until a vote of non confidence brought down the government triggering another election - which would tick Canadians off to have another election so soon.

Interesting, March Hare, that there was no government for that long. Sometimes I think that would be a very good idea. It would stop all the antics, accusations, negativity, and the requests for change that are not bigger and better but just change for change sake.

RuthP - welcome back! I have thought of you often and have missed your erudite posts!

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 12:11:12 PM

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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
In western European countries the political parties usually tend to make some kind of concensus in the matters which they are negotiating. Sooner or later they form a coalition government. In Belgium that took some time ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
taurine
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 1:42:40 PM

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Location: South Dublin, Ireland
Hope123 wrote:
Since Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to create a coaltion government, what may happen now after she informs the president? What are the options and consequences? (Edited - this is making me nervous. Should it?)


I wish to pose a question: do we know the German Constitutional Law?

J'ai perdu mes amis en Afrique durant la dernière semaine de 2017
Romany
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 2:44:28 PM
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Taurine - well I shouldn't imagine it's something many people "know".

Fortunately, however, we have the Internet and books - so those of us who *want* to know about something have the best opportunity to look it up, than people have ever had before.
taurine
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 3:27:50 PM

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Romany - I think that you have earned a point here.

If so, I like your statement that we have the Internet and books. This is important and it may give an opportunity to learn about what we do not know. And I am grateful for it, truly. It gives a chance to better understand the question put by Hope123.
Thank you so much.

J'ai perdu mes amis en Afrique durant la dernière semaine de 2017
IMcRout
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 4:13:31 PM

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Ours is a fairly stable society and there is no reason to get excited.
This is mainly a kind of power game staged by of one of the smaller parties, whose leaders want to show their membership how tough they are and ensure their most important and influential supporters (you can find many of them mentioned in the Paradise Papers) that they'll do their utmost for them.

I'm still suffering from extensive dental work earlier today. I'll tell you a bit more about the options tomorrow.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
taurine
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 4:38:07 PM

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If I were bold I would write: Was is das? (This could be misunderstood as suggestion [very bad, indeed] to listen to the music made by certain German music group Mo - Do and their song 'Eins, Zwei, Polizei')

But I am not so bold at all.
To summarize:
The question posed by Hope 123:
What may happen now after she informs the president?
What are the options and consequences.

I answer again: do we know the German Constitutional Law?

In the result I am of the opinion that the question put by Hope123 is assuming that there might be a person who knows the German Constitutional Law. If I am wrong, then a word: speculation comes to my mind.
[This could be, of course, countered by the opinions what about people who don't know German Constitutional Law. But in this instance the whole discussion might go awry. Any one who asks: (..) what may happen now after she informs the president? What are the options and consequences? should assume that he/she expects an answer from the legal point of view. Why? Because it is obvious from the question written by Hope123. Anyone who does not know German Constitutional Law expressing their opinion on the matter should be deemed as not reliable source of information.
Otherwise the whole question might be deemed as a sort of folly. Why folly? Because people answering to the question do not know the words written in the law of German State guiding the proper sort of conduct.

In relation to the part of post written by the Hope 123 which looks:(Edited - this is making me nervous. Should it?) I boldly write: you should not be bothered at all.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/bother

1. To cause to be irritated, especially by repeated acts; trouble or annoy: "I spoke French badly."

IMcRout is better.



J'ai perdu mes amis en Afrique durant la dernière semaine de 2017
Hope123
Posted: Monday, November 20, 2017 4:51:34 PM

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Chancellor Merkel has spoken since the OP. She says she prefers an election but how much weight her preference is given in their Constitution we'll find out from IMc tomorrow.

Hope you feel better by then, IMc. Dental work is never fun, especially the extensive kind!

:::

Edited after reading Taurine's edit - My nervousness is because I now view Germany as the main leader of the free world and I don't want to see the stable leader, Merkel, be replaced. We have enough nonsense going on all over the world.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Orson Burleigh
Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 7:22:51 AM

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March Hare wrote:
We had a similar situation in Belgium a while back. I've just looked it up, and apparently we were without an elected government for 589 days. Oddly enough, it wasn't really that much of a problem. The former government continued to administer running matters, and in the meantime negotiations could continue until everyone was more or less satisfied.
Hopefully Germany will just go through the same thing for a while, and it will all clear up in time. (I just hope they don't break the Belgian record for longest time without an elected government. It may sound weird, but many of us are actually kind of proud of that one.)


Belgium's experience illustrates one of the benefits enjoyed by countries which have developed a well trained and mostly honest cadre of professional civil servants. An economically stable state which is in fundamentally good running order, and which enjoys a substantial consensus about its basic social arrangements should be able to go for a long period of time, even a year or more, without major adjustments.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:16:26 AM
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Hope - I think perhaps you have become used to the way cable TV stations rely on fear and doom and gloom, and prey on peoples feelings of insecurity and approaching annihilation in American politics! Even the language they use - which I've been carefully studying over the past year - is all at a heightened level.

European leaders don't operate in a vacuum as Trumps isolationism does. Nobody in Europe is going to threaten the future of the entire planet because somebody (accurately) described them as "old". Diplomacy as an art and a career has been practised for centuries throughout Europe and the UK, and many of the people working in that field today come from whole families that have been involved in it for generations.

Of course, none of us knows what the future will bring; but none of us lives in fear of our leaders. (Contempt, maybe - not fear) None of us lives in fear of terrorists or of a person because of their race/religion/politics, and the idea that at any time one of them is going to start throwing nukes around in a fit of pique, has never arisen.

Yeah, Europe & the UK will go on squabbling, and scandals will happen, and people will walk out of meetings, alliances will ripple - but there's no need to feel fear.

Keep in mind we are now living in the most peaceful era of human history! Crime is down across all developed countries - including America! We know more about the consequences humanity has on the world environment and are taking giant and constant steps to address these! We're all in pretty good shape, all things considered.

In order to make the humungous salaries they do, media commentators have also to *create* a narrative: - the current one is fear and loathing.

It's easy for us to let them convince us - everywhere they are providing the negative issues and images that illustrate the great propaganda machine that is cable.

But we *know* all this, so one of the things we should also resist, girl, is to feel the fear they have constructed.

Hope, you have so much curiosity and adventurousness; and such a delightfully inquiring mind...don't you *dare* - even for a minute - feel fear for the future. Stuff 'em - and their inflated salaries & egos. Everyone has the right to live without fear - so take your rights!
(Sheesh! Sound a bit like I should be standing on a soapbox. But it really upset me to see you even wondering IF you should be scared ie live in the shadow of fear. And I wanted so desperately to simply say "No you bloody well shouldn't!")



IMcRout
Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:38:08 AM

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Joined: 5/27/2011
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Location: Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Now, as promised and maybe to relieve some of your fears:

What are the options? Some kind of a frame of reference first:

The constitution of the Weimar Republic in the twenties and thirties of the last century had been rather insufficiently thought out and had made it fairly easy for the Nazis to take power without ever having a majority of votes until then.

It was the first attempt at introducing democratic institutions and procedures in a country which previously had been more or less an absolute monarchy.

In response to this constitution a few - let's call them fail-safe - mechanisms were introduced.

- The powers of the Federal President were radically curtailed;
- Proportional representation was introduced;
- Parties are required to have at least five percent of the votes to be admitted to the Bundestag;
- Parliament can only be dissolved for new elections
a) through a 'constructive vote of no confidence', which means that if the opposition wants to replace the Chancellor, it has to provide a prospective candidate in the same ballot.
b) by the Federal President, if the Bundestag is unable to elect the candidate (s)he had put forth with absolute majority.

So what will happen in the next few days (weeks?) will be some intensive talks of the President with the leadership of all the political parties concerned in which he will remind them of their responsibility for the country.
This will certainly include his own former party, the Social Democrats, which had suffered severe losses in the last elections and had opted not to take part in a new coalition. They may be forced to rethink their attitude.

Only if these talks - and of course those between potential partners - fail, will Mr Steinmeier dissolve the Bundestag and there will be fresh elections within 60 days.

There is political dissense, there are a few spanners in the works, a number of politicians trying to polish up their image - so what's new in a lively democracy?

I'm more amused than worried at the situation.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 1:50:25 PM

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I watch news sources from overseas as well but wanted a bit of an inside scoop with facts - so thanks everyone.

I do see fascism creeping back into the world, distressing even in Canada. When I see demonstrations like the one in Charlottesville, and the numbers of countries where the alt-right parties have gained ground in recent elections in the US and abroad, this is what concerns me. Of course there is no security in this life but the risks can be assessed with knowledge. And if there is a risk, we need to be vigilant and speak out, especially against zealots.

I have said before that Canada had ten years or so of an authoritarian government before all this happened in the US election and maybe elsewhere. But zealots are still around so we have to be vigilant here too if we want to keep our Canadian values and peace-loving ideas intact and undo what was done during those ten years - like unmuzzle our representatives, and replace and unmuzzle our scientists and so forth. And stop assimilating some of the worst concepts that are emerging in the US - like muzzling free speech at my alma mater.

Our faith in our southern neighbour has been shattered. The president is withdrawing from the world and indeed is being marginalized by the rest of the world. We are not only upset with their leader but with the values being adopted by what used to be the good old Republican Party that is being taken over in many instances by Populists who care more for money than their country or the safety of their people in many arenas. And for state party leaders who put their party wanting a tax bill over protecting children from predators. It seems to be a "Me, Me, Me"attitude that has been unleashed and is creeping fast everywhere.

So we had pinned our hopes on Merkel as being a stabilizing influence in the world - we know her and want her to succeed. And when her position is threatened, it seems to add to all the noise in the world.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:27:23 PM

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Digression - Update of an aside in my last post re the muzzling of free speech at a university in Canada - the university apologized to the teaching assistant. Public opinion does help to fight back erosions of democracy.

While I don't agree with the material presented, both the writer of that material and the teaching assistant have the right to free speech.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/11/21/laurier-apologizes-to-teaching-assistant-who-aired-clip-of-gender-pronoun-debate.html

Yes!

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
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