dinsdag, september 20, 2005

Linkspartei 'clear winner' of German election - Jonathan Steele

Superb, absolutely superb commentary on the German election by Jonathan Steele in today's shrinky-dink Guardian. Do I say it's superb because he says essentially the same thing that I do? Not at all. Well maybe a little bit.
' In all the confusion over Germany's election result, one winner is clear. The newly founded Linkspartei - Left party - has taken 54 seats, leapfrogging Joschka Fischer's Greens, who have been part of the governing coalition for the past seven years. It is an extraordinary achievement and means that for the first time since the second world war the Social Democrats are faced with a rival party to their left.

'The SPD's losses almost exactly equal the surge in support for the Left party. It is often dubbed "far left" or "extreme left", but this description is no more justified than it is to call Germany's Free Democrats - who were the other big winners on Sunday - "extreme right".'

'... Sunday's central message was a protest against neoliberalism. It had much in common with this summer's votes in France and the Netherlands against the EU constitution... Confused, bitter and bereft of leaders with a convincing programme, many are joining a growing trend in saying that there must be another course.'

Well, quite.

He also, intriguingly, suggests that the CDU's lost votes that went FDP way may have been something to do with recalcitrant sexism on the right.