German State Elections

The outcome of the two state elections today will strongly influence German politics for years to come. Schroeder’s Social Democrats (SPD) are set to lose them by a wide margin; as a consequence the Christian Democrats (CDU) will have a decisive majority in the upper chamber, so that Schroeder will need their explicit approval for almost all new legislation. Even more interesting is that Angela Merkel, Christian Democratic chairwoman and parliamentary whip, has stated bluntly that she too, would have signed the letter in support of GWB’s policy published by the eight European statesmen. Being Chancellor is going to be even less fun than before. If Schroeder’s popularity deteriorates any more his supporters might start looking for a replacement, the usual fate for Chancellors. What might save him is the lack of strong contenders; good for him, but very bad for the party. I’ll post election results as they come in this evening. Voting will stop at 6 PM Central European Time (noon EST, 9 AM PST). The first real results should come in about half an hour later.