From the Notebook Posts are reworks of posts made for my Patrons. This one is from September 27th.
The German elections are done and dusted. The results are both discouraging and oddly uplifting. Before I get too deep into the analysis I’m going to note a few things that stand out The direct link to the German Gov’t results site is here.
Observations of the vote totals:
- Die Linke collapsed into the actual vote. They barely squeaked into any seats at all in the Bundestag, needing either 5% of First Votes or winning 3 of the standing constituency seats. They fulfilled exactly both requirements which smacks of collusion between the left parties to ensure that DL got the 3 seats in case they didn’t crack 5%.
- The Greens also collapsed into the vote itself after polling as high as 17% in the final polls and 25% earlier this year. There was definitely some consent manufacturing going on with the polling firms or at least this points out some methodological flaws in the polling.
- The Greens’ slide may also be a leading indicator of German sensitivity to rising energy prices. Going Green is all well and good if it doesn’t cost anything. Otherwise, ‘drill, baby, drill,’ because “Baby, it’s cold outside…”
- The CDU and SPD combined formed a weak plurality, with the worst performance by the CDU ever.
- This leaves any coalition government Olaf Scholz (SPD Leader) puts together will be very unstable.
- Davos manipulated events to get Scholz across the line so I expect him to eventually win out.
- Both AfD and the FDP underperformed their polling, suggesting that the CDU is still far stronger than the press and the pollsters would have you believe.
- AfD is a non-factor at the national level because they were ineffectual opposition during this past government allowing Merkel to ruin the country.
- At best, the SPD has a this majority similar to what the Democrats won with here in the U.S. but because they are all insufferable leftists they will try and push an agenda through with the biggest lurch left in Germany since before the Reichstag fire.
Now onto what the layout of the Bundestag will look like:
Zerohedge has a great map of the potential coalition scenarios:
Observations on the Bundestag:
- CDU and SPD traded seats, -50 to +53…. swing voters shifted against the current government but still wanted no real change at the top.
- The Greens mostly cannibalized from Die Linke while getting some overhang seats because of the nigh-impenetrable way Germany’s proportional representation works.
- This will be a bigger Bundestag than 2017’s by it looks like 23 seats, which mostly went to the Greens.
- The only viable ‘Leftist’ coalition is SPD/Green/FDP (Traffic Light) because Die Linke performed so poorly.
- Nominally, the SPD would lead the government, but the Greens’ dominance in the Bundesrat, thanks to Merkel, will set policy of any government that forms, if one forms at all.
- If one forms, Germany’s future is now pro-EU, all Pro-Davos and all anti-German growth / dynamism even with the FDP part of the coalition.
- Merkel couldn’t get the ‘Jamaica’ coalition together in 2017, so why would anyone think Armin Laschet will be able to pull that off since he lost his standing constituency election?
- A coalition with the CDU/Greens/FDP is, I think, unworkable.
- The pivotal figure/kingmaker is now Christian Lidner, head of the FDP, who are the closest thing to pro-small business, classic liberals of previous generations left in Europe that I can tell.
- Lidner, if he is smart, will realize he has a strong hand to play but unless he gets to appoint the Finance Minister the FDP is irrelevant. Davos will not allow this, in my opinion.
- That makes the FDP the opposite of the Greens, ideologically, because Marxists hate the middle class more than they hate anything else.
- The Greens and FDP have clashed in the past at the state level.
- No one will speak to AfD about a coalition, the German political establishment are refusing to even entertain the idea.
- The CDU/AfD/FDP coalition would be the most stable (371 seats). Proof Positive Davos runs Germany and German voters are far more conservative than the government they will get.
- AfD increased their standing constituency wins by a lot. from just 3 in 2017 to 16 in 2021 (see below).
- This makes AfD a far more regionally important party than it was in 2017 and still a dangerous x-factor going forward.
- By contrast the Greens only won 12 first votes.
Moreover, the second vote, straight party preference was even more telling as AfD’s leading territory is even bigger than its wins and they pulled strong 2nd place finishes southeast of Berlin and south of Hanover.
The key now will be getting a government formed, which will take a while. The Presidency will likely stay with Frank-Walter Steinmeyer, an SPD man and member of the German political elite, so don’t expect any pro-freedom interference there. I suspect, however, Germans wouldn’t stand for Steinmeyer openly acting like Mattarella does in Italy on behalf of Davos if it came to that.
The FDP, if they are smart, will drive a hard bargain on joining any coalition and keep their eye wary of what the German electorate reacts to policy-wise in 2022. They could see the results coalescing around the CDU and SPD in this election as the fear reaction it was. But, once things degrade further that’s when people make radical changes to their positions, that’s when minor parties can supplant and invest major ones.
How do you think we elected Trump here in the U.S.? Hint: it wasn’t Russian fraud, it was good ol’ fashioned voter frustration.
This brings me to the most interesting but least obvious scenario, especially if Germany continues to see energy hyperinflation this winter. What if the FDP refuses to form any coalition with either the CDU or the SPD? What if Lidner forces Merkel to put together a caretaker government for months while a re-vote is organized?
Merkel stays in power, which Davos loves, but there is no agenda on the table and only further degradation occurs.
It doesn’t work to the FDP’s advantage to form a government into a collapsing German economy to take the blame for it. Better to hang the people who brought this about with this debacle around their necks. He can literally campaign now against the Greens and Merkel’s record while proclaiming Scholz isn’t a strong enough leader to take Germany forward.
Becoming part of the ruling coalition right now may wind up being the worst possible thing a party leader could do for its long-term survival when the country is so close to a political inversion, which has been building for the last decade.
The narratives surrounding COVID-9/11, energy, vaccination, supply chain breakdowns and inflation are all accelerating into this winter which should accelerate changes within the German electorate.
Merkel spent five months after the 2017 election trying to get a coalition together, so don’t expect Steinmeyer to jump back to that well quickly. Negotiations will go on for a long time and that only plays into the minor parties’ hands. The longer it goes on, the more Lidner can up his price for any coalition.
This is not bullish for the Greens or the major parties. AfD and FDP should then be in a position to flip the larger parties.
It’s doesn’t take a genius to see that no matter what happens in the next few months that anyone who tries to push the Davos agenda forward from here will face a big backlash from middle-class, conservative German voters.
Saving the world from Climate Change is all fine and dandy when someone else is paying the bill.
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