Germans Head to the Polls
GERHARD SCHROEDER AND ANGELA MERKEL MAKE THEIR FINAL PLEA TO VOTERS,
In case you missed it, earlier this week Davids Medienkritik explained how Gerhard Schroeder’s SPD Party exploited dead American soldiers in their election campaign to win votes.
A carnival float in March 2003 shows paper mache figure of German conservative opposition leader Angela Merkel emerging from the buttocks of Uncle Sam during the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in Duesseldorf. Merkel has strongly criticized the German government’s anti-Iraq war stance. The Rose Monday parades in Cologne, Mainz and Duesseldorf are the highlight of the German street carnival season. (Ina Fassbender for Reuters & Shark Blog)
Polls open at 0800 (0600 GMT), and with up to 25% of voters still undecided the main parties say they will keep campaigning right to the last minute.
The country’s sluggish economy, high unemployment, and foreign policy have been the election’s main themes.
Although polls give Mrs Merkel’s CDU party a significant lead over Mr Schroeder’s Social Democrats (SPD), her hopes of becoming Germany’s first woman chancellor may depend on whether she can form a coalition.
One the eve of polling, Mrs Merkel, 51, returned to her central theme, condemning Mr Schroeder’s economic record.
During his seven-year stint, Germany’s jobless total has risen above five million, and remains at more than 11%, she said.
“We will not make false promises about how to get Germany moving again,” the physicist from the former communist east said.
“Vote for change because Germany needs a future.”
The ruling Social Democrats (SPD) have made gains on the opposition Christian Democrats (CDU), while Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder appears more popular than rival Angela Merkel. Pollsters say 20-30% of the electorate remain undecided.
Davids Medienkritik will be the blog to follow the next 24 hours on the German Election. Davids also breaks down the German election to you which is much different than an American Presidential Election.
Update: (Sunday 11:30 AM CST) The party of Angela Merkel appears to be winning which is wonderful news for the US and the Germans as Schroeder has kept the country into economic stagnation. Good for Angela, she has also had to fight a brutally biased German media. Medienkritik, however, is not so pleased.
Update 2: (11:00 PM Sunday CST) Davids Medienkritik sums the election up with this…
The reason that the SPD still looks like a winner despite it all is explained by the low expectations on Schroeder and the high expectations on Merkel. Merkel clearly underperformed and also lost votes and Schroeder indeed had a strong surge at the end. But this SPD loss is still a loss and sober political reality will govern Germany’s unclear and divided future.
Stay tuned…anything can still happen…
See Davids Medienkritik for the complete update.
Instapundit notes that “crapulent politics” did not work for Schroeder.
French Blogger No Pasaran has thoughts on the election outcome.
And, Bare Knuckle Politics sends a link.