Four things Germany has learned from the United States

  1. When running a national election, it is important to choose a liberal candidate who has moved so far to the right that he has little (if any) ideological differences with the conservative candidate. This will ensure that a stratified public will reject both major candidates in equal measure, deadlocking your election.

  2. When your national election ends without a clear winner in sight, it is important for both centrist candidates to claim victory. This will confuse the public into thinking that a constitutional crisis didn’t actually occur.

  3. A mandate is achieved when one party’s margin of victory falls just outside of the statistical margin of error. In Germany, this means three seats in a 600-seat Parliament. In the United States, this means 60,000 votes in Cuyahoga County.

  4. When faced with the prospect of two parties unable to form tenable coalitions, it is important for the incumbent party to pretend that the election is something other than a referendum on their achievements in the past term. In Germany, this means trotting out the SDP Chairman, Franz Muentefering, to say things like, “The message was clear: This country does not want Mrs. Merkel as chancellor,” while conveniently ignoring that the country didn’t necessarily want Schroeder as chancellor either. In the United States, this means pointing out that Bush garnered more votes in 2004 than any candidate in US history, while conveniently ignoring that in that same election, John Kerry jumped to number two on that list.

annamaria at 8:15 AM

1 spoke


at Tuesday, September 20, 2005 12:05:00 PM Anonymous Rich said...

That made me laugh. :)

Sadly, democracy and capitalism are like oil and water, whether you're in Osnabruck or Ohio. The sooner people realise that (and act on it), the better.


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