Germany (and Hesse) votes today!

What better way to kick off Germany’s election day — and the second full day of Oktoberfest in Munich — with Johannes Brahms’s ‘Academic Festival Overture,’ a loose assortment of what amounts to student drinking songs?Germany Flag Icon

Germany, with 80 million citizens, is the most populous member of the European Union, and it’s also the economic engine of Europe these days, for better or worse.

Angela Merkel, chancellor for the past eight years, is almost certainly likely to continue as chancellor, with her center-right Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU, Christian Democratic Party) and the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern (CSU, the Christian Social Union), poised to win more than 10% to 15% more than the center-left Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD, Social Democratic Party).

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German voters will cast two ballots — for a local representative in each of 299 districts, plus the national ‘party vote’ for a political party to determine an additional 299 seats in the lower house of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag.  The ‘party vote’ generally determines the proportion of seats that a party will hold in the Bundestag.

The drama comes down to whether Merkel will be able to continue her coalition with the liberal Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP, Free Democratic Party) — which is polling at around just 5%, the threshold to win seats in the Bundestag — or be forced back into a ‘grand coalition’ with the SPD.  Or, as I’ve argued at EurActiv, the third possibility is a historical ‘black-green’ coalition with Die Grünen (the Greens).

We’ll have a pretty good idea in about 10 hours of the universe of possibilities.

Between now and then, check out some of Suffragio‘s prior German election campaign coverage:

Photo credit to Alex Cole.

3 thoughts on “Germany (and Hesse) votes today!”

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