Monday, 19 January 2009

Hessen Vote.

The FDP (and the Greens) have been strengthened in Hesse following the state elections on Sunday.

This makes a CDU-FDP coalition almost a certainty, and poses big questions for the SPD, who are down 13% since the last state election in Hesse last January. While this was widely predicted, elements of the SPD have reacted by proposing a change of the voting rules in the Bundesrat, which represents the 16 states of Germany, following the FDP's increase in power there. The reasoning behind this seems to be that the federal Grand Coalition will find it harder to pass legislation, which is especially dangerous in a time of recession, when governments may need to act quickly.

There may or may not be valid reasons for a constitutional change, but these suggestions can hardly be taken as anything but a power play by the SPD (and a very poor one at that). It smacks of desperation when a political party, even if just elements of it, start talking of constitutional change straight after an election defeat. The SPD needs to get itself sorted out, and fast. Franz Muentefering thinks it can be done. But I can't see it happening.

*All links are in German.

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