In less than 2 weeks, Germany will go through the same process as Australia did last Saturday.
Being the major economic force in Europe, it should be very interesting to follow the upcoming election and find out what consequences the result will have.
As I hear and read from friends, the mood is similarly disenchanted as here, although there are differences:
- The Germans have a gut full of the Euro Zone. They consider the stupidest decision was made when all comers were invited to join Euroland, without there being a common fiscal policy, Central Bank, Taxation, and Treasury.
- The Germans have a gut full of minority ghettos, although there is a greater requirement for aliens to become proficient in German language and law.
- There is still a great divide between East (former GDR) and West (former FRG). Citizens that grew up under the Socialist regime had very relaxed work ethics: the Party planned everything, and you did just as much as you were told. Apart from that, you pulled your head in and kept your mouth shut.
- After the Unification, Eastern infrastructure was rebuilt from the ground up - it had to be! The big problem: There was no money left for Western infrastructure to be properly maintained. Yet the centres of Industry have remained largely in the West, which is now groaning under the weight of road trains and housing shortage.
- Young people willing to work hard are moving westward, where the jobs are; those who choose to remain back bolster the ranks of unemployed youths and often end up in street gangs of dissatisfied drop-outs.
- Voting is not compulsory. Participation is dwindling and could drop into the 60's% this time.
- Each voter has two votes: One for the direct representative, one for a party of choice. The direct candidate with the most votes gets in; no nonsense with second preferences and party deals. The Party vote determines the proportion of representatives' affiliation across a State. Shortfalls are made up from a "State List" of party candidates. For example, if a State had 10 constituencies and direct candidates from Party A won all seats by a margin of 60:40, then the losing Party B would still send 8 members from the State List into Parliament, while Party A could only add 2 from their State List.