2013 Bundestagswahl (German Federal Election): A.Merkel def P.Steinbrück 42% - 26% - Page 61 - MensTennisForums.com

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Old 10-09-2013, 07:38 PM   #901
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Default Re: 2013 Bundestagswahl (German Federal Election): A.Merkel def P.Steinbrück 42% - 2

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Originally Posted by Htom Sirveaux View Post
When I said 'Hopefully Die Linke move into the mainstream', I meant to suggest that they'd be moderating and coming closer to the mainstream themselves, not that the SPD would simply start working with an uncompromising hard left party. I don't know enough about individual German parties to make endorsements, but as a center-left person I can only imagine how irritating it would be to have somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the left vote locked up with a party that you couldn't work with and essentially kill the possibility for center-left government.

I'd simply like to see Germany behaving like other PR European countries where there's a possibility of the center-left working with the other relevant left parties (or a centrist party for that matter). Even in those more 'normal' countries (ie, no Communist legacy) it's not a foregone conclusion that the center-left will work with the hard left (Sweden and Holland have both recently seen pretty big divisions on the left), but the possibility for cooperation is at least there and politics generally follows a 'choose the left block or the right block' pattern. Germany is currently more like 'choose the right block or end up with right dominated centrist government'. I can of course understand why that would be an ideal situation for center-right person (), but I don't see it as being a sustainable state of affairs.
I'm not even sure how accurate these left and right labels are anymore. Traditionally:

Extreme-left = communism
Moderate-left = democratic socialism
Center-left = social democrat or social liberal
Center = liberalism
Center-right = conservatism
Moderate-right = nationalism
Extreme-right = fascism

Theoretically, Libertarianism and Green politics don't fit into this spectrum although the former is associated with the right and the latter with the left. I could consider myself a Liberal Green Libertarian - I'm center on foreign policy, center-left on social and environmental issues, and center-right on economic policy.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #902
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Default Re: 2013 Bundestagswahl (German Federal Election): A.Merkel def P.Steinbrück 42% - 2

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Originally Posted by Htom Sirveaux View Post
Non-German descriptions of the electoral system there tend to simplify it into: half the seats from FPTP districts and half from party lists (with the list vote used exclusively when determining the proportional allocation in the Bundestag). By 'region', do you mean the equivalent of a district or a state (Land)? I remember hearing that former East German states were counted separately for party list purposes in the first reunification election, but I didn't think that system was still in place. If you just mean 'district', you could keep that vote entirely separate from the ranked list vote; the 'district' vote is really just an attempt to maintain some local representation at the federal level and doesn't effect the proportional balance of the Bundestag besides an exception made for parties winning several districts who fail to reach the 5% threshold (this is my understanding anyway). I don't think the overhang system currently in place would have to change with a ranked party list vote. The second choice votes (from voters who's first party failed to reach the threshold) would simply run up the tally of the parties that did meet the threshold.

As for the reliability of political science, as always with social scientists (economists, sociologists, etc) it's important to account for their ideology and make sure their methodology is solid. The poli-sci research I'm referencing is of the 'serious' sort and is purely empirical and analytical. I've read some idealistic writings on electoral systems (and those are interesting for exploring new ideas), but I'd only look for research on a proper threshold from peer reviewed quality work. That's the kind of research I was referencing when I talked about a consensus existing about what threshold is too high. And while Germany is more diverse than Holland and Denmark, the diversity largely comes down to a divide between Protestants/Catholics and former Easterners/former Westerners plus a small Turkish minority; it's not the kind of 'New World' ethnic diversity or developing world religious/tribal sectarianism that can make consensus exceptionally difficult. I'd consider Germany's level of diversity cause to question how the country would handle a transition from a majoritarian system to a proportional system, but Germany already shows that it can handle proportionality and the threshold change would only be 1 or 2 percent which I think is more of a tweak than massive change.

And I agree that the particular difficulties of this election might be temporary. Pariah parties always cause difficulties in PR systems, and hopefully Die Linke will soon enter the mainstream and be able to work with the center left as is the case with other hard left parties in Western Europe. The right might have more difficulties finding a majority going forward if both the FDP and AfD compete in the next election with the same threshold; there's only so many liberal votes to go around after all. I also agree that the current situation isn't critical enough to create enough impetus for electoral reform.
Kathrin Göring-Eckardt (a realo) and Toni Hofreiter (a lefty) have been elected to the top of the Green Party. Of course, this being Germany, there are bound to be a handful of other big fishes in the party, but these two are supposed to be the ones at the steering wheel, having taken the torch from Roth, Trittin and co.

I'm skeptical about Hofreiter. For one, I have my doubts that he'll be able to handle the big scene.

Anyway, CDU/CSU and Greens are due to meet on Thursday in coalition talks. Shit is bound to end in a cat fight between CSU and Greens, with them leaving Merkel alone at the table within 5 minutes of the start of the talks.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:03 PM   #903
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Default Re: 2013 Bundestagswahl (German Federal Election): A.Merkel def P.Steinbrück 42% - 2

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Originally Posted by Jimnik View Post
I'm not even sure how accurate these left and right labels are anymore. Traditionally:

Extreme-left = communism
Moderate-left = democratic socialism
Center-left = social democrat or social liberal
Center = liberalism
Center-right = conservatism
Moderate-right = nationalism
Extreme-right = fascism

Theoretically, Libertarianism and Green politics don't fit into this spectrum although the former is associated with the right and the latter with the left. I could consider myself a Liberal Green Libertarian - I'm center on foreign policy, center-left on social and environmental issues, and center-right on economic policy.
Left and right still work OK as strictly economic labels. My list would look like:

Extreme-left = communism/statism
Left = democratic socialism (something like what the French Socialists have historically pushed for and what Gorbachev allegedly wanted; it's difficult to give examples because it's never really been attemped for an extended period of time)
Center-left = social democrats
Center = agrarians/social liberals
Center-right = christian democrats
Right = conservatives
Extreme-right = classical liberals (only regarding economic policy; extreme is not meant as a pejorative in this instance)

Green parties can float anywhere from center to extreme-left, so they don't really fit well into that spectrum. I generally consider 'libertarians' to be classical liberals and socially moderate/conservative 'liberals' to be conservatives.

You need an x and y axis to measure economic and social values simultaneously. Something like this:



The social axis is generally where classical liberals clearly differentiate themselves from conservatives and social liberals/many greens differentiate themselves from center-left working class people who like the state for redistribution but are generally more socially conservative.

And I haven't seen it done much, but you really need three dimensions to incorporate foreign policy into a label. For example, there's currently a significant split on the American right between interventionists and isolationists even though many in both groups agree on most domestic policy questions.

For the record, I'm center-left, extremely socially liberal and a realist interventionist.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:27 AM   #904
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Default Re: 2013 Bundestagswahl (German Federal Election): A.Merkel def P.Steinbrück 42% - 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Htom Sirveaux View Post
Left and right still work OK as strictly economic labels. My list would look like:

Extreme-left = communism/statism
Left = democratic socialism (something like what the French Socialists have historically pushed for and what Gorbachev allegedly wanted; it's difficult to give examples because it's never really been attemped for an extended period of time)
Center-left = social democrats
Center = agrarians/social liberals
Center-right = christian democrats
Right = conservatives
Extreme-right = classical liberals (only regarding economic policy; extreme is not meant as a pejorative in this instance)

Green parties can float anywhere from center to extreme-left, so they don't really fit well into that spectrum. I generally consider 'libertarians' to be classical liberals and socially moderate/conservative 'liberals' to be conservatives.

You need an x and y axis to measure economic and social values simultaneously. Something like this:



The social axis is generally where classical liberals clearly differentiate themselves from conservatives and social liberals/many greens differentiate themselves from center-left working class people who like the state for redistribution but are generally more socially conservative.

And I haven't seen it done much, but you really need three dimensions to incorporate foreign policy into a label. For example, there's currently a significant split on the American right between interventionists and isolationists even though many in both groups agree on most domestic policy questions.

For the record, I'm center-left, extremely socially liberal and a realist interventionist.
You're way off on your classical liberalism description. There's no-one that considers any form of liberalism as an extreme-right ideology. All forms of liberalism drift around the center despite variations from country to country. In America and Britain they're center-left, whereas Germany and Australia's liberals are center-right. But I don't know a single liberal party in the world that considers itself hard right.

I've seen a variety of two dimensional political spectra, with differing ideas for x and y axis. I would argue for x = economic policy, y = social policy and a third dimension to represent foreign policy. Historically foreign policy is more significant in measuring political positions in the left v right spectrum. Nationalism and foreign skepticism are consistently associated with traditional right-wing ideology, far more than economic libertarianism. Fascism, for instance, is economically closer to communism than conservatism.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:39 PM   #905
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Default Re: 2013 Bundestagswahl (German Federal Election): A.Merkel def P.Steinbrück 42% - 2

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Originally Posted by Jimnik View Post
You're way off on your classical liberalism description. There's no-one that considers any form of liberalism as an extreme-right ideology. All forms of liberalism drift around the center despite variations from country to country. In America and Britain they're center-left, whereas Germany and Australia's liberals are center-right. But I don't know a single liberal party in the world that considers itself hard right.

I've seen a variety of two dimensional political spectra, with differing ideas for x and y axis. I would argue for x = economic policy, y = social policy and a third dimension to represent foreign policy. Historically foreign policy is more significant in measuring political positions in the left v right spectrum. Nationalism and foreign skepticism are consistently associated with traditional right-wing ideology, far more than economic libertarianism. Fascism, for instance, is economically closer to communism than conservatism.
As I tried to clarify in the parentheses after my classical liberalism description, 'extreme right' was meant to refer strictly to economic policy. I realize the term has a pejorative connotation and is usually used to describe an ideology that is socially authoritarian and either statist or corporatist economically, but I was only meaning to place classical liberalism on an economic spectrum (I agree that classical liberalism is absolutely not an extreme-right ideology when factoring in non-economic considerations). If communism is statist and extreme-left, I'd put classical liberalism as the purest alternative to communism (economically) and thus anti-statist and extreme-right. Doctrinaire classical liberals usually favor reducing taxation, spending and regulation to an absolute minimum, a position I characterize as far right as you can get economically. Liberals who favor some amount of government would be better described as social liberals and if they primarily are concerned with using government to protect the environment, blue greens. Also, the term 'liberal' is massively abused outside Europe. American liberals are generally social democrats/social liberals in practice (Obama being closer to a social democrat, Bill Clinton closer to a social liberal) and liberals in Australia are essentially conservatives (John Howard being a good recent example).

I agree that foreign policy is very important in properly classifying ideologies but I don't think it fits well on a left-right spectrum, which I'd reserve exclusively for economic policy. Nationalism appeals to essentially every economic ideology, with slight exceptions for some socially libertarian leftists and some anti-statist rightists (Austrian school classical liberals, like Ron Paul in the US, are frequently cool on military nationalism). I agree that conservatism is strongly associated with nationalism (something that helps differentiate it from classical liberalism) and that fascism can be placed parallel to communism on an economic spectrum. Like green politics, fascism is hard to peg economically; it can be either statist or corporatist. The one economic ideology that has minimal overlap with any form of fascism is pure classical liberalism.
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