"If you thought Germany was a democracy, think again.
There are many definitions of democracy and it comes in different flavours around the world. But at its core lies the notion that voters should have a decisive say in the complexion of their governments. "
"The one thing that can be said with certainty is that from now on, voters are no longer part of the equation. "
By Bertrand Benoit in Berlin, The financial Times, Published Sept 1, 2009 http://www.ft.com/
More Excerpts from FT article:
"Germany’s 2009 elections - Sep-01German jobs data boost for Merkel - Sep-01Merkel rebuffs election criticism - Aug-31On that account, Germany fails the democratic test, as elections in Saarland and Thuringia showed last weekend, and as the general election taking place in less than four weeks may demonstrate too.
In Saarland, a small state of 1m inhabitants squeezed against the French border, voters gave left-of-centre parties 51.7 per cent of their votes last Sunday, with 43.7 per cent going to their rivals on the right-hand side of the spectrum.
In Thuringia, in the former Communist east, the left obtained 52.1 per cent against 38.8 per cent for the conservative camp (the rest went to small parties that failed to pass the 5 per cent threshold to enter parliament).
In both states, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, which had been ruling with an absolute majority in the past four years, suffered double-digit losses.
As clear a result as it gets, one would think. Indeed, if this were France or the UK, the CDU premiers in Saarbrücken and Erfurt would be packing boxes right now. But this is Germany and what government emerges from the freshly elected regional parliaments is, well, anyone’s guess. And we will not be finding out soon.