How I Would Vote22 Sep 2002
Today is election day in Germany. Most of the pople I've talked to see it as having to pick the least worse of 5 bad choices. As as non-German citizen, I cannot vote, but this is how I would vote, if I could.
Schröder's term has been disappointing. The economy is stagnant, reforms have been half-hearted, labor regulations and social insurance costs have reduced the incentive for firms to add workers. Still, the country is better off than 4 years ago, at the end of the do-nothing Kohl administration.
Stoiber has pointed out these failings, but has little to offer as an alternative. For me, there are at least 3 strikes against Stoiber and Union. 1) Immigration. The Union's opposition to even meagre reforms can only be described as medival. 2) Family. A party that declares that the 2-earner household cannot be not a model for German families is certainly not interested in helping my family. 3) Fiscal irresponsibility. The argument that 'increased growth' will pay for their spending increases and tax cuts is unconvincing.
What about the small parties? The ex-communist PDS lives in a fairy-tale land. If the FDP were truly a small-business small-government party, they might be interesting, but they are really a feed-the-rich party, and the Möllemann controversey shows they need to find themselves and put their own house in order before they should have a share of power.
And the Greens? If they were truly a small-business small-government environmental party, they might be interesting. But they've turned establishment. They do have a competent figurehead in Joschka Fischer, and they have the right platform for my pet issue, nuclear power (which I think has no place in a free society).
So, in the end, I would vote Green. If you disagree with me, you'll be happy to know that Mama does, too, und, unlike for me, her vote counts.