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Schill Out

When I posted on Ronald Schill's dramatic ouster from the Hamburg Senate (cabinet), I didn't offer much comment because I didn't know how to adequately explain the situation to outsiders. I still don't. I've always found Hamburg politics to be a bit wacky. Mayors resign when they win elections but by not enough. Elections get thrown out on technicalities. The local Greens split into two parties over the war in Kosovo. Grassroots parties form on the right, join the government for a term, then disappear. The color of police uniforms becomes a major issue. (Then again, coming from Minnesota, I know wacky politics. I say only Jesse Ventura.)

Given this wackinesss, Ronald Schill is still the most polarizing political figure I have ever encountered. Even Ronald Reagan during my college days in the 1980s did generate as much animosity. They threw eggs at Reagan. At Schill they throw rocks. The news of his departure led to a spontaneous street party (complete with riot police).

The logical consequence would be new elections, but the governing parties are rather desparate to avoid them, since they have everything to lose. They hope to limp along the next two years with a Schill-less Schill Party, with the popular Beust leading a Senate of zeros.

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