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Germany Bundestagswahl, return to the centre

  • 27-09-2021 6:57am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 19,002 ✭✭✭✭


    Here in Germany I had the honour of voting in a general election for the first time yesterday.

    The outcome nationally is clear. The people have begun to move away from the extreme parties of the left and right to the centrist ones.

    This is a good day for German democracy, though the cancer of the AfD is proving harder to eradicate in Saxony, where it topped the polls and a lesser extent in Thuringia.

    Happily my own state of Brandenburg swung heavily away from the AfD in favour of the centre left SPD, which I was not at all anticipating. Our own direct mandate candidate was previously the centre right guy and it's now a centre left gal. Wasn't expecting that either.

    My own preferred party did quite poorly (no prizes for guessing the party then) but overall I am much happier today than I was this time in 2017 after the AfD had gained a disgracefully high number of seats in the Bundestag. Germany has prospered due to centrist consensus politics. The far left and especially the far right bring no solutions to the challenges ahead, just cheap slogans.



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,801 ✭✭✭✭silverharp


    will they have sensible energy policies?, currently Nuclear isn't classed as a sustainable energy source there and have jumped to far into unreliable and or expensive renewables

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I voted too. FDP will curb the worst excesses of the Greens hopefully.

    Sahra Wagenknecht is a Wagon and has undermined Die Linke's chances of say in Government. It could have been a Red, Red, Green coalition but for her.

    The wall to wall Green propaganda in the mainstream media for the last few years should have translated in to a higher seat number but Baerbock comes across as too naive to be taken seriously and I wouldn't trust negotiations of any topic to her with the likes of France or UK or Russia or U.S. or China. With incessant agenda pushing for Greens in every media outlet Greens should really have done better. This is probably their high water mark.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    If they had any meaningfully exploitable wind or hydro resource the Germans would have no problem. They'd "make it work" in best German fashion. They don't which is why they need that pipeline to Russia. If they even had Ireland's wind resource they'd make it work despite Wind's inherent problems.

    The public spoke clearly and don't want Nuclear even though there are two perfectly servicable Nuclear plants within 50km of me.

    Lignite is a pretty poor fuel which they once again don't want to use. The Germans just seem to be "willing" to pay high prices for Electricity and to go without Nuclear and Lignite.



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,801 ✭✭✭✭silverharp


    As basically as I followed this I had it summed up as if California and Germany cant make it work, well is was given a good chance

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,002 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Germany isn't anywhere near as windy as Ireland. Only the northern coastal areas receive significant amounts of wind. No real natural resources to speak of so Germany will be importing energy for a very long time. Should be more emphasis on getting as many roofs covered in solar as possible. The CDU decision to scrap perfectly serviceable nuclear plants as a knee-jerk reaction to Fukishima was their worst major decision ever IMO. I'm not in favour of building new nuclear plants but scrapping statistically perfectly safe ones was a bad call. Getting rid of lignite disproportionately affects the former east (the area around the Lausitz) and is a very hot potato politically but the stuff is filthy and has to go.

    Ideally for Germany the EU/EEA as a whole would have a better energy policy designed to transport energy from the areas where renewables do very well (windy Ireland, sunny spain, rainy Norway etc.) to areas with the customers. The more renewable sources you add to the mix the less likely none of them will be producing is. Clearly the grids are not up to this at the moment and large scale investment is required but I don't see an internal German solution to this given the country's lack of natural resources.

    I too will be happy to have the FDP in government if the CDU are not represented.

    I guess Baerbock (Green leader) shot herself in the foot to some extent. She's quite local to me here, she's the direct mandate Abgeordnete for Potsdam.

    I'm most pleased that all the established crazy parties had a worse 2021 election than 2017 election and "die Basis" got nowhere at all. Definitely a good election result for anyone wanting Germany to remain a democratic country.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,801 ✭✭✭✭silverharp


    I remember a lecturer in college who had a fun end of year "what if" and his prediction was an African Renaissance based on Solar and the Sahara . still waiting

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,002 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Well, there is a gigantic fusion reactor in the sky that bathes this planet with enough energy in an hour to power it for a year. We definitely need to do a much better job extracting that energy and getting it to where it's needed. Continuing on with fossil fuels is a no go if we want our descendants to have any chance of survival and nuclear has also had half a century to prove itself to be the cheap, clean and safe energy source it was claimed to be and to be honest, it hasn't convincingly done any of those things (when you factor in the decommissioning costs).



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,801 ✭✭✭✭silverharp


    I believe 4th which is past the drawing board stage answers a lot of those question, smaller scale, modular. Actual fusion further out is an engineering problem

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,388 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Last year Germany got 46% or 50.5% of electricity from renewables depending on who you believe. So it's doable.

    California will be nuclear free in a few years when Diablo Canyon's initial licenses expire in 2024/5. It's closing because there isn't the same baseload demand/price due to renewables. Germany managed when a solar eclipse that took out 10 nuclear power plants worth of solar power for a few minutes.

    Consumer prices and paying off the owners of the nuclear and lignite plants forced to close early would be bigger issues. Both nuclear and renewables need to be backed up so Russian gas is still an issue either way.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,002 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    The detailed results of the election in our small Gemeinde made up of a main town and two outlying villages with a population of ca. 13k people have been published. There were 13 physical polling stations and that's more than usual because of Covid.

    It was interesting to see the votes for the AfD ranged from 10% all the way up to an embarrassingly high 27% in one outlying village. One vote for the AfD is one vote too many.

    Interestingly those who opted to vote by post were far less likely to vote AfD. The three postal vote counts all had less than 8% for them.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,801 ✭✭✭✭silverharp


    from what I gather the only reason California didnt have power cuts this year unlike last year was that there was so much smoke from the forest fires blocking out the sun that it was cooler and people didn't need to turn up their air conditioning. I certainly wouldnt trust a grid that didnt have a Nuclear or gas backbone. in 2020 California had will rolling blackouts, I know there is a transmission problem too but ironically didnt they have Hydro issues where there was less rain then normal so ironically if they had a climate change strategy they didnt account that climate change may affect hyrdo and wind perhaps.

    As for the Germans they have an anti science approach to nuclear, they might need to be careful what they wish for.

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,002 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Speaking as a new German citizen, I would say "the Germans" is an awfully broad brush for 80+ million people :-)



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 16,141 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manic Moran


    There's a very large asterisk to the California de-nuclearisation. California is also the largest importer of electricity in the country because it is incapable of producing sufficient to meet needs with what it has (it needs to import about a quarter of its requirements). The largest exporter of electricity in the country is Pennsylvania, over a third of its power is nuclear-generated and it's got the second-highest nuclear generating capability in the country. The next largest exporter is Alabama, also over 30% nuclear. The state with the most nuclear power is Illinois, it is the third-largest exporter of electricity, over 50% of the state's electricity is nuclear generated. Arizona has only one nuclear power plant, it makes over a third the state's power, and AZ is the fourth largest exporter of electricity. Guess what very large neighboring state gets a large amount of its electricity from Arizona? Only once you get to the fifth-largest electricity exporter, West Virginia, does one get to a State which produces enough electricity to export without the use of nuclear power. 91% of Virginia's electricity is made from coal. California may well be able to pound its chest and say "We are nuclear free", but the reality is that CA's as nuclear-dependent as ever.

    The question isn't "can we get half of our energy from renewables", it's "Can we get all our energy from renewables?" I don't see how Germany is going to manage to meet its 24x7 needs without nuclear or fossil being involved somehow, and of those two, personally, I prefer the former.



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