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Sep 09 2008

Why I would not vote for Schröder

Published by at 2:11 pm under Europe,Opinion

First published on my old blog on 10/8/2005. 

Gerhard Schröder is my favourite German politician. If I could vote, I would NOT vote for him. 

That’s the kind of logic we’ve come to expect of you, I hear you mumble. 

Ja, well. No. 

That’s the kind of logic I’ve learnt here in Germany, watching the German voters falling in and out of love with political parties faster than anyone can say “Bundesverfassungsgericht”. 

But, cynical jokes apart….if I could vote (I can’t), I would not vote for my favourite (and at this stage almost every German’s favourite) politician, because: 

* The choice is not between leaders, but between teams and between policies. Schröder couldn’t put a good team together and he couldn’t get a set of coherent policies going. 

In other words, I would not vote for him, because of his team and because of his policies and because of the sloppy way they managed the reform process. 

* If you feel I should be a little more specific, I’ll rather just say: Check the scoreboard, my bro. I’m referring to the jobless numbers, the huge hole in the public sector budget, the outstanding task of reforming social services (e.g. health and retirement) etc. 

* On the other hand, I have the feeling Angela will be exceptionally good at putting a team together and getting a coherent policy going. 

* I can live with a chancellor with funny hair, strange dress sense, a tense face and an economy which is pumping. 

* But, if you insist on choosing between leaders, remember that Angela has not done it yet. Er…rather, Angela can’t be a seasoned chancellor, because she hasn’t been one, yet. While Schröder has been in the “hot seat” for years. 

Not everyone can pull a Nelson on the people. Mandela was taken out of the community and isolated for 27 years. Then released into a completely different society. When he went in things like TV’s didn’t exist. When he came out he handled TV interviews, speeches and other public appearances like an old pro. As if he had secretly been practising somewhere for years…. 

But Angela will grow into it.

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