Global News Journal

Germany’s ‘Pirate Party’ hopes for election surprise

September 20, 2009

Founded by computer geeks in Sweden in 2006 and now active in 33 countries, the Pirate Party is hoping to win over young, disaffected voters in Germany’s federal election on Sept. 27 with demands to reform copyright and patent laws along with their policies that oppose internet censorship and surveillance. But do the single-issue activists, with no stance on foreign policy or the economy, even have the faintest hope of overcoming the five percent hurdle needed to enter parliament?

Merkel smiles through pre-election jitters

September 18, 2009

Pressure? What Pressure?

That was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s message during a 90-minute grilling in Berlin by journalists at her last major news conference before the Sept. 27 election. Even though opinion polls show a narrowing in her re-election campaign and amid a growing nervousness in her conservative party, Merkel was a picture of tranquillity.

Less content, more Merkel in campaign posters

September 14, 2009

With two weeks to go before Germany holds an election, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have unveiled a new set of election posters, depicting Merkel, Merkel, and more Merkel.

German election TV debate: Live 2

September 13, 2009
10:45 p.m. – My colleagues Madeline Chambers and Noah Barkin have been busy filing updates on the debate. Here is the start of their latest story: BERLIN, Sept 13 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democrat (SPD) challenger Frank-Walter Steinmeier clashed in a TV debate on Sunday over tax cuts, manager pay and nuclear energy two weeks before an election in Europe’s biggest economy. Steinmeier, whose SPD trails Merkel’s conservatives in opinion polls, went on the attack at the outset, criticising the chancellor for resisting a minimum wage and limits on manager salaries. Merkel parried the attacks of Steinmeier, who has served as her foreign minister for the past four years in Berlin’s “grand coalition”, defending her record but largely steering clear of direct confrontation.
10:30 - ZDF has just published the results of a quick poll of 1,129 viewers: 31 percent said Steinmeier had the upper hand while 28 percent Merkel came out better with 40 percent saying “no difference.” The poll by the Electoral Research Group also found Merkel’s big lead melting among voters after the debate when asked “Who would you rather have as chancellor?” Merkel got 64 percent before the debate but only 55 percent after it while Steinmeier was preferred by 29 percent before the debate and 38 percent after the debate.That is quite a quite a shift. ”This debate marked the start of the hunt for the ‘undecideds’,” said Matthias Jung, head of the polling institute.

10:20 p.m. - My colleagues Dave Graham and Sarah Marsh have been busily keeping track of the debate highlights. Here is their report.

German election TV debate: Live

September 13, 2009
9:15 p.m. - The whole country has come to a standstill for this debate, it seems. It’s like during the World Cup soccer tournament — with “public viewing” arenas like this one in Berlin set up from The Black Forest to the Baltic.

Germany’s Greens trade in woolly sweaters for business suits

September 11, 2009

Having traded in their woolly sweaters, jeans and sandals for dapper suits and shiny shoes, Germany’s Greens are ready for business, claiming that to be the “party that truly knows its economics”.

Are seniors shafting younger German voters?

September 8, 2009

Are young German voters getting the short end of the stick because the country’s political leaders fall over themselves to placate senior citizens?

What the election campaign says about Germans

September 8, 2009

Strikingly different election campaign styles in Germany and Britain, especially parties’ contrasting use of the media, provide some intriguing insights into the political traditions of the two nations.

Merkel ally insult of Romanians, Chinese an internet scoop

September 5, 2009

In the “old days” of journalism, before the rise of the internet, an alert journalist might pick up on a politician’s gaffe in the middle of an election speech or somewhere on the campaign trail and publish or broadcast a story with the potential to change the dynamic of a race.

Does Sorb’s election win point to a more multicultural Germany?

September 3, 2009

Under Adolf Hitler, the Nazis tried to extinguish the culture and language of the Sorbs.