Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Are seniors shafting younger German voters?


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


Or is it simply a case of democracy pure when politicians listen attentively to what seniors demand because they are the group that votes more faithfully than any other age group?


That’s one of the hot issues at the moment in Germany ahead of the Sept. 27 election where voters 60 years old and above could decide the race between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives or Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s Social Democrats. Voters 60 and over make up about 30 percent of the rapidly ageing electorate — 20 million of the 62 million voters in a country of 82 million.


And they’ve got clout. No age group goes to the polls in such strong numbers as the 60+ group — a full 85 percent of the seniors cast their ballots in the last election in 2005 and their turnout will likely be as high again later this month. No other age group comes even close and the overall turnout in 2005 was 77 percent. The lowest turnout was the 21-25 age group where 66 percent voted.

from Raw Japan:

No Obama moment in Japan

Opinion polls show the opposition Democratic Party of Japan is set for a runaway victory in Sunday's general election, but voters are showing none of the enthusiasm that swept Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency last year.

When I talked to more than a dozen voters in a small town near Hiroshima, western Japan,  they were interested in the election and had a lot to say about it. And most were looking for change -- but not with a great deal of fervour.

Once popular Greek PM struggling to reconnect


By Dina Kyriakidou

Once the most popular politician in Greece, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis
has seen his ratings decline, hit by a wave of scandals, party rebels and the world economic crisis.

As little as a year ago, he managed to turn his political fortunes around, winning elections after deadly forest fires, a feat admired by friends and foes alike.