Today is election day in Germany. and the newspapers have universally declared this to have been a boring campaign. I personally find that refreshing. Quite honestly, boring is better than the hyperbole and mud-slinging of US elections. Are UK ones any better? Probably not, but at least their parliamentary system, as in Germany, limits the campaign to a reasonable length. Is not 6 weeks a wonderfully short time compared to the two-year marathons run by US candidates?
And boring? Why, compared to the last election in 2011 at the end of the Grand Coalition of CDU and SPD, it is outright titillating. In 2011 neither of the major players could criticize the policies of the previous government because both were responsible for what had been accomplished…or not. But most people would agree, it was a very productive four years for Germany. Their cooperation put the country on the right track to work its way out of the recession. I could imagine far worse fates for this Federal Republic than a replay of that coalition.
A new grand coalition is not as yet a done deal. We still must await tonight’s results. But the question is not which party will win the most seats in the Bundestag – every German knows that – but with whom they will have to form a coalition. The polls have now closed. Soon all will be revealed.