Monday, October 10, 2005

Gore Drops Litigation With Lieberman in Bush Cabinet

Well ok, not exactly. But that is how an American television drama would portray an American version of what has happened today in Germany. Coalition governments are nothing new in Europe, but to an American ear the idea that major opposition parties will have a coalition with Merkel’s CDU cabinet filled with key members of Schröder’s team is, well, a recipe for disaster. As the London Times reports, “She has won the chancellorship at last, but it's a poisoned chalice. Far from being Germany's equivalent to Margaret Thatcher many people believe she is going to be a short-term leader.” Her power is severely limited. Social Democrats have taken eight of the 16 ministries (including foreign affairs, reform, employment, health, transport and finance). Merkel’s Christian Democrats will have eight ministries (including interior, economy, defense, agriculture, family and education), but she must give “two or three away to the Christian Social Union, her sister party in Bavaria. This leaves her only five or six posts.”

They are calling it a Grand Coalition, although it sounds more like a Grand Collision.

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