Not too much to tell this week.
Neither Franz Müntefering nor Eduard Stoiber earned much praise for their respective moves. Müntefering is criticised for acting in an autocratic fashion (as is Schröder), while Stoiber just looks plain silly back home in Bayern. Prospective successors are sharpening their knives.
Angela Merkel has kept a very low profile – which of cause also means that she hasn’t made any public mistakes.
With regard to policy, only few details have yet emerged from the coalition negotiations. It seems that the VAT rate will be raised from 16 to 18% and that the power of the Bundesrat (and the States) will be limited.
This week’s public debacle – or comic relief, if you like – came in the form of a fourth vote in the Bundestag on the Linkspartei candidate for one of the posts as deputy speaker. The LP had presented the chairman of the PDS Lothar Bisky as their candidate in three previous votes and on each occasion Bisky failed to gain an absolute majority of the votes.
In the fourth vote Bisky could go through with only a relative majority, but he instead lost the vote with an absolute majority. The LP has decided to abstain from filling their post as deputy chairman.
PS: A silly note – The spelling control suggests that I should replace Müntefering with suffering (very apt!), Stoiber with liberator (he’d probably like that) and Merkel with Berkeley (A catholic idealist? Spooky!). The Linkspartei is either “disparateness” or “kindergarten” and finally the spelling control suggests replacing Lothar Bisky with “loathing risky”.