links for 2009-01-04

You Want Elections? We’ve Got Elections!

In this case “we” are the Germans. If I get this right, it’s one presidential election (indirect). one election for the federal parliament, one for the European Parliament and fourteen sub-national elections.

All of this will be during a global economic crisis and as such make a brilliant test-case for the assumption that politicians will not make unpopular (even if technically right) decisions in the run-up to an election. If the German government manages to pull off some big decisions during the first six months of 2009, this will be a challenge to conventional wisdom.

Or will it be a good thing (for the rest of the world) if the Germans with their price-stability obsession are out of the active economic policy circuit?