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Category Architecture
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Created 2017-10-18
Owner halloween
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Title Suit Underwear
Description By all accounts, Germany’s elections this last Sunday turned out exactly as expected. German Chancellor Angela Merkel cruised to an easy victory. Her fourth term as Chancellor puts her on track to be the longest serving one in the postwar period and second only to Otto von Bismarck as Germany’s longest serving Chancellor.

Beneath the surface, however, the election marked seismic shifts in German politics. Shifts that, like an undersea earthquake, may first appear benign until the inevitable tsunami strikes.

Before the election, Germany’s two major parties, the CDU/CSU and the SPD, had between them 504 of the 598 seats in the Bundestag, 311 and 193 respectively. After Sunday’s vote, Germany’s two largest parties held a combined 399 seats. The CDU/CSU lost 65 seats while the SPD lost 40.

They still have a combined count of 399, enough to ensure them a majority if they were to choose to once again govern in a Gro?e Koalition or grand coalition. That’s not an option this time, however. The rightwing, Alternative für Deutschland/Alternative for Germany (AfD) polled 12.6% of the vote and won 89 seats, making them the third largest party in Germany.

If the SDU were to go into a Grand Coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, then Alternative for Germany would become the official opposition. A role that many fear would bestow political legitimacy on what has up until now been dismissed as a reactionary fringe movement.

Buried in the election results are some significant trends. The AfD polled around 11% in the former West Germany, putting them in fourth place overall, just behind the Free Democratic Party. In the former East Germany, however, they won 22% of the vote, leaving them in a solid second place. More significantly, they won a majority of the male vote.