Berlin Tells Chancellor Merkel's CDU: ARRRRRRR!
Ooo. Here's some news: Elections were held in the Mark of Brandenburg and Stadt Berlin today -- meaning Germans were going to the polls, even though there was Bundesliga action on the teevee. And when Germans voluntarily give up watching soccer to vote, it's serious. Trust me.
The vote went decisively for the Center-Left, rather than Chancellor Angela Merkel's Center-Right coalition.
Per Bloomberg News, The SPD (Social Democratic Party, the Socialists), the main German opposition party to Merkel's government, "extended their 10-year rule in the German capital after beating Merkel’s Christian Democrats [CDU] into second place." Merkel’s coalition partner in the Brandenburg-Berlin Council, the FDP (Frei Demokratische Partei, or Free Democratic Party) lost all its seats in a Regional Assembly for the fifth time this year.
This appears to be significant, though Berlin's politics don't necessarily reflect the rest of the country. But, it's clear that voter sentiment towards Merkel's policies, principally the 'New Austerity', won't win her any votes and may eventually remove the CDU's Center-Right coalition in a populist-SPD comeback.
Klaus Wowerweit, the extremely popular SPD (and openly gay) Regierender Bürgermeister of Berlin, not surprisingly won an easy re-election. But most surprising of all, the Pirate Party, Die Piratenpartei (be advised their site is in German, so Gib' Ihren Deutsch An!), ran a slate of candidates on platforms of digital freedom -- principally free access to wireless and Net Neutrality -- and won a not-statistically insignificant 8.9% of the city-wide vote.
This is significant because even if a portion of those who voted Arrrrrrrr! did so as a protest, it means support for the coalition which pushes Merkel's policies is deteriorating. We'll see.
Meanwhile, Fünfzehn Mann auf des toten Mannes Schrankoffer - Yo Ho Ho, und eine Flasche auf Broadband! And three Hochs! for the Pirates Of Berlin!