Many of you know that Germany is in the midst of an election crisis. For those of you who don't know: Germany is in the midst of an election crisis. Many of you also know that in my 2+ years of living in Germany, I have been notoriously lazy in attempting to understand the German political system, because--let's not beat around the bush--the 7 or so parties that regularly fight in the colosseum that is Der Spiegel are approximately 5 more parties than my brain is accustomed to dealing with. We like to make things simple in America--Democrats tell Republicans to go fuck themselves, Republicans tell Democrats to go fuck themselves, and Independents, which is a fancy name for Everyone Who Will Never Be President, do a hoedown on the sidelines and get paid attention to by exactly no one. Easy peasy. If politics were a game, Americans would play Guess Who (has a mistress and does coke lines off their intern's hot bod). Germans would play a fucked-up version of Monopoly in which players can spontaneously team up to monopolize the railroads, there are bodies under Park Place, and the banker smiles too much.
As a result of their odd and persnickety system, the German political landscape looks less like a lovely Amsel Adams photograph and more like a bomb went off in the backyard. Which, metaphorically speaking, one just did, and it is called The Most Recent Election. My efforts to understand The Most Recent Election have mostly consisted of listening to my politically-active boyfriend complain on the phone and accidentally clicking on a Facebook post linking to Welt.de when I mean to hit the one below it on 19 Reasons Why Pants are the Enemy. My initial reaction to this mix-up was sadness. My next reaction was "This would be so much more interesting if there were dinosaurs."
Challenge to self: accepted.
Let's meet the dinosaurs. On the right to left spectrum, here are the five most important dinosaurs:
T-Rex: the CDU (aka, Merkel's party)
Place at the party table: center (for Americans, the CDU is equivalent to a more liberal version of our Democrats)
Pterodactyl: the FDP
Place at the party table: center
Brontosaurs: Die Grüne
Place at the party table: Left
Stegosaurus: the SPD
Place at the party table: To the left to the left
Triceratops: Die Linke:
Place at the party table: Left left left left. Formerly the communist party that ruled East Germany with an iron fist and nudist beaches.
This is what
In order to get shit done and pass laws (e.g., caveman hunting season, assigning asteroid watch, carrying Jesus around) the T-Rexes (CDU) and the Pterodactyls (FDP) teamed up as best buddies in order to create a majority.
This way, they were able to roam the island and keep all the other dinosaurs in line, which worked out pretty well, especially when the other islands started suffering under the financial crisis. The dinosaurs were like, "Your lives suck, but we are doing GREAT."
Now this is what
The T-Rexes got even more votes, but their buddies, the Pterodactyls, got voted off the island completely, which means the T-Rexes no longer have a majority to get stuff done. This is a problem, because now the T-Rexes have to try and make friends with one of their sworn enemies (either the Stegosauri (SPD) or the Brontosauri (Die Grüne)) in order to get a working majority on Dinosaur Island again. What about the Triceratops, you ask? The T-Rexes and the Triceratops are mortal enemies (the level above sworn enemies from which there is no coming back). Like werewolves and vampires, just with giant lizards.
To summarize, no one has any idea what's going on.