I can’t help feel a bit of hearty Germanic schadenfreude at the loss of Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats in two key state elections. The SDP lost power in their home state of Lower Saxony and lost key positions in Hesse.
Schroeder was clearly hoping that his anti-war, anti-American stance would distract the German electorate from his incompetent handling of the flagging German economy. However, it appears that the economy was foremost on the minds of German voters in this election.
The big winner was the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) that now has an increased majority in the upper house of the German legislature, the Bundesrat. The CDU is remarkably more pro-American than the SDP:
The CDU’s leader, Angela Merkel, expressed satisfaction with the results, stressing that Germans did not support Mr Schroeder’s policy of antagonising the US on the Iraq issue.
"This is an important signal to the European allies and the American Government," Ms Merkel told the Associated Press news agency
"I think much is at stake for German foreign policy," she said, adding that the CDU had a valuable friendship with the US "not just out of gratitude but because of the long-term security of Europe and Germany".
Congratulations to the CDU, and hopefully Schroeder will continue to spout anti-American rhetoric while raising taxes all the way to the ashbin of German politics.