[Marxism] Germany's Die Linke shows the way for the left

Bhaskar Sunkara bhaskar.sunkara at gmail.com
Sun Sep 20 11:32:23 MDT 2009

Oskar Lafontaine: ‘We want to govern’ The results for the German left party
Die Linke in the August 30 regional elections are impressive, particularly
the 21.3% achieved in the federal state of Saarland. But is this the
beginning of the end for the “party of opposition”? Tina Becker takes a
closer look

Germany’s so-called ‘super Sunday’ on August 30 was not so super for
everybody. The big parties were big losers. Because the parliamentary
elections for the national *Bundestag* are less than a month away (September
27), the elections results in three of the 16 German federal states
(Thuringia, Saxony and Saarland) have been interpreted as a ‘dry run’.

The conservative Christian Democratic Union of chancellor Angela Merkel did
worse than predicted - which means the bad results for the Social Democrats
(SPD) did not stand out quite as much as expected. The fact that the SPD
share of the vote in the east German federal state of Thuringia, for
example, increased from a measly 9.8% to a scarcely less measly 10.4% is
hardly worth celebrating - especially as the lowest ever turnout means that,
in reality, the number of voters remained roughly the same. The only ones
for whom Sunday really was ‘super’ are the smaller parties. The Greens, the
Liberal Democrats (FDP) and Die Linke increased their share of the vote
almost everywhere and are likely to play the kingmaker in the regional
government coalitions that will now be formed.

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