Letter from Germany

Submitted by AWL on 18 November, 2005 - 1:06

According to the various polls in Germany they [the new Left Party [formed by former SPD left leader Oskar Lafontaine getting together with the PDS, the old CP] stood at around 12% for a while, over the last two weeks or so they dropped to 8%.

The Left Party just had their party congress last Saturday to decide on their final manifesto and didn't really kick off their campaign before that.

Personally, I don't think that the Left Party will get more than 10%, but even that will be enough to shake the "Bundestag" up and provide a platform of resistance from the left. To see this as a part of a great revolutionary upheaval all over the world seems also exaggerated to me. But what I do hope for is since they will have an exposed public platform, that they can work on creating a more militant awareness and readiness for people to take the chance and fight more for their own interests again - to counter the brainwashing that has been going on here for such a long time now. I am always a quite sceptical about what happens to politicians once they become somewhat "established" in parliament - so that would have to be watched closely! They have the redistribution of wealth in their manifesto, but I am not sure how they want to achieve it. The existence of a strong left opposition in parliament could also – of course - force the SPD more to the left, if they don't want to loose even more credibility in their own rank and file.

The candidate of the Left Party in Mannheim is a left union-man and certainly a person I can vote for without hesitation. On September 18th I will be busy in a polling station.

Margit Pfister

[As we go to press - With 298 of 299 districts declaring, the results showed Merkel's Christian Democrats leading with 35.2 percent of the vote compared to 34.3 percent for Schroeder's Social Democrats. The outcome gave Merkel's party 225 seats, three more than the Social Democrats; the Free Democrats got 61, 9.8%, the Left Party 54, 8.7%, and the Greens 51, 8.1%.]