Monday, 25 May 2009

Germany’s president gets elected - and nobody took notice

Germany held presidential elections. Did anybody take any notice? Well, I cannot find a single hint in any Australian media. The ceremony was not exactly behind close doors – at least not the official act, however, when it comes to the selection of the candidates that is a different matter. Members of Germany's electoral college elected incumbent Horst Köhler as president with 613 votes out of 1,224, one vote above the required overall majority. He was backed by the conservative Christian Democrats, the free-market oriented Liberals, some independents and one Green. Silke Stokar of Hanover cast the decisive vote - and proudly made her decision public.

The opposition's candidate, Gesine Schwan, was supported by the Social Democrats (SPD) and most other Greens and secured 503 votes in the secret ballot. The rest went to a candidate supported by the former Communist “Die Linke”, four votes were cast in favour of a Neo-Nazi supported singer.

The panel (Bundesversammlung) comprises all 612 members of the Bundestag (lower house) and 612 public figures, a few of them sports "heroes" and television actors, nominated by Germany's 16 federal states. The German population had no say in the composition of the Bundesversammlung. They were never asked whom they wanted as their president.

When Horst Köhler was first elected in 2004, he was not even living in Germany. At that time he headed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and had to be called back from Washington. The conservative party leaders had been unable to agree on a candidate of their liking. It is a well established fact that three party leaders had gathered in a penthouse flat of one of them and agreed at one o’clock in the morning: Habemus Köhler. Since it was not necessary to send him into an electoral campaign to get a popular vote, the practically unknown Horst Köhler slipped into the presidential Palace, Schloß Bellevue in Berlin, with a one vote majority.

The victory for the 66-year-old Köhler in the first round is expected to give Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives an important boost ahead of the September parliamentary election, where she is seeking a second four-year term.

The politicians’ republic, which was rejected by the Australian people in a referendum in 1999 is well in place in Germany. The German people get, what the politicians select for them. Does anybody - outside Germany - care? Compare just two events. Last year, the tiny Kingdom of Tonga with 120,000 inhabitants was the talk of the world, when the new King was crowned. The 80 million Germans get a new president – and the world is bored and ignores the event.

The world media were attracted to the minuscule Principality of Monaco, when Prince Rainier III died in 2005 and his heir, Prince Albert II, ascended to the throne. Horst Köhler taking up residence in Berlin’s Schloß Bellevue did not even get a snippet in The Age.

How German Monarchists commented the “presidential election” can be read in one of their publications. Ask for a copy of the German language Corona newsletter:

And he is the one, German Monarchists want to see as Kaiser:
Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia (*1976), Head of the House of Hohenzollern, a great-great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II and a great-great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria.


Nuno Castelo-Branco said...

Viva Hohenzollern!

Heinrich Hoffmann said...

As you can see, dear radical royalist, even here Horst Köhler isn't of any interest - who cares? At least German People don't care, that's for sure.
Well, except for decorating some people with the German Cross of Merite (Bundesverdienstkreuz) and saying a few humble words on the one or the other special national occasion, people are really asking, which sence does the Federal President make. Do we really need him? And if he is really ment to represent the German people, why is the nation not allowed to vote for him? ... On the other hand: we are not even allowed to give our votes for the Chancellor, only for the partie he represents ... vive la republique :(
This year the "campaign" for the election for our head of state was the worst in can remember. I wonder how many years it takes until the candidates for the presidency have to start their TV campaigns like the polititians.
Since 1949, when the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany was elected, every single President had been a member of a party - can anything worse happen to a people, which actually deserves a representative, who stands above politics and parties?

Thank you very much for your point of view, dear radical monarchist - but - are you really that "radical"? :)

Herzliche Grüße nach Australien,

Heinrich Hoffmann

Norma Buchanan said...

then why demand 'transparency' if it is ignored ?

Norma Buchanan said...

people want 'transparency' but they don't bother to pay attention and then complain