Daily View 2×2: 28 September 2009

2 Big Stories

Germany elects new centre-right government to be led by Angela Merkel

The Financial Times reports:

Germany is on course for its first centre-right government in 11 years after voters gave chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and her Free Democratic allies a majority in parliament.

The victory of the conservative-liberal alliance – which had campaigned for tax cuts and a return to nuclear energy, but also social justice and tougher rules for finance – in Sunday’s poll ends four years of awkward co-operation between the CDU and its rival Social Democratic party in a grand coalition. …

The CDU and FDP were expected to win 332 seats in the 623-strong Bundestag, or lower house, giving the alliance a 20-seat majority.

The results were a slap in the face for the country’s two largest parties. The CDU obtained its lowest score since the first postwar election of 1949 while the SPD lost 11.3 points to reach a postwar low. In spite of rampant anti-business sentiment after last year’s financial crisis, the free-market FDP, which like the Greens and the Left recorded its best result ever, was the clear victor of the ballot.

Labour’s Brighton conference opens

And there’s coverage-a-plenty … Chancellor Alistair Darling is promising to crack down on excessive bank bonuses … Labour could stop the Tories winning a majority if they ditched Mr Brown in favour of another leader, claims the Indy … while former Labour minister Caroline Flint tries out an old Doctor Who line in her latest attack on the Prime Minister: “”Gordon does look tired sometimes.”

2 Must-Read Blog-Posts

Liberalism resurgent (in Germany) (James Oates)

… the Free Democrats: the German Liberal Party, has seen a dramatic increase in its vote at the Federal elections. … This latest election result in Europe shows that voters are increasingly rejecting the old left/right choices and are seeking a more diverse set of ideas.

EXCLUSIVE: David Cameron is off gorgonzola and Rioja – ergo he is unfit for office (Paul Walter)

We really shouldn’t get so jumpy about mental health problems. People need to take care of their mental health. Making them jumpy about it will not help the situation.

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