The REAL election ‘08

first_imgWelcome back, and happy new year. Three weeks tomorrow, the state of Hesse goes to the polls in the regional elections certain to get zero coverage abroad. So I thought I’d do my best to keep you up to date with the ever so slightly overshadowed elections for the regional parliament here. I know they sound minor, but the poll could give a good indication of how the national government are doing in Germany since their election in 2005. Angela Merkel, who became Chancellor of a Grand Coalition in a close election in September ’05, has struggled with reforms (including very unpopular plans to axe minimum wages for postal workers – not made easier by her having to work in coalition with the socialist SPD) and in the last few weeks has become the black sheep in Europe after she cried foul over EU plans to fine car manufacturers whose products hurt the environment. The plans, she says, would wreck the already suffering German car market.Both moves are opposed by the left, but her strength on the international stage and a commitment to destroy German socialism are surely precisely the reasons she won two and a half years ago.Only five of the 16 federal states have had regional elections since Merkel was in power, so how the Hessian candidates do should give us a good idea of the CDU’s popularity two and a bit years in. The CDU took almost 50% of the popular vote in 2003 at the last state vote, so any decrease on that would look distinctively bad for a party that won so closely on a national level.Opinion polls don’t look good for them: the best poll for them puts them on just 43%, despite the emergence of the widely-publicised Die Linke, the far-left party with ads everywhere and a clear determination to have a real say. They may take votes off the rather establishment SPD, whose former leader Gerhard Schroeder was Chancellor for 8 years. In fact, the huge number of left-wing parties involved (SPD, the Greens, Die Linke and the Party for Social Equality) does a damned good job of splitting the liberal vote between like-minded groups. Maybe this will help the CDU. It doesn’t seem to be doing so at the moment! Keep watching as it develops. UPDATE: As if all this electoral craze wasn’t exciting enough, I have just received a ballot slip in the post for the student parliament elections at the J. W. von Goethe University here in Frankfurt this month. Parties running include the usual lot (CDU, SPD) and an outfit calling itself the Giraffes. No idea what they’re about. But the real disappointment was the lack of a familiar name (and face) on the candidates list. Sadly Dean Robson declined to run.ANOTHER UPDATE: According to Monday’s Frankfurter Rundschau we could be seeing two possible coalitions: a right-leaning one between the CDU and the FDP, and another left-wing one between the SPD, the Greens and Die Linke. The latter option would be a real kick in the teeth for the ruling CDU.Cherwell 24 is not responsible for the content of external siteslast_img read more

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Watch Stevie Wonder’s Love-Filled Tribute To Aretha Franklin At ‘Stand Up To Cancer’

first_imgOn Friday night, dozens of Hollywood A-listers came together for the sixth-biennial Stand Up To Cancer telecast. Across the one-hour fundraising event, celebrities like Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, Keith Urban, Keanu Reeves, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Tony Hale, David Spade, and many, many others made appearances to encourage viewers to donate to cancer research efforts. At the end of the hourlong broadcast, Stevie Wonder came out to close out the show and used his performance to also pay tribute to the late, great Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin.“You know, I believe that if we just begin to love one another, across the nation and throughout the world, we will truly make love great again. Because of our love, we will find the cures to cancer and all the various things, so let’s stand up to cancer and we will succeed,” offered Wonder before the start of his song.Set to a backdrop featuring a photo of Aretha as well as a quote from Stevie Wonder on his recently departed friend—”Through the pain, she gave us the joy and said, ‘Let’s make love great again’”—Stevie Wonder started out by performing part of Burt Bacharach– and Hal David-penned classic “What The World Needs Now”, keeping with the evening’s theme of communal love for change. From there, Stevie gracefully segued into “Love’s In Need Of Love Today”, off his acclaimed 1976 album, Songs In The Key Of Life.You can watch Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Aretha Franklin at the sixth-biennial Stand Up To Cancer telecast below, with Wonder’s performance beginning around the 56-minute mark.Stand Up To Cancer 2018 Telecast [Video: Stand Up To Cancer][H/T Rolling Stone]last_img read more

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