The results of Sunday's German election
, in which the opposition CDU -- like middle-of-the-road Republicans here in the States -- did not authoritatively defeat the ruling Social Democratic Party. or SPD, as had been predicted for months, are interesting. The Greens easily kept their place in the Bundestag. The new Left Party, led by the Social Democrats' former leader-of-the-future, Oskar Lafontaine, outperformed the Greens. And the moderate FDP did better than both of them. Since the only two parties that can form a majority on their own are the CDU and the SPD, it looks like we might be seeing a tenuous "Big Coalition" of those parties -- perhaps with a small party added on for good measure -- or a hitherto unseen combination, such as the odd-sounding but not impossible CDU-FDP-Greens mix mentioned in the article I linked to. I'll be curious to see what transpires in the jockeying for position
that will occupy the next week or two. Whatever the outcome is, though, it seems pretty clear that the Left -- I'm using the broadest possible definition here to include the centrist, American Democratic Party-style SPD -- fared a lot better than many leftists had feared. And that's a decidedly good thing in my book.