Inquiring minds in the US note the upcoming German election and may be wondering about the platforms of the major political parties. Reader Bernd from Germany explains.
Die Linke (The Left): Die Linke is made up of the former SED/PDS (The East German Communist Ruling Party), some former West German Communist and Socialist Parties and a ?rebel group? of the SPD. They all have merged and are now called "Die Linke". By and large they have a communist/socialist platform, albeit not Stalinist. Their main requests are: dissolve NATO and replace it with a new organization to include Russia in it, end all wars, control or nationalize all relevant banks and some crucial industries, increase support for the poor, raise taxes for the rich (above income of 60k Euros gradually go to 75%), introduce a stiff wealth and inheritance? tax. They are pro Euro and want the introduction of Eurobonds immediately. To alleviate the economic crisis in Europe they advocate some serious deficit spending for social and work programs. They have voted against ESM; EFSF and Cyprus deal in Parliament.
SPD (Social Democrats): SPD is the grand old Social Democratic Party, with a wonderful and long tradition. SPD originated from the worker's movement. Its first party program is from 1869. It the only party that tried to stop Hitler's power grab by opposing the emergency laws in 1933. Many went to concentration camps for opposing Hitler. In post-World War II Germany SPD provided three Chancellors, Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt and Gerhard Schr?der. All three Chancellors were major reformers in Germany for one or the other topic.? SPD lost its original power base in the wake of Schr?der's reforms in the early 2000s. SPD is a staunch pro Euro party. They also want Eurobonds immediately, as well as a common fiscal policy, a bank union and a quick unification of Europe.
Die Gr?nen (The Green Party): Die Gr?nen started as a mix of 1968 communists/socialists and anti-nuclear energy activists in West Germany. The second part is made up of some left over former East German anti SED ?rebels? who helped to bring down East Germany.? Today this is the party for so the so-called "politically correct". In Germany we call them the Latte Macchiato Moms/Dads. The typical party member is a well-paid Government official or teacher with a work week of 36 hours. They believe firmly in manmade climate change and want to tax and spend their way to eliminate the CO-2 footprint. No amount of money is too much for preventing climate change. They are staunch pro Euro advocates similar to the SPD.
Freie Demokratische Partei FDP (