All nothing or?
The social democrats (SPD) came back like phoenix from the ashes and nearly passed the conservatives (CDU/CSU). But only nearly:
When the elections were proclaimed at the end of May, the social democrats, who form the government with the green party right now, started the opinion polls with about 25%. I have written about it on July 26.
The conservatives were constantly above 40% and dreamt of 45 to 48%. They had the plan of forming the government with the liberals (FDP). Now they have lost enormously, what they haven't dreamt in their worst nightmares. Now the big ones have to talk with the small ones. What are the possibilities?
1. Traffic light coalition
The liberals are the winner of the election, together with the left-wing Linkspartei (Linke).
But this is a pyrrhic victory. They have decided on working together only with the conservatives. What isn't possible, they have no majority. They refuse to think about a so called traffic light coalition (green-yellow (I know, this is a German traffic light thing)-red; these are the colours of social democrats, liberals and greens). A big mistake in my opinion. Their former chief Hans-Dietrich Genscher (his nickname was Genschman by the way) would never have limited the possibilities of the party like this. The liberals always tried to be in the government if possible in their history. In the opposition it wouldn't matter if they have 5 or 10%.
2. Jamaica coalition
The greens probably will refuse to take part in a so called Jamaika coalition (Black-yellow-green). This is the plan of Angela Merkel, the chief of the conservatives right now. She has the right to act at the moment, because she has (a very bare) majority of votes. The greens would have to invent themselves new for such plans. Thinking about ecology, foreign policy, labour rights etc.
3. Big coalition
The somehow most probable possibility. Social democrats and conservatives put their power together. But Gerhard Schröder refuses to cooperate with Angela Merkel, a loser in his eyes. He proclaims himself as winner and wants to continue as chancellor with chutzpa and as machiavellist. But his only possibilities are traffic light coalition or a minority goverment, which is hard to obtain. Even with the conservatives he wants to remain chancellor. Maybe they could switch at half time after two years. I have read about this today.
The other possibility would be that Schröder and Merkel resign and a third person gets in charge, probably a conservative. I think some politicians already have got their knifes out.
4. Last exit
Nobody wants to talk with the left wing party Linke. They are looked at as not being able to take part in a goverment. But maybe they could tolerate a red-green government. But these are dreams of the future.
Merkel could give in and Schröder would find a way. Schröder could give in and (maybe, if not "slaughtered" before) Merkel would find a way. The latter is not very likely though.
New elections could be proclaimed, I hope not. What would this be good for?
The winners are somehow the losers. The liberals have limited their chances and cut the votes of the now weakened partner conservatives. The left wings have cut the votes of the social democrats who would have been the clear winner without them. The revenge of Oskar Lafontaine was successful but senseless. I hope it tastes bitter for the parlor Bolshevik. And Angela, be consequent in this one issue. You have lost.