Wednesday, 4 September 2013


German partisan politics prides itself on being about platforms and delicately negotiated partnerships and not about personalities, though in practice this is not always the case. A huge campaign poster of the incumbent, not espousing any slogan in particular, other than with the status quo, the country is in good hands with a signature pose.
The opposition is crying foul, saying that such a display, and usually such big billboards are only allowed by election monitors under very specific conditions, is reducing the governing coalition into a cult of personality, veering dangerously close to American-style politics and polarization. And of course, there is some free-publicity thrown into the mix, what with the necklace (Kette) in black, red and gold that Angela Merkel wore during the only televised debate with her chief rival catching notice and being bestowed with the strange kind of personhood of a social-networking presence—sort of like a sausage, pin or match-stick from one of the Brothers' Grimm lesser-known fairy tales. What do you think? Does charisma necessarily dilute stance? In the States, no one would bat an eye at this sort of showmanship and instead try to outdo the competition. I like the straightforward promises of one candidate, a local hopeful—opportunity, education and Beer, repeated ad infinitum on lamp posts.