Monday, January 19, 2009

Classical liberals in Germany speed ahead.

Germany’s libertarian-leaning Free Democratic Party secured 16% of the vote in the regional elections in German state of Hesse.

Lead by Guido Westerwelle (seen here, on the right, with his partner Michael Mronz), the party previously refused to join the “Grand Coalition” established by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel built a coalition with the Social Democrats effectively preventing any meaningful reforms from being passed. Westerwelle and his party rejected the coalition preferring to remain in the opposition.

Apparently remaining in the opposition paid off for the FDP. The 16% vote in Hesse is their best showing in there since 1954. At the same time the Left-wing Social Democrats saw their percentage plunge to 24%.

Merkel has said that she wishes end her “Grand Coalition” and would prefer to form a coalition with the classically liberal Free Democrats.

The one thing Westerwelle needs to be wary about is that Merkel, like Bush and Obama, thinks that the way out of a financial bubble is to try to pump it back up instead of letting markets adjust to malinvestment patterns that caused the crash. A spend-up in Germany is no more likely to solve the problem there than it will here. If anything it will drag out readjustment making things even harder.

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