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Ned Richardson-Little
As much as the refugee crisis in 2015 has been crucial to the rise of the AfD, I would argue that the collapse of the SPD as an alternative to the CDU, especially in the East, between 1998 and 2009 was the necessary prelude.
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
Check out the electoral result of 1998 when the SPD and the Greens came to power under Schröder. After the dislocation and massive unemployment of the 90s under the CDU, the SPD appeared to be an alternative that could revive the ex-GDR. Non-voting dropped significantly.
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
By 2005, support for the SPD softened and the Linke managed to revive itself from sinking below the 5% the election before, based mostly on Eastern resistance to neoliberal labour reforms.
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
2009 is the turning point: SPD support drops by 10% and non-voting shoots up 7%. The Linke capitalizes on this but many just stop taking part in electoral politics. The CDU under Merkel becomes the only viable national party to lead a govt, which has continued until today.
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
Before the rise of the AfD beginning in 2015, there was first the collapse of the left as a viable ruling alternative to the CDU in areas hit by the economic transition of reunification. The AfD arrived with a crisis to a system already beset by alienation from existing parties.
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
Under Schröder, the SPD was able to run as modernizing reformers and the party for those who lost in reunification, but by the time Steinmeier ran in 2009 they were the party of technocratic neoliberalism. Steinbruck only reinforced this in '13 and Schulz was just confused in '17
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Andrew Bowie Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
Further evidence why people should get behind anti-austerity Labour.
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
This parallels the decline of the Social Democratic left elsewhere and is not just a matter of SPD choices, but it's important to see how electoral politics in the center were first hollowed out before the far-right was able to make a move.
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Alex Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
Though I wonder what the impact of Hartz IV reforms has been on downward trajectory of SPD
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @Potentia_Space
I think it revived the PDS/Linke and led to some of the non-voting. Now that they seem locked into Hartz IV forever, they can't really run on reforming the system for lower-income who are stastistically the base of the AfD. (and Linke)
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Alex Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
It would be a big move to jettison Hartz IV and not one that is likely to happen
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @Potentia_Space
Yep - even tinkering with Hartz IV seems to be off the agenda and with Scholz pushing austerity with social democratic characteristics, I don't see how they can distinguish themselves from CDU under Merkel.
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Mark William Jones Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
schulz was just confused. best four word summary of SPD 17 election campaign. ever
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @MarkWillJones
It just got sad.
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Jan Tattenberg Sep 7
Whatever else might be said about the campaign, it had one good meme.
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((( Oblomova ))) 🇪🇺 Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
One reason for Schröder's win in 1998 should not be underestimated: People were sick snd tired of Helmut Kohl
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Joost Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
These charts about SPD, Linke, left-wing and far-right performance in West and East-Germany might complement this thread:
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Winston Smith Sep 7
Replying to @HistoryNed
What explains the sudden changes in voting in 2009?
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Ned Richardson-Little Sep 7
Replying to @6079_WSmith
Hartz IV, Financial Crisis, General perception of SPD as directionless and Steinmeier being a terrible campaigner (albeit a decent person)
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