Germans have two ballots in complex election system

Bundestag

Bundestag

In an era of political earthquakes, the contest for control of Europe's economic powerhouse has barely caused a tremor. Though Chancellor Angela Merkel winning a fourth term is all but a certainty, the lingering question is which parties she will form a coalition with.

Despite a recent drop in support for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party as voters moved to the rival Social Democratic Party (SDP), a weekly survey conducted by Forsa for RTL Television and Stern magazine suggested that Merkel's "Union" with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) still held a solid lead even though it slipped one point to 36%, as the SDP remained at 23% support.

There was a time when the contest looked like it could be interesting. There are no visible differences between Merkel and Schulz. Never mind that the lowest-paid 40% now earn less in real terms than they did 20 years ago, that the German auto industry is suffering reputational losses, or that Europe is starting to become economically less relevant in the face of the rise of China and India.

Is the rise of the AfD a positive development? Merkel's CDU stable at 37%.

Islam is not only a religion, but also a "political doctrine" seeking to penetrate all areas of society, said Alexander Gauland, the co-chair of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, adding that it is "incompatible" with democracy. Yet even these once-fringe parties won't win much more than a quarter of the overall vote.

But not everyone is having such an easy time in Germany.

On Turkey, relations between Berlin and Ankara are at a new low following the arrests in Turkey of a number of German nationals - including two journalists and a human rights activist - on politically motivated charges. "People can call our politics boring or tiresome but it looks a lot better than elsewhere right now". And this was at an event for her opponent.

The German people will go to the polls in a general election on Sunday 24th September.

Merkel also hit the campaign trail yesterday, warning that an SPD-led, leftist coalition without the CDU was an experiment that Germany could not afford. Not to mention the time it would take to draw up a coalition agreement.

It will come as no surprise to anyone if by the end of a so far uneventful German election campaign, Angela Merkel remains as chancellor leading another coalition government.

But while Merkel has established an nearly invincible position in Germany by mastering consensus politics - roping the progressive Greens into her cabinet would neatly illustrate that - and relying on the prudence and caution of voters, her staggeringly long run in power is more a testament to her political skill than any inherent stability in Germany. It has published its election program and flyers in Russian, created its own network of "Russian-Germans in the AfD" with regional sub-branches and touts Russian Germans as AfD candidates.

But right now it appears that they are willing to give in to temptation and vote for her anyway.

He demanded, however, that all German mosques and Muslim communities register with the German authorities and reveal their sources of income to prevent the situation in which mosques are run by organizations "threatening the German constitutional order" and are funded by foreign powers seeking to exert its influence on Germany or terrorist organizations such as Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL). It has been argued that the foundations of her success were laid by the center-left government before hers, and radically reformed the labor market by encouraging people to seek jobs. "It is anyone's guess how long that will work once she leaves office and the struggle for her succession begins". Traditionally, the Soviet Germans overwhelmingly supported the conservative parties. Returning to domestic politics after years in Brussels, he is well-aware of how the outside world perceives Germany.