Enough talk of Iraq, Iran, Islamic Extremism and Vegetarianism. Let's get people's ideas about the German election. Schoerder lost a vote of no confidence, and has called an election for September. There is some constitutional question whether he can do that, but unless the President or Constitutional Court says otherwise, he is doing it. The CDU/CSU has a big lead on the SPD, and should be able to form a government with the FDP. However, there are some wildcards: 1. The Greens -- they may lose votes and while the current polls show them above the magical 5% mark (the percentage needed to guarrantee proportional seats in the legislature) they are concerned they may get shut out. They also are in the middle of an ideological struggle within the party. 2. The Far Right -- the two main far right parties are setting up a common list. While they are below that magical 5% mark, these parties have done fairly well on some state elections, and polls have a tendancy to underestimate support. 3. The Far Left -- the old East German communists, the PDS, have entered into an electoral alliance with the disaffected left wing of the Social Democrats, which has reformed itself as the Labor and Justice Party. The combined left wing alliance is polling well in excess of 5% and in some polls is doing better than the SDP and Greens. 4. Schroeder and the economy -- Schroeder's main problem is the stagnant economy and high unemployment (at least by German standards). He has tried some modest reforms, but that has proven very unpopular by all accounts (the right argues the reforms have done nothing while the left opposes any reform) and has lead to the SPD's left wing leaving the party. But he has a tendency to snatchg electoral victory from defeat. The scenarios A. The current polls hold and the CDU/CSU enters into a coalition government with the FDP with a comfortable majority. (Most likely) B. Schroeder pulls off another upset and wins a narrow government in coalition with his current partners, the Greens (Unlikely) C. The SPD rallies, but not enough and Schroeder enters into a Red, deep Red, Green coalition with the Greens and PDS/WAGS (very unlikely, as Schroeder and the SPD will not want to give any legitamacy to the PDS or to Oskar Lafontaine). D. The far right parties get more votes than expected, and the CDU/CSU/FDP forms a weak government (possible) E. The CDU/CSU forms a grand coalition with the SPD to engage in systematic economic reforms (possible). F. The CDU/CSU/FDP forms a coalition with the Greena. (Weird, but there actually is some press talk of that) My guess is that the CDU/CSU and FDP form a coalition, with a combined 55% of the vote, the far right falls short of 5%, the far left gets about 8%.