Sunday, January 27, 2008

German Conservatives' Immigration Card May Backfire With Voters

By Cernig

The BBC is reporting that Bush ally Angela Merkel may have problems coming, with state elections showing how nest year's federal race may be run.
German voters are voting in two state elections, in Lower Saxony and Hesse.

Opinion polls suggest Angela Merkel's party, the conservative CDU, may lose its majority in Hesse - a politically and economically important state.

The current governor of Hesse, the CDU's Roland Koch, is running for a third term in office.

Mr Koch has provoked a storm of protest with calls for tougher sentences and the deportation of what he called "young criminal foreigners."

Mr Koch is known as the "crown prince" by conservatives.

But his campaign, which has focused on crime and immigration, has recently alienated many voters.

According to the latest opinion polls, support for the ruling conservatives has dropped, paving the way for a victory by the Social Democrats (SPD).

Professor Hajo Funke, a political scientist, says the conservatives' anti-foreigner campaign may have backfired.

"If Roland Koch wins, it will have effects not only for this election, but for the next state elections and the next federal elections," he told the BBC.

"Because then you will have a different CDU, with more foreign hatred, with more national conservative elements - in the party, and in the strategy."
Parallels with the US are obvious, where hardline conservatives are absolutely determined that the Democratic nomination contest be framed as race-based and that the coming presidential fight be framed as who will best keep the brown people from America's door.

Let's all remember one thing that's been proven time and again over decades. It doesn't matter what party sign they hang around their neck - if they're banging on about race wars and fear of foreigners, they're conservatives.

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