The Financial Times reports:
Germany's troubled Social Democratic party on Sunday fired the starting shot in a year-long election race by ousting Kurt Beck, its hapless left-leaning chairman, and nominating the centrist Frank-Walter Steinmeier to run for chancellor in September 2009.
Yes, the party leaders decided. Just like that. No primiaries and caucasus. No TV debates and no confetti. How boring. What a difference to the US system!
Dr. Jackson Janes and Dr. Tim Stuchtey with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) in Washington DC examine the differences between the German and American party systems and how the role of the party in each country shapes the way elections unfold. You can read their Op-Ed in English and in German.
Endnote: AICGS and the University of Birmingham organized a conference on "German Vulnerabilities in a Globalizing World" in March 2008 and now present the essays: German Vulnerabilities of its Energy Security by Frank Umbach, German Welfare Capitalism: Crisis and Transition by Roland Czada, Germany's Foreign Policy under Angela Merkel by Christian Hacke, and The Left Party and Germany's Coalition Conundrums by Dan Hough. Does anybody want to write a guest blog post summarizing and commenting on any of these essays?