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German Elections: Chance or Catastrophe?

Voters in Germany will likely elect a new parliament in the fall after Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said he wants elections to take place a year early as his reforms are coming under pressure. DW-WORLD readers weigh in.

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Will the CDU's Angela Merkel take Schröder's seat in the fall

You ask if the SPD will be hurt by early elections. It is the economy which has hurt the SPD and it probably will continue to do so unless there is some kind of miracle turnaround. Schröder's attempts to loosen economic and social policies have put him in an unusual situation. The SPD probably had the best opportunity of making these reforms. It will be interesting to see if a CDU/(FDP?) government can have more success at reducing economic distress, since their actions are likely to be viewed with more suspicion by voters. -- William Thomas , US

As an Australian I am ashamed of my goverment's involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Waging war is a crime against not only humanity but against the environment. 15,000,000 people walked against war but our voices were not heard. If there is a change of government I for one fear that the CDU/CSU coalition could join Germany in the quagmire the US and its cohorts have got themselves into. I admire the SPD and the Greens firm stand against the invasion of Iraq. At least they seem to have learned something from history. Germany is suffering under the weight of globalization as are all of us. I see that "big business" is hoping for a change, if people are so blind they can't see that it's the corporations that have put them out of work then they deserve a change. -- Ann Jurrjens

Germany has a real problem on the horizon with EU enlargement. The five million unemployed will grow larger. I believe the really hard times are coming for the German economy over the next several years. I believe the German people are going to punish Mr. Schröder and the SDP. The end is near. -- Bill Baird

The CDU would get my vote if I were able to do so. It is clear that the policies of Schröder have failed the German people and Europe. They are a sinking ship and it is time to abandon ship and head for the life rafts. The vision set forward by the Christian Democrats is what Germany needs at this moment. -- Brian Johs , US

Germany is not ready for a female chancellor. Germany continues to need the guidance, leadership, experience and strength of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. -- Sandra Armour , US

The economic conditions in Germany must improve very fast if the SPD want to remain in power after 2006. Although I appreciate Gerhard Schröder as a person, his government's accomplishment in the area of job creation and economic stimulation have been very unimpressive. On the European and international stage I would rate Schröder's performance 7 out of 10 marks. On the internal economic front I would rate his performance 3 out of 10. That is also very much the perception of the majority of German voters. -- Atilla A. Iftikhar

The ousting of the red-green coalition from Berlin is long overdue. Germans had a good chance of invigorating the country in 2002, but they chose not to. The only true thing is that to put Germany back on its feet is going to be much harder now, than it would had been in 2002. If Germans want to keep their place in the world, they must have a mental change. The world has changed a lot and the world of the 1960s and the 1970s is long past. We are in the 21st century, and the faster the Germans realize this, the better for them. If not, then Germany will go into oblivion. -- Francisco Olivas, Costa Rica

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