hope_calaris: (Pinguin - What?)
[personal profile] hope_calaris
It's time for election campaign in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which means we get to see some top-notch politician -- well, if we want, that's it. My initial plan was to see Gregor Gysi on Wednesday, but then that event turned out to be a five minutes speed dating event, and no ... as much as I dislike Die Linke, I just know that this guy is a way better rhetor than I'll ever be and could overturn every argument against his party that I have (and there were other members of his party as well I'd have had to talk to and I know nothing about them -- easier to just spare me the embarrassment). Which now makes me sound like an ignorant, petulant child who doesn't want to admit to being in the wrong. Um ... it's not that, okay? It's more the fact that I could never ever vote for a party which is a direct descendant from PDS and supports socialism and has some lunatics as members who think that communism is the way to go and won't stand up during a minute of silence for the people killed trying to cross the Wall. That's just plain indecent human behavior. Maybe I'm reacting more to this than usual because we just had the 5oth anniversary of the building of the Berlin wall, and I read newspaper articles about it and visited a memorial place.
Have a look at these pictures I took from the memorial place in Berlin (they show how the Berlin wall looked) and tell me there's any excuse at all for imprisoning and killing your own people.

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There's also a church on the grounds of the memorial place, and they show a photo exhibition there from kids playin at the Wall on the West side of it. This is my favorite:

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I'm not saying that everything in the GDR was bad per se (not that I know personally, because I was too little when the Wall came down), but what we have now is so indefinitely better in terms of freedom and democracy. I just wish people would take the time to remember this.

And now I got completely sidetracked from the initial reason for this entry: Philipp Rösler! Philipp Rösler, for all my non-German flisters and German flisters who don't care about politics, is the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and the Vice Chancellor of Germany. Pretty important guy, and my thougts about him could be summarized as following: "He's twelve! He's twelve! I don't want a twelve year old to be our Vice Chancellor. And he sounds weird on television, and the heute-show (german equivalent to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and I love both to pits and pieces) showed his carnival speech which was freaking awful and not the least funny. And I have no idea if he's actually competent in any way, and he's currently busy commiting patricide against Guido Westerwelle (German Foreign Minister, who had finally arrived in a position of power when the FDP became coalition partner to the CDU, only to find out no one liked him anymore. On a purely human level I feel very, very sorry for him. And that's really no sarcasm on my part)."

Anyway, Philipp is the chairman of the FDP, minister and all around pretty important. Which is why I was surprised to read he'd come to Greifswald the same day as Gysi. And since I'd failed to face up to Gysi, Rössler's panel discussion promised to provide a safe haven not to be seen, but to at least take a look and listen quietly (I'll come to the part where I failed that as well ^^). So, [livejournal.com profile] easyleinchen and I went and took part in the panel.

Let me tell you, it would be way too easy to kill a seemingly important politician in Germany. Nobody searched our bags, Philipp walked by us maybe two meters away, and as far as I could make out there was only one person belonging to his security detail. I'm not sure what to make of this, but that wasn't the only surprise on this day. Philipp talked about economy issues and a way to salvage European finances, and boy, did he deliver.

I had no expectations other than being bored. And I wasn't! He was informative (I understood stuff! I have no idea about finances and why the world suddenly sucks at them, but I understood what he was telling me!), he was witty and charming and incredibly likeable. I'm more than a bit puzzled as to how that could happen. He also sounded very sincere, and yeah, you could argue that he's a politician and I was played by him, but I'd like to think he was really as enthusiastic and genuine about meeting young people and listening to their ideas as he told us.

And then I kind of threw my plan to just sit and listen to the wind ... because he wanted us to ask questions. He wanted the students to ask questions, but most of the discussion time was taken up by professors, and I felt like this wasn't what Philipp wanted. And so, I stood up and asked a question. He'd talked about installing a debt ceiling in all constitutions of countries in the EU (regardless of the fact that we don't actually have a constitution, but that's only a minor fact, isn't it? XD), and that Spain already had done so. Okay, so I have no idea how a debt ceiling/debt brake/debt limit actually works, but I'd watched Jon Stewart pick apart the ridiculousness of the fight over the US debt ceiling, and how they'd finally raised it in a last minute effort, and I also know that the European Maastricht criteria had been broken over and over again without any real consequences. Which means I'm not entirely sold on the idea of a debt ceiling, and I asked him if he really believes that this would work. And he said that of course there snares to it, because you can change the constitution with a 2/3 majority any time, and that humans are prone to breaking the rules, but that it's a step in the right direction. A year ago Spain was adamant about never ever changing its constitution because they'd never done so before, and now they did. It's a start.

I like that answer. It was honest. He's not pretending that he has all the answers, that he has a 5 step-plan to get us out of this sh**, but he really seems to listen to people. I like that quality in people, because the last thing we need are more people complaining about each other and only pointing out their mistakes to each other instead of trying to help. That's why I liked the coalition of CDU/SPD we had. They couldn't go at each other's throats in public because they had to work together. They had to sit down, listen and talk, and they had to work out a compromise.

And since this already got ridiculously long and I have to bake cake, I'll leave you with the only decent picture I could take of Philipp Rösler.

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Date: 2 September 2011 11:42 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diapadme.livejournal.com
Uh, da ist ja was los in Greifswald :P War nicht letztens erst die Kanzerlin da?
Wie sieht's überhaupt aus, bist du mit dem Hauptwohnsitz in Greifswald gemeldet? Falls ja, darfst du ja auch dir einen schönen Namen für die Kreisgebietsreform aussuchen. Ahem.
Ich hab's nur als Nebenwohnsitz angemeldet, darum habe ich in Neubrandenburg gewählt. Man, oh Man. Unsere Auswahl an möglichen Namen war auch komplett bekloppt. Schön find ich's nicht.

Um ehrlich zu sein, fand ich dieses ganze Tra-ra um den 50. Jahrestag des Mauerbaus etwas zu viel. Also, die gesamte Medienabdeckung meine ich. Schweigeminute, gut und schön. Aber an allen Ecken und Enden wurde man mit irgendwelchen Dokus oder Dramen oder beidem zugeballert. Es nervte irgendwann einfach nur. Man kam einfach nicht vorbei, das fand ich so blöd. Meinetwegen muss man nicht alles so riesig aufziehen : /

Date: 6 September 2011 13:29 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hope-calaris.livejournal.com
Nope, ich durfte hier nicht wählen. :/

Und das mit dem Gedenken ist wohl Ansichtssache, ich fand's wichtig und gut so. Aber dir muss ja jetzt vor 9/11 grauen oder?

Date: 6 September 2011 13:36 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diapadme.livejournal.com
Na ja, bei 9/11 sind sie ja schon Wochen dabei mit der Berichterstattung. Irgendwann wird's echt zu viel. Aber ich kann mir den Ärger locker ersparen und die Kiste einfach auslassen :P

Na ja, Wahlergebnis hast du ja sicher mitbekommen. Die Anklamer-Ecke hat den NPD-Wert wieder in die Höhe getrieben. Schade, schade : /

Date: 6 September 2011 13:49 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hope-calaris.livejournal.com
Deppen gibt's leider immer noch. Aber immerhin haben sie insgesamt weniger Stimmen bekommen als beim letzten Mal. Ein kleiner Hoffnungsschimmer.

Date: 6 September 2011 14:24 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diapadme.livejournal.com
Wäre wohl zu schön gewesehn : /

Date: 2 September 2011 12:25 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tuppeny.livejournal.com
That's really exciting! You're right, he does look 12... put it down to the Vietnamese ancestry, I guess. My Vietnamese friend looked about 12 at age 20, so maybe it's a thing. ;) And frankly, even if he was being charming just for you guys, it's great that he still cares enough to do that. I've been to talks with political people where they don't care a hill of beans about the people (especially those with opposing views) who took the time (or even paid!) to come see them; they're so full of themselves and their own importance that there's no room for anything else. Sounds maybe like Gysi might be like that.

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