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You Snooze, She Wins


The following is an excerpt from Yascha Mounk | September 13, 2017 | Slate.com |

The big story about the upcoming elections in Germany is (supposedly) that there is no story.

In just a little over a year, Britain has voted to Brexit, and America has elected Donald Trump. In France, extremists on the far left and the far right took nearly half of the vote in the first round of the presidential election. In the second round, French voters coalesced around a candidate who is moderate yet shot to victory on the back of a new movement that pulverized the political landscape. Every one of these elections thus had one crucial thing in common: It represented a huge shock to the system. So it is all the more striking that the story heading into Germany’s vote on Sept. 24 seems to be one of continuity rather than change.

With less than two weeks to go, it is very likely that Chancellor Angela Merkel will be re-elected for a fourth term in office. And at a time when politics seems to be downright histrionic in many parts of the world, Germany’s election campaign has felt surprisingly soporific. After the only TV debate between Merkel and her main challenger, Social Democrat Martin Schulz, a Berlin paper headlined: “0–0.” Neither of the contestants, the soccer metaphor implied, had scored any goals. Indeed, the accompanying text added, for long stretches it hadn’t even seemed as though Schulz was especially interested in beating his adversary.

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