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Brent Goff gives his take on the German elections

Guest Commentary

Brent Goff, Host of DW’s Agenda

If you have something to say, do it now!  That is the motto for Germany’s candidates in these final hours of the campaign. Voters go to the polls Sunday.  I have covered every national German election since 1998, and I can say that the 2013 campaign will go down in history as the biggest sleeper of my career so far.  When campaigning officially began in the summer, polls revealed most Germans were thinking more vacation than choosing a new government.  We talked about political apathy a few weeks ago on my show Agenda with Brent Goff. I asked a German campaign advisor who worked on Barack Obama’s winning teams in 2008 and 2012 to explain what could grab voters’ attention

Now, election day is upon us and the latest poll shows 30 percent of voters still haven’t decided what they will do at the ballot box.  An amazingly high number considering all that is at stake in this election!  So this week we highlighted the major issues on Agenda.

On Sunday, I will be anchoring DW’s special coverage of the German Election 2013 beginning at 15:30 GMT.  You can watch our live reporting on live stream.  

Here’s my list of what to watch for–and my proof that this election will NOT be a big yawn.

1. The new Alternative für Deutschland AfD Party is THE wild card in this election.  The party protests Germany’s euro crisis policy and advocates a German exit from the eurozone.  Polls show it may pass the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament.  That would be a symbolic slap in the face to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s marriage to austerity and bailouts.

2. The Free Democrats FDP, the current coalition partner in Germany’s government, has become the party no one likes.  Polls suggest it could get less than 5 percent of the vote on Sunday.  That would prohibit entry into parliament and disqualify the party from any coalition.  That would create a mega headache for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

3. Without the FDP, the conservative CDU party of Chancellor Angela Merkel may have to join forces with its arch rival, the Social Democrats SPD, to form a grand coalition.  The parties have done this before–and it didn’t work too well.

4. Last, but not least, watch the Twittersphere for what voters will say about the main candidates and their wardrobes!  During the TV debate between Chancellor Merkel and her opponent Peer Steinbrück, everyone tweeted nonstop about Merkel’s necklace with the colors of the German (or Belgian) flag.  Issues matter, you see.

Join me Sunday to watch the results come in.  I promise there will be no yawning and plenty of adrenaline.  Tweet me your thoughts @BrentGoffTV.

See you Sunday!

Check out DW’s full coverage of the German elections online.



2013-09-21 | 6:23