The US presidential election campaigns generated a lot of interest in Germany. I was amazed how Obama managed to mobilize so many Americans to campaign for him. I thought Americans had become political cynics, who would not believe in hope and vision. Yet, Obama achieved this.
Less than a year later, Germans have very little interest in the current election campaigns, which are very lame compared to the US campaigns. Voter apathy is high. We need an Obama type movement here to revitalize politics.
Quite a few German friends, who might envy the US, have shared this NY Times article about the situation in Germany on Facebook and via Email.
The German public followed the 2008 United States presidential election with surprising ardor, starting even before the Iowa caucuses. Yet, with less than six weeks to go before the parliamentary election that will decide if Angela Merkel remains as chancellor, the campaign is arousing surprisingly little passion or curiosity among voters.
At a time of economic and financial upheaval, with unemployment expected to climb rapidly through the rest of the year and as the most fragile of recoveries in the export-oriented German economy remains threatened by the vicissitudes of the unstable global economy, political commentators have been at a loss to explain why.
The voter apathy is well documented. The polling company Forsa said that 84 percent of the more than 1,000 people they surveyed recently found the election boring. Of those, 38 percent said the campaign was "absolutely not interesting and exciting," versus 46 percent who found it somewhat uninteresting and unexciting. Only 1 percent found it "very interesting and exciting." What interest there has been has tended toward the silly-season variety. Indeed, the candidate generating the most excitement at the moment is Horst Schlämmer.
In addition to this comedian, it was also a politician from the conservative Christian Democrats who caused some excitement in the United States. Vera Lengsfeld used her and Merkel's boobs to campaign. Time Magazine writes about her: Busting Out: German Pol Plays the Cleavage Card and The Colbert Report (HT: Ben P.) has this video segment:
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|Tip/Wag- German Campaign, Russian Dogs & Flying Rabbis|