WASHINGTON POST: Germany’s Green Party has seen a strong upswing in polling support over the past few months. That strength is now being translated to big showings in regional elections.
“What is pretty clear heading into this election year is that the main opposition on the federal level will be between the Christian Democrats and the Greens,” said Peter Matuschek, a political analyst with pollster Forsa. “It will be probably the Greens who will be the kingmaker.”
And they may also take the crown. After 16 years in opposition, polling second place nationally, the Greens are increasingly seen by analysts as a likely junior coalition partner for the of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in a post-Merkel era.
But with Merkel’s party in crisis amid criticism over a sluggish vaccine rollout, a mask profiteering scandal and whom to pick as leader after she steps aside this year, it would not be inconceivable for the Greens to be positioned to lead their own coalition.
That possibility marks a coming-of-age for a party that grew out of the grass-roots ecological and antinuclear activism of the 1980s. READ MORE
SPLIT VOTE IN ISRAEL: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies fell short of winning a parliamentary majority in Israel’s latest election.
A total of 13 parties received enough votes to enter the Knesset — the most since the 2003 election — leaving the parliament divided among a host of midsize parties representing ultra-Orthodox Jewish, Arab, secular, nationalist, and liberal factions.
YUKON WON’T GO GREEN: Yukoners have never elected a Green Party candidate and they won’t even have the option this time around — there are no Green candidates on the ballot for next month’s territorial election.
“It does not feel good. It’s actually quite sad for me,” said Kristina Calhoun, spokesperson for the territorial party.
“I have been working, you know, over 20 years volunteering with Green parties across Canada. And this is — I feel like this is really a blow.”
Calhoun also suggests that some Green supporters have simply become discouraged. The first-past-the-post voting system does not serve smaller parties well, she argues, and it’s been frustrating to see no real moves toward a system of proportional representation.
“People are just sort of getting disenfranchised, like, ‘I’m voting, I’m participating in the system, I’m not getting what I want. I’m not seeing the results that I want,'” she said.