News from 09/2013

23 September 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wins an overwhelming endorsement for the Christian Democratic Union

With unemployment near a two-decade low and the budget deficit virtually eliminated, voters backed Merkel’s handling of the domestic economy, Europe’s largest, and her push for austerity in the euro zone in exchange for aid. "It's a super result," said Merkel, whose steady leadership during the euro zone crisis has made her hugely popular at home.

According to preliminary estimates, as cited by ARD, voter turnout was 73%, compared to 70.8% four years ago. - See more at:



21 September 2013

Cafe conversations became street protests

What Angela Merkel did when the Berlin Wall came down The fall of the Wall produced a maelstrom in German politics. Cafe conversations became street protests; movements became political parties; individuals tried to take control of their country for the first time. It was this world that Angela Merkel decided to enter, aged 35.

Merkel, who has a doctorate in quantum chemistry, stood out from the rest in that political world.

"She didn't seem to care about her outward appearance at all," says Lothar de Maiziere, who went on to be East Germany's last…Read

19 September 2013

Angela Merkel’s re-election would ensure stability at the centre of the EU and Europe

It’s hard to think of any election in recent times in Europe which has mattered more to more people than the one that takes place in Germany on Sunday. This election, however, is important not just for Germans, who will naturally be the people most directly affected by the outcome. In some respects the result will be just as closely watched across the whole of the Eurozone in which Germany is the dominant economy.  


17 September 2013

German Federal Election: 62 million eligible voters. 22 September 2013

All German citizens are able to vote once they have reached the age of 18.  

It doesn't take long to mark two crosses on a ballot paper, but they are of immense significance. By marking these crosses, the voter is taking the central decision in a democracy: who should govern?

Angela Merkel centre right party (Christian Democrats CDU) is still very popular, her successful political style has actually earned itself a unique name – "Merkiavellism" – which is a combination between Merkel and Machiavelli.

Merkel's main challenger…Read

15 September 2013

Angela Merkel is the odds-on favorite in the German elections on September 22

Angela Merkel is predicted to be the next German Chancellor of Germany, she is reserved and hardly ever makes any surprising statements. She has her emotions under control and generally cultivates a sense of frugality. "She doesn't excel; she's good, average. And that's something everybody can identify with. That's her recipe of success. The party's manifesto - she's it," says Edgar Wolfrum, who lectures on the Schröder era at Heidelberg University."

One thing that all parties dread more than anything is the group of non-voters. Their numbers have more…Read

14 September 2013

German voters will go to the polls on 22 September 2013

The two main rivals in Germany's federal polls this year are the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats Union of Germany (CDU) and their allies are defending a majority of 40 in the current 620-seat assembly. In the last federal election in 2009, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU); won the election with Angela Merkel as Chancellor.  Opinion polls suggest Merkel is the favourite to win a third term as leader in the federal elections.

Peer Steinbrück  is a German Social Democratic politician. He is…Read

8 September 2013

United we stand, divided we fall

Labour candidate and former Queensland premier: Peter Beattie says the leadership tension that divided the Australian Labour party will be firmly to blame for the Coalition's election victory. “As a major party you have to contain your internal division," said Nick Economou, senior lecturer in politics at Melbourne's Monash University.



5 September 2013

And the Winner is…

Political photographer Mike Bowers spent the second half of the campaign on Tony Abbott's media bus. Guardian Australia caught up with him to discuss shooting a cautious campaign on the brink of victory.

An Abbott victory would end six years of Labor rule dominated by leadership tensions between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

Labor has failed to win many plaudits for Australia's relatively strong economy, which has recorded 22 years of uninterrupted economic growth, with low unemployment and relatively low interest rates


Opinion polls predict a convincing win for the Coalition leader Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott leader of the conservative Coalition, is a 56-year-old fitness fanatic, and Rhodes Scholar. After graduating University with a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Law, he went on to study at Queen's College, Oxford.   He graduated with a Master of Arts (MA) in Politics and Philosophy. His biggest election promise is a more generous paid parental leave scheme, offering mothers up to $75,000 for six months' leave at an annual cost of $5.5bn – a policy deeply unpopular with his party and the business community but which Abbott cites as evidence that he and…Read

4 September 2013

The Australian High Commission in NZ

Saturday 7 September: Election Day for Australia – both the Australian Consulate General (Auckland) and the Australian High Commission (Wellington) are open from 8:00am-6:00pm for in-person voting.

HONG KONG About 10,000 Australians are expected to cast their 2013 federal election votes in Hong Kong, one of the country's biggest overseas polling stations. A record 14.71 million Australians are registered for the upcoming election, when they will choose between incumbent Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Labor party, the conservative opposition of Tony Abbott or more than 50 other minor parties. Voting is compulsory in Australia but not for Australians living overseas. …Read

3 September 2013

Australian expats in the UK are being urged to cast their vote at Australia House

WITH the 7 September election looming, Australians in the UK are turning out in force to cast their vote at prepolling facilities at Australia House. The Australian High Commission opened its doors to voters on Monday 26 August, a public holiday in Britain. Hundreds of Australians queued to cast their vote, and the facility has experienced a consistent flow of expats and overseas visitors since. Consul General at the High Commission, Ken Pascoe, said over 5,326 voters passed through the doors at Australia House in the first week. “There is a large Australian community living in the United Kingdom and many…Read

2 September 2013

Tony Abbott warns of tough final days as polling points to election win

The latest Newspoll, published exclusively in The Weekend Australian today, revealed that Kevin Rudd is facing almost certain defeat next Saturday, with massive swings against Labour in its strongholds of western Sydney, coastal NSW and Melbourne.

From the frozen Antarctic to the dry and remote Outback, millions of Australians will cast their ballots on Saturday 7 September 2013 in an election that poses logistical challenges in a continent-sized country. Voting is compulsory and a record 14.71 million Australians are registered to make their mark at some 7,500 polling booths set up at schools, surf clubs, church halls and community centres.<…Read