After Kohl, Germany Shifts Left Sunday's Win by Social Democrat Leader Gerhard Schroder Reflects Trend in Other European Nations

By Peter Ford, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 29, 1998 | Go to article overview

After Kohl, Germany Shifts Left Sunday's Win by Social Democrat Leader Gerhard Schroder Reflects Trend in Other European Nations


Peter Ford, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In the end, he overstayed his welcome.

Helmut Kohl, who had made so much history during his record- setting 16 years at Germany's helm, made it again as he lost last Sunday's elections: He became the first chancellor since World War II to be voted out of office by an electorate simply tired of a leader who had run out of ideas.

By turning in unexpectedly large numbers to Social Democratic candidate Gerhard Schroder, Germans expressed their desire for a fresh approach to their future as a new century beckons.

And the vote brought Europe's most pivotal nation into line with its neighbors, on the center-left. Spain is now the only major European country led by a conservative government.

But the transformations go beyond political alignment.

As Mr. Schroder, born in 1944, declared in his victory statement, "the voters have chosen a generational change."

For the first time, Germany will be ruled by men and women who have no firsthand memories of the war, or Nazi rule, presaging a less-anguished approach to foreign relations.

Also for the first time, it seems from the election results, the environmental party, the Greens, will join the national government, if only as a junior coalition partner with the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

If Schroder invites them to join his Cabinet, Green leaders will enjoy influence unmatched elsewhere in the world to shape policy on everything from taxes to transportation along ecology-friendly lines. Details of Schroder's policy intentions, however, remain sketchy.

Change... with continuity

He won the elections by offering much-sought-after change, but at the same time he was careful not to frighten away the average conservative, consensus-minded German voter. Even in victory, as he addressed his supporters on Sunday night, he maintained this ambiguous stance. "It will be our task to modernize our country thoroughly and overcome the blockage of reforms," he declared, voicing one of his major campaign themes.

But he had scarcely drawn breath before also pledging that "I want to stand for continuity," the other message he had sought to convey.

Underpinning both these strands has been a call for social justice. And although Schroder has made much of the "new center" ground that he has captured, his sense of obligation to traditional SPD voters could make him hesitant to push through hard tax and pension reforms that everyone agrees are needed, but that would be painful and unpopular.

Indeed, the SPD is pledged to roll back even the timid reforms that Mr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

After Kohl, Germany Shifts Left Sunday's Win by Social Democrat Leader Gerhard Schroder Reflects Trend in Other European Nations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.