Elections Uber Alles?

What if they held an election and nobody noticed?

That’s the situation in Germany right now. Their federal elections will be held in a month, but German voters don’t seem to care. In spite of scandals involving defense procurement or plagiarism by her ministers, Angela Merkel remains well-liked. It is widely seen that this election will have a significant impact on the future of the Euro, but the German public just isn’t that engaged.

Recent polls indicate that less than a third of voters are following the election and fewer than half could even tell you when it is going to take place. When the ruling party has a popular leader and the opposition party doesn’t put a credible alternative forward, this kind of apathy is the result. In a head-to-head contest, Merkel leads her opponent 63 to 29 percent–among those who bothered to respond.

So it looks like the upcoming contest will be a snoozer: a wide majority for the Chancellor, but low-turnout and no broad mandate. Which is a shame: because if no one votes, nothing is really decided.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

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