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  #21  
Old 22.01.2016, 14:18
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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Perhaps not the platforms for structural nor post-structural feminism, but she could alter how it is perceived by the public.

The Merkel as "Mutti" sentiment struck me as weird. She doesn't have any children, and am not sure she truly understands the experience of being a real mother. The refugee topic kind of strikes me as some sort of over compensation for it. I'm not sure how natural it is, and I don't know how motherly she really is for Deutschland.
I remember one occasion when there had been an accident of some sort. Maybe it was a plane or train crash or maybe it was a terrorist bomb, I can't remember. Anyway Mrs Thatcher went to visit survivors in the hospital and did all the holding people's hands and listening to them routine. Then she got criticised over that as the opposition accused her of electioneering by pretending to be compassionate.

Sometimes politics is a damned if you do and damned if you don't game. In this type of situations its maybe tougher on women as you don't really expect male politicians to handle compassion in that way.
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  #22  
Old 22.01.2016, 14:23
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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Sometimes politics is a damned if you do and damned if you don't game. In this type of situations its maybe tougher on women as you don't really expect male politicians to handle compassion in that way.
"Why? I gotta lotta passion..."

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  #23  
Old 22.01.2016, 14:27
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

One on hand, its pretty damn impressive how she holds up against all opposition. On the other hand, its pretty damn scary for the same reason.

I agree she is a great woman. Just not convinced what her net impact is in the long run.
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Old 22.01.2016, 14:28
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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No need to reform, just do what you did the last century and nobody will vote AfD. The difference between the greens and AfD is that the greens actually had some points that were not covered by the other parties:
- pacifism (The US were installing new rockets against the SU in Germany at the time and hundred thousands demonstrated against them).
- ecology (The SPD was at that time about jobs and the CDU about the economy...)
- feminism

The AfD has:
- everything the CSU and the conservative wing of the CDU says but Merkel suppresses

The greens had loyal voters that identified themselves with the ideals. This means you will stick to the party even if there are some internal crisis or some other parties are changing their position to accomodate you. The AfD is going to get probably around 10%-15% "protest voters" who would probably elect an idiot like Seehofer if Merkel would give him a bit more space... and is already splitting in pieces even before they get any seats anywhere.
The Greens caused immense damage to the SPD. maybe they also attracted some voters from the CDU and FDP, but I think most of their growth was at the expense of the SPD and the SPD was forced to try and accomodate some of their points to stem the further loss.

I agree the greens were more a movement than a party and so voters had a lot of patience when the party fought its internal battles. This was their great strength.

I still think the AfD is to the the CDU what the Greens are to the SPD. Had the SPD been more awake in the 1970s and 1980s they could have taken the leadership of the pacifist and feminist movement and there wouldn't be any greens today. They didn't because they failed to predict where it was heading and because they weren't flexible enough to change their course.

I don't know to what extent the CDU is still behind Merkel, or whether they will happily ditch her at the first opportunity and select a different leadership. This is the type of game you typically get one shot at. If say, they ditch Merkel and replace her by Schäuble or somebody like that who continues doing much the same, the right wing of the party will lose patience and there will be a huge exodus to the likes of AfD. I don't know if the CDU leadership is smart enough to see that.

You are right that the AfD is divided and has a direction problem, which is ultimately a leadersip problem. But good leaders (as in effective leaders, not necessarily in terms of doing what's right) can step up remarkably quickly when vacuums open up and demand it.
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Old 22.01.2016, 15:02
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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Honestly now. Its clear Margaret Thatcher has done more to advance the Feminist cause. Other talked about it, she proved. Now I wonder if Merkel will erode it.
I'm not a feminist. Never have been or felt the need to be.

My dad raised me to believe I was as good as any man and better than many. He was the one who stormed into my headmaster's office kicking off because the school didn't allow girls to study Tech Drawing.

My mum, on the other hand, voted for Thatcher "because she's a woman", and til her dying day said it was the biggest mistake she ever made. My grandmother, who was a life long Conservative voter, used to regularly say "If I buy a gun, will you please go down to London and shoot Maggie?" She hated her with a venom for her take on Conservative politics and the damage she did to the impression of women in the workplace.

For a little background, my mother owned a petrol station / garage, my grandmother owned a fish and chip shop, my great grandmother owned a sweet shop and my great great grandmother owned a factory outright, so there was no need for feminism in my family. My Greek mother outlaw would also feel little need for feminism... but she makes Merkel look like a cute, little kitten.

Maya Angelou lived the full gamut of the human existence and lived to tell the tale.
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Old 22.01.2016, 15:08
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

Okay, perspective and opinion is great. There are some things that may be measurable. It seems Thatcher blazed a trail for women in power, from politics to board rooms. May not have been her own doing, may have just been in the fullness of time. But certainly inspired a generation of women to aspire rather than fantasize.
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  #27  
Old 22.01.2016, 15:08
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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first i had maggie thatcher as my female role model (sorry anti thatcher folks, i'm entitled to my own opinion no matter how deranged that might be).
ftfy
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  #28  
Old 22.01.2016, 15:27
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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But certainly inspired a generation of women to aspire rather than fantasize.
A generation of American women, maybe. It didn't quite work out like that in the U.K. I can honestly say, hand on heart, I don't know a single British woman who admires her in any way, shape or form. However, I clearly remember my facebook feed and email inbox being full of posts from colleagues, close friends and family saying "ding dong the wicked witch is dead".

Edit: We had Queen Elizabeth I, II and Queen Victoria as examples of women in power.
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  #29  
Old 22.01.2016, 16:25
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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P.S. I admired Maya Angelou and Mo Mowlam (even though I'm not a Labour voter). We could all do with more politicians of Mo's calibre in the World. She was phenomenal and sadly missed.
Mo is a valid shout and I shouldn't have left her off my list - thanks for the reminder!
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Old 22.01.2016, 16:26
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

I've just realized that the Take That song is "could it be magic" - I did wonder why they wrote a song about a German politician.
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  #31  
Old 22.01.2016, 16:29
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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Sometimes politics is a damned if you do and damned if you don't game. In this type of situations its maybe tougher on women as you don't really expect male politicians to handle compassion in that way.
Is that partially why POTUS seemed so fake with his tears for slain children in his gun control speech? Talk (cue brush away a tear), talk (cue brush away a tear), talk (cue brush away another sneaky tear)
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  #32  
Old 22.01.2016, 16:38
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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She is apparently beset by resistance from all sides. Even asylum seekers are now suing her government for taking too long to process their asylum requests. Yet she doesn't seem to address anything anybody airs. Does she intend to lead or do all the work herself?

In German democracy, how is it possible for a Chancellor to not listen to anybody? How is this different from despotism? Weren't there any lessons learned from WWII about ruling with absolute power?



Sounds like the US Congress
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Old 22.01.2016, 16:46
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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It seems Thatcher blazed a trail for women in power, from politics to board rooms. May not have been her own doing, may have just been in the fullness of time. But certainly inspired a generation of women to aspire rather than fantasize.
How interesting. I would never have regarded Maggie as an advocate for feminism, and that's not why I admired her.

I just loved that she seemed to mean what she said. That in a sea of "sit on the fence political leaders", she was prepared to be tough and stand the courage of her convictions. That she didn't apologise for being British. That she didn't apologise for tough decisions. Whether they were the right ones or not is indeed another argument entirely.

I just loved that she just made things happen, rather than pussy-footing about for her terms to secure the popular vote. She struck me as a human bulldozer, and personally, I like that style.

That was my opinion of Merkel until recently. The fact that she's a woman, having to endure the cheap shots on her appearance and sexuality and being child-less actually made me more impressed at her outward strength.

But now that you raise the feminist angle, I can see that yes, Maggie was actually an inspiration to me - to know that I could do more than just be a typist and get married and have children and look after a husband for the rest of my days - which is exactly the future that my multi generation labor voting blue collar family had planned for me at that time.
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Old 22.01.2016, 16:51
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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She is apparently beset by resistance from all sides. Even asylum seekers are now suing her government for taking too long to process their asylum requests. Yet she doesn't seem to address anything anybody airs. Does she intend to lead or do all the work herself?

In German democracy, how is it possible for a Chancellor to not listen to anybody? How is this different from despotism? Weren't there any lessons learned from WWII about ruling with absolute power?

Eh Phos ! there is still hope for you
Now you did exactly ,with Merkel/ Germany ,what you hate so much what others do with the USA
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  #35  
Old 22.01.2016, 16:54
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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I can honestly say, hand on heart, I don't know a single British woman who admires her in any way, shape or form. However, I clearly remember my facebook feed and email inbox being full of posts from colleagues, close friends and family saying "ding dong the wicked witch is dead".
Well, now you know of at least two (also see Smileys post above)
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  #36  
Old 22.01.2016, 17:07
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

I never understood the "ding dong wicked witch is dead" thing. I always thought it was deeply rooted in the British to be terribly polite, and I found those comments to be terribly disrespectful myself.

That said, I appreciate that Thatcher was just like Marmite on steroids - absolute love or hate and nothing in between. We had 86 women in our offices at that time, and none of them hated Maggie (at least not openly).

So I guess that makes thousands of British women who are Maggie haters. And at least 88 pros. Oh well. I'm always siding with the underdog.
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Old 22.01.2016, 17:10
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

I don't think you need to necessarily agree with or even like Maggie to see how she changed perceptions.

To argue "I don't like her, therefore nothing she did was any good" is a bit childish in my view.
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  #38  
Old 22.01.2016, 17:58
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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To argue "I don't like her, therefore nothing she did was any good" is a bit childish in my view.
There just aren't enough hours in the day to recount all the reasons I hated her, and I do realise that hate is a very strong word, but I did.

This isn't a matter of where you came from in the U.K., though it's a very strong factor, it's also a case of which part of a particular town or city you lived in, family background, impact upon your family, what you witnessed first hand, etc...

My brother (a now retired barrister) left uni with his law degree and couldn't get any work for 18mths. He even had his name down for a job on the bins, but the waiting list was over 2yrs long.

I was out of work for 2 solid years, which is completely against my nature and the work ethic I was raised with. I sold all my books, records, etc, arranged interviews in London, Brighton, etc and went home with nothing. My only way out was to go self-employed when I turned 21.

I saw the miners strikes first hand. My cousin left the police because of the brutality he witnessed and was ordered to use against the miners. I walked through the streets of Toxteth the day after the riots. I knew families who had three generations made redundant on the same day, and that is still happening today. My aunt was a district nurse and visited quite a few familes who literally had no money for food. She used to take baby food and baby clothes to one young woman she knew who was recently widowed with 3 kids, and the baby's crib was a drawer.

'Boys From The Black Stuff' was real in the town I lived in and in all the neighbouring towns. If you ever care to learn the other side of what Thatcher did to my country, I strongly suggest you watch that series.

Edit: I'd be interested to know which part of the country you're from? No need to be exact.
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Old 22.01.2016, 18:09
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

BlueAngel. Consider yourself booked for a sit down over a cuppa or something stronger. I'd love to hear your stories in detail. We were Chatham, Hastings, East London folks so had vary different experiences to the Midlands and further north and west I am sure.

My cousin in Milton Keynes shares exactly your views - it makes for some feisty debates!
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Old 22.01.2016, 18:14
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Re: Do you believe in Merkel?

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There just aren't enough hours in the day to recount all the reasons I hated her, and I do realise that hate is a very strong word, but I did.
...
Edit: I'd be interested to know which part of the country you're from? No need to be exact.

Sounds like you were directly affected. I felt like that about Reagan at some point, but I was somewhat young and liberal at the time. In hindsight though, its tough to imagine what the alternative could have been. For example, would the Berlin wall still be up? We don't know, right? Things happen. We have no control over them. The only thing you really have control over is yourself. With that, is there really room for blame?
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