If Germany were America, this would be the season of attack ads. But Germany is not America, and attack ads, like Super PACs, are unimaginable here, legally and culturally. There are no deep-pocketed groups who set out to destroy the characters of individual candidates. Even the politicians themselves are remarkably restrained. In part, that is because the two main candidates, chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger Peer Steinbrück, worked together (he was her finance minister between 2005-09) and genuinely respect each other. But mainly it is because the Germans really don’t want to go there. If anybody were to get personal and nasty on an American scale, he or she would get society’s red card and be out. This may be the best thing about German democracy. But if you don’t have attack ads, you need something else. So Germany has posters. Lots of them. Everywhere. This week I went to an event at a cute little cinema in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district where Hermann Gröhe, the general secretary of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel’s party, introduced the “second wave” of posters, one of which you see above.Full Article: German election diary: Posters everywhere but no attack ads | The Economist.
Aug 26 2013