CNN reported Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will call a vote of confidence in the German parliament on Friday as part of his plan to hold early elections. Schroeder is hoping he will lose the vote of deputies in the Bundestag, a move that would allow him to resign as chancellor and call fresh elections in the autumn -- probably in mid-September. He would then begin campaigning for a fresh mandate to push through tough economic reforms.
What makes him think he would get a mandate for tough economic reforms. He just might lose everything.Schroeder called for early elections after his party, the Social Democrats, lost a crucial regional election on May 22. A national poll was not due until 2006. He has tried to spur the sluggish economy and reduce unemployment by trimming costs to business, but the moves have met resistance within his party. He told the Bundestag on Monday that he would be seeking the vote of confidence. For Schroeder to lose, some deputies in his ruling coalition, which holds a thin majority, would have to vote against him or abstain. In the lead-up to the vote, only one minister had publicly announced he would abstain. The plan could also fail if Schroeder wins the vote with the support of some opposition deputies, who fear they could lose they seats in an early election. But even if the plan succeeds, Germany's President Hoerst Koehler could refuse to dissolve the Bundestag on the grounds that the vote has been manipulated.
He should, because Schroeder is clearly manipulating things in an effort to grab more power.
Chris Lawrence blogged There’s some background on Germany’s rather unusual confidence procedures here at Wikipedia (the standard Wikipedia caveat applies)—there are actually two different types of confidence vote, one of which replaces the chancellor (the “constructive” vote that most comparative politics textbooks talk about) and the other of which requests (but does not require) that the president call new elections.
Gerry @DalyThoughts blogged One heck of a gambit. If he pulls it off, then there will be an election within 60 days, and polls show him trailing Angela Merkel by a significant amount. Schroeder must be of a mindset that the state of the German economy is going to be worse when the national election is currently scheduled for in 2006 than it is now, and that he can somehow reverse the recent poll numbers in a short timeframe.