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Signs of Hope – A continuing series November 17, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Feeling better this week than last, sort of kind of. How’s about all of you?

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1. Gewerkschaftler - November 17, 2016

Die Linke, SPD and Green negotiotiators have in Berlin (populaton 3.5 million = 76% of the RoI’s) agreed a programme of government for the region / city.

At 300 pages it’s the biggest programme of government ever published. The reason for the was the desire to nail the SPD to specific concrete commitments and appropriate funding. The experience of previous SPD/Linke coalitions is that unless you do the SPD will lead you round by the nose.

The SPD and the Greens in Berlin are significantly to the left of their national parties, thus the common ground. Even so the negotiations meant weeks of 16-hour a day haggling.

The departments were divvied up with SPD getting 4 and Greens and die Linke 3. There are some impressive people in charge of the departments, die Linke fielding two good women and one man in the fields of housing, work and social security and culture. A decent woman from the SPD is in charge of education. The gender mix should be about equal in the ‘cabinet’. At least one openly gay member (die Linke), quite possibly more.

The SPD retain the veto-department of finance and at least one of their department heads was suspected of dubious dealings in the last Berlin government.

I haven’t read the document in full, just the briefings that were put out by the party – but key I understand is a certain amount of ‘creative accounting’ to get around the fiscal restrictions imposed by central government. We’ll see how that goes.

There have been roars of outrage from property speculators and their bought and sold for political mouthpieces in the CDU and FDP. Which is a good sign.

Everyone agreed not to talk to the AfD about anything, even though the chance to change the constitution is thereby foregone. die Linke wanted to make public referenda easier to start through constitutional change but have achieved an agreement that voting for these should occur on days when other votes are taking place.

I’ll write more about the programme when I’ve had a chance to read the whole document and decide how I’ll vote.

The SPD and Greens will have representative conferences to decide whether to go into government, die Linke has the most democratic process with a one-member-one-vote ballot that will take place on the 7th of December.

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2. entdinglichung - November 17, 2016
makedoanmend - November 17, 2016

Excellent news.

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3. Sean Munger - November 17, 2016

I’m an American. I was, like so many others, devastated and bewildered by last week’s results. On many levels I still am. On some others, I think I’m doing a little better. Climate change is a very important issue to me, and in the immediate aftermath of the election it seemed especially heartbreaking to realize that the result could mean, in the words of some scientists, “game over” for the planet. However, on reflection I don’t believe it is. Far from it. In fact these election results provide us opportunities as well as challenges to focus on issues like climate change, and, in kind of a weird contrarian way, a new impetus to make headway.

None of the things that people are rightfully concerned about–climate change, racism, lack of access to health care, women’s reproductive rights, etc.–none of those issues are going away. The most powerful of men can’t wish these issues away, and refusing to address them (or actively making them worse) will carry consequences. I’ve been trying to rise above the sound and fury, the angry buzzing on social media, the “sign this petition” posts that have been junking up my Twitter and Facebook, the poor reporting by the media with clickbaity headlines. For me, cutting through all that and treating it like the distraction it is has been crucial in gaining perspective.

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