Sunday, September 27, 2009

Germany Votes

This morning when I woke up, I dusted off the remote control for some “Lazy Sunday” channel surfing. I am a professional channel surfer. Seriously, if channel surfing were an Olympic sport, I would be on the podium. Despite the PGA Championships and NFL football, I started my day with live video from the BBC covering the Elections in Germany. I was very pleased to see that one of my favourite women on the planet, Angela Merkel won another election. As an aside; I’m sorry Angela but you will never unseat Aung San Suu Kyi as my nominee for greatest woman alive. Maria Sharapova is also very high on my list, but for entirely different reasons...

The Germans do a fascinating thing on election night; they gather the leaders of all the political parties in a media moderated roundtable discussion of what the country needs to do now. I watched Merkel speak her piece live on the BBC, and I felt a feeling of comfort. I have never met Angela Merkel, and I have never been to Germany. She has been in the international spotlight for a few years now and it feels like the more I listen to her, the more I trust her. What is exciting is that the “center-right” Libertarians won enough votes that she can craft a more natural coalition. She does not need to appease socialists, and now has the freedom to govern more pragmatically. Thank you Germany. I’m still a tiny bit “unsettled” about that whole Nazi blunder, but I really like where you’re heading. There is room for Christian Conservatives and Libertarians to get along and govern.

Anyone who is educated in international economics knows how much Germany matters. The “made in Germany” label is arguably the highest quality on the planet. They don’t just shit out a ton of cheap goods like China does; Germany makes the best high grade products. If you need some new ferries, buy them from the Krauts. Don’t try to make them yourselves. Don’t give the contracts to your friends at the ship workers union who don’t build fast ferries to build cutting edge technology. That is a disaster waiting to happen (and yes, I am talking to you BC NDP, you heard me). My grandmother was "made in Germany" (but as I've said, her parents had the good sense to get the hell out of the Deutschland BEFORE the World Wars).

I also take comfort in the general European political trend line. They are transitioning out of a socialist cycle. They tried it out, experienced it, thought about it and have been experiencing “buyers remorse”. I am cheering for you Europe. In the big picture, we are on the same team. Canadian Liberals are trying to convince us to elect a Czarist-Englishman to be Prime Minister, but nobody is buying it.

"In Critical and baffling situations, it is always best to return to first principle and simple action"

- Sir Winston S. Churchill


  1. I'm glad Merkel won and everything, but just for your information Chinese products are just cheap goods. There are cheaper goods, and increasingly higher line ones too (electronics). In 10 or 20 years we will see world class Chinese innovation. These were the same people who invented the compass, paper, gunpowder, etc.

  2. *are not just cheap goods

  3. You are correct, that was not an entirely fair statement about Chinese goods. But as a low income consumer who buys lots of Chinese electronics because I can't afford the alternative, those "higher line" goods break down a lot. Except my IPod. It has been remarkably durable.

    Don't worry, I have a piece titled "I love Asians" in the pipeline. But it is one of the subjects that I want to think about for a while, so I opted for "save draft" instead of "publish post". The Chinese will get their proper recognition from me in the near future.