Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

German Finance Minister, Vice-Chancellor and the Social Democratic SPD Party's candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz

German Finance Minister, Vice-Chancellor and the Social Democratic SPD Party's candidate for chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for a SPD leadership meeting at the party's headquarters in Berlin on September 27, 2021, one day after general elections. (Photo: Odd Andersen/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Social Democrats, Greens Eye Coalition After Outgoing Merkel's Bloc Ousted in German Elections

Citing the need to act on the climate crisis, center-left SPD leader Olaf Scholz declared that "voters have clearly spoken."

Jon Queally

The center-left Social Democrats took the most parliamentary seats in German elections Sunday as the center-right bloc led by longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel lost ground and the ascendant Greens—energized by the youth vote and with a focus on the climate emergency—picked up a promising number of seats with an eye towards being a crucial member of a yet-to-be-determined coalition government.

"The climate crisis is the leading issue of the next government, and that is for us the basis for any talks," said Annalena Baerbock, leader of the Greens.

With Merkel heading out the door after 16 years in power, the Social Democrats (SPD) led by Olaf Scholz, currently the nation's Finance Minister, took the largest share of seats with 25.7 percent of the total, according to preliminary results. Merkel's governing Union bloc (CDU-CSU), comprised of her Christian Democrats and the Christian Social Union, fell into second by securing 24.1 percent of the vote—the poorest showing for the Bavarian bloc in seven decades and an exiting rebuke of Merkel's hard-driving austerity and divisiveness that has been the centerpiece of her time leading Europe's economic powerhouse.

By securing 14.8 percent of the vote, the Greens in Germany are now poised to become the key party in the forming of any coalition government. Placing fourth, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) secured approximately 11.5 percent of the vote and could—paired with Schotz's SPD and the Greens led by Annalena Baerbock—form the basis of the most likely coalition to lead the 735-seat Bundestag.

"Voters have clearly spoken,” a victorious Scholz told reporters Monday morning from party headquarters. "They have said who should build the next government by strengthening three parties, the Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Free Democrats. Consequently, that is the clear mandate that voters of this country have given, that these three parties should create the next government.”

Election results

With final results yet to come and the prospect of coalition talks that could take months, Merkel will remain as Chancellor in a caretaker role until a new government is formed.

"What we can clearly see right now is that we have two potential kingmakers in this party landscape, one is the Green Party, and the other are the liberal Free Democrats," explained Melinda Crane, chief political correspondent for Deutsche Welle. "Those are the two parties that are essentially now at the disposition of the bigger parties as the talk about trying to form a government."

"The SPD and the Greens have a lot of commonality," added Crane. "But there are quite a few big gaps between the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats. The one thing to keep your eye on now in the coming days is how do they position themselves vis a vis each other?"

Coalition options for German elections

In his remarks, Schotz said "the mandate for us is to do what the people want,” which was "to lead a good government that will set the course for the decade ahead, to bring more respect into society, to modernize our industrial sector and to halt the man-made climate change."

According to the New York Times:

The progressive, environmentalist Greens appeared to make significant gains since the 2017 election but seemed to fall short of having a viable shot at the chancellery. That positions the Greens, as well as the business-friendly Free Democrats, to join the next government. They will play a key role in deciding what the next German government could look like, depending on which of the larger parties they would like to govern with. 

On the outer edge of the political spectrum, support for the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, appeared roughly unchanged, while the Left party appeared to be hovering on the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in Parliament.

For the Greens, Baerbock admitted her party's third-place showing was not quite as strong as they had hoped, but said it was clear that the increased number of seats won proves that both young people and those concerned about the planetary climate crisis want their voices heard.

"The climate crisis," Baerbock said Monday, "is the leading issue of the next government, and that is for us the basis for any talks" about a coalition government.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·

Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo