I’m in Crikey today with an update on the German coalition talks and some reflections on the very different expectations as to timing between Europe and Australia:
To an Australian eye this is all deeply peculiar. Australian governments are almost always sworn in within about a week of the election, ready to start work again. The fact that they might benefit from a period of rest and reflection after the stresses of an election campaign seems not to register at all.
… Could it be that Australians think government is so important that the idea of being without one for more than a week is unbearable? Surely not. Perhaps it’s the reverse: Europeans rely more on government, so it’s regarded as more important to get the formation of it right, and therefore worth taking the time over?
Despite the leisurely process, there doesn’t seem much doubt about the outcome. The Greens are participating in talks with the Christian Democrats only half-heartedly, while there’s no sign of any enthusiasm from the Social Democrats for trying to put together a broad left coalition. Almost certainly, CDU and SDP will end up in a grand coalition.
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