Thursday, 30 June 2005

German confidence tricks

Here’s a new one: a parliamentary leader who wants to lose a vote of no confidence:

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.

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.