Based on the recent elections in Germany, it is time to talk to the international students at Morningside and ask them what they think about it.
For this article, interviews were conducted with three current/ former international students at Morningside University. But before getting to that point, we should mention the outcome of the election in Germany and explain the way the government is formed after an election.
After 16 years of being the German chancellor, Angela Merkel stepped down from her job, which means that in the recent elections, Germany had to find a worthy successor for her. In Germany, people vote for parties, that then get seats in the German parliament. These parties then form coalitions with each other, as they need at least a 50% majority to govern the country.
In these recent elections the results were as follows:
The current reigning party, the CDU (Christian Democrats) got 24.1% of the overall votes. Their coalition partner, the SPD (Social Democrats) got 25.7% of the votes. The Green party got 14.8%, the FDP (Liberals) 11.5%, and the rest went to the other smaller parties. It will still take some time until the parties have reached a coalition agreement on who will actually govern the country.
The first person interviewed for this topic was Kai Schwägerl. Kai is a senior at Morningside, and he plays on the soccer team. After being asked if he voted, he told me that he did vote but he could only do it with the help of his family. He was able to vote via mail, but only because his parents filled out the voting ballot for him. Kai mentioned how he informed himself about the different parties and their campaigns through German news sites. However, Kai went even deeper and did some more research, to actually make his “final decision on who to vote for”. Kai’s opinion on the outcome of the elections reflects the opinion of a vast majority of Germans, as “it’s been one of the most difficult elections for a long time in Germany. Merkel was there for so long, and now she’s gone. And nobody really knows what to do.” According to him, the biggest party in Germany, the CDU, had to lose a lot of votes, which is exactly what happened. In addition to that, Kai also liked that the Green Party got a lot of votes, because “that’s going to be an important topic for the future”. Nevertheless, Kai also thinks that this election was pretty similar to a lot of elections worldwide. He thinks that the SPD, the Green party and the FDP are going to be the parties that will end up reigning the country, which doesn’t necessarily represent the best option. According to him, “there’s nothing better out there. It is just the lesser evil.”
Another person I interviewed for this story was Constantin Tschernig. Consti is a Junior here at Morningside and also plays on the soccer team. He, unlike Kai, didn’t vote. Consti informed himself who he would vote for if he would be in Germany. He is happy with the way the election results came out, but he doesn’t think a lot will change. In Consti’s opinion, the new government is only going to care more about the climate change, but it is not the “ideal type of government.”
However, he still said that it would be too much work for him to actually vote, which also made him answer the question about his voting behavior very quick. “Yes, I would have voted in Germany and I would have informed himself more.”
Voting in Germany, from another country, is a long process. There is a deadline of 2 months prior to voting, that you have to apply for by filling out a form. Which leads me to my third interviewee for this article.
Usame Suud, a former Morningside student, who played for the Basketball team here. Usame, also called “Usa”, also didn’t vote in Germany. He wasn’t able to vote because he requested the mail vote, but it was too late even though he “requested it a month before the actual election”. From the German government, he only got the notice that he should have done it earlier. In addition to that, Usa also had to have a 7-page form filled out, only to be able to request the mail-vote. Even though all of this happened, Usa still informed himself on the parties’ election campaigns, especially because he thought this election was an important one. Mostly, based on the relevance of the “special situation right now with COVID.” Looking at the results of the election, Usa thinks the coalitions resulting from these votes are all going to be good. “Whatever coalition ends up being the actual government is going to bring some change from the politics from the last 10 or 15 years.”
Lastly, it is very important to mention one thing that ties all the people from this article together. It is the fact that all these people would have looked at the elections differently if they would have been in Germany at that time. Usa would have also done more research and actually would have voted if he would have been in Germany.
Interview with Kai Schwägerl
Interview with Constantin Tschernig
Interview with Usame Suud