March 05, 2003

The (Muslim) German Swing Vote?

The (Muslim) German Swing Vote?

Are electoral politics another variable fueling the trans-atlantic rift?

Key language: "In Germany and elsewhere in Europe, a Muslim swing vote is already having a critical impact. Consider the electoral push that newly enfranchised “German Turks” gave to Germany’s incumbent Social Democrat (SPD)-Green coalition in last September’s down-to-the-wire election. These Muslim Germans punished the anti-immigrant Christian Democrats, who oppose Turkey’s membership to the EU. And they expressed their gratitude for efforts by the SPD-Green coalition to change the archaic laws of German citizenship. The bad news for the German Christian Democrats is that in the next general elections in 2006, roughly 1 million German Turks will be eager to cast their votes. A big boost to the organizational capacity of Muslims in Europe came most recently from France, home to Europe’s largest Muslim community. The country’s diverse Muslim community is now represented by a unified French Council of the Islamic Faithu—a potential boon to its lobbying clout. French Muslims have also gained higher political visibility with the inclusion in Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s government of two cabinet members of North African origin."

Posted by Gregory at March 5, 2003 12:42 AM
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