My husband was filling out his absentee ballot the other day and it dawned on me just how radically different German and American elections are.

Sure, I noticed that there were a lot of political posters around over the last few weeks, but basically with the exception of one (!) debate, that was about all the hype that surrounds the election. Unlike the American 24 month long orgy of political ads, money spending, breathless horse-race prognostications and tribal blood sport activities which bring small children to tears the German elections are decidedly sane and low-key.

As a result my commentary is limited to the TV ads from the two main parties Mr.Wahlmünchner recently brought to my attention.

Let’s start with the one for Angela Merkel of the CDU:

There’s an upbeat loop of guitar music in the background, she’s looking over an industrial, urban scene suggesting the current economic might of Deutschland, the result of decisions she’s made despite all kinds of naysayers and outside pressure (you go girl!) She makes all the right noises about building something together, her vision for the country, etc. Sure she’s a little jowl-y, but she’s working hard and wearing a smart red suit. Sold! she’s got my vote.

And then there’s this from the opposing SPD Party, which inspired the title for this post:

Here, we’re treated to a bunch of whiners in an ad that seems to glorify the German talent for jammern (sorry!) I may agree with what these these everyday people are saying (yes, there should be accessible, affordable child care, and enough money for future pensions, the banks suck etc.) but somehow they way it’s presented brings out my American distaste for complaining. It is a total turn off. And then in the end some gray nobody in a suit shows up behind the podium and says ‘I’m mister boring, please vote for me, blah blah blah’.  


I can’t vote in Germany, but being a Democrat, by 1:1 extension I should feel an affinity for the SPD party. But alas, I grew up in Hollywood (well, very close to it) and until you get that part of it right…I just can’t feel ya man.

Posted by:eleanormayrhofer

2 replies on “The Worst Political Ad I Have Ever Seen

  1. It could be my lack of German (I've been studying for only a few months now, and I have to admit I had no idea what the people in the ad said) or my immersion in the US political bleargh…but I didn't get the badness of this ad. I was trying to *hear* the whine, but I think maybe German language doesn't lend itself well to whine. (Or maybe it totally does? I'd have to live there to know.) Just be glad you're not in the US, where they're already talking 2016 elections. Blech.Anyway…I wanted to tell you thank you for the amazing Munich guide you wrote for Design Sponge. I'll be in Munich for a week next month, and your guide has given me SO much inspiration. And your blog is also fantastic!

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