After dubious elections in Iran, Afghanistan and Kenya in the past year, and a stolen 2000 election in the U.S. whose impact will long be felt, this report from the New Yorker's George Packer on a placid German election in which Angela Merkel was re-elected chancellor is refreshing:
"Germany held an election yesterday, though you might not have noticed if you don’t live there. I barely noticed, and I’ve been in Berlin for the past three weeks. True, there are posters of candidates’ faces on streetlamps around the city—charmingly un-slick posters like those of a race for county commissioner in central Ohio. The photo of Angela Merkel, with her pudgy smile, makes the German chancellor look like a grade-school principal. But even compensating for my American-level expectation of political drama, there has been a distinct lack of excitement in the air. After a candidates’ debate, the headline in a German tabloid wisecracked, 'Yes We Gahn' (to get the joke, you’d need to know that gahn means yawn, which had to be explained to me)."
Blogger Andrew Sullivan adds: Of course, boring politics in Germany is always good news. In successful countries, politics is always boring. It's life that's interesting.