Thursday, October 13, 2005

First Female German Chancellor

Remember my post on the German election mid-September, the last time we were in Hannover? It was a close race between Schröder and Merkel, with no clear victory for either. Everyone knew it would take a lot of haggling to come up with a winner.

It is now expected that Angela Merkel, a 51-year-old pastor's daughter from behind the Berlin Wall, will be formally elected by the Parliament in the next couple weeks, at which time she will become the first woman and the first person from the former East Germany to serve as chancellor.

And yes, it's happened through a "grand coalition" (Germany's second since WWII), meaning she'll be a Christian Democratic chancellor in a Social Democratic government. That's kinda like saying she'll be a Republican President in a majority Democratic Senate and House, or vice versa. Only time will tell if she can indeed break through the gridlock of Germany's economic stagnation.

Remember Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the UK? Add another strong woman now to the leadership of a country's government. Will our own USA follow suit one of these years with a female President? Wouldn't that be the day!

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