Flood of candidates in bamberg overwhelms many

flood of candidates in bamberg overwhelms many

Frensdorf's mayor jakobus kotzner (CSU) looks forward to sunday's election with mixed feelings. He worries that there could be unprecedented lines at polling places in his community. In the rest of the region, too, there could be a state of emergency in front of the voting booth. The reason: the five (!) referendums on constitutional change are still virtually unknown just a few days before the election.

But there is no need for the perplexity that could creep up on the uninformed in the face of complicated legal accompanying texts: the decisions are hardly controversial and constitutional changes that have been approved by a large majority of the state parliament and on which the people now have the right to vote yes or no. Many will bury the additions to the constitution, which are supposed to demand equal living conditions in bavaria as well as voluntary work and provide for a debt brake for the budget.

Nevertheless, the confusion surrounding the referendums, which are overshadowed by the state elections, is symptomatic of an election fall that, despite all the promotional hype, is accompanied by a fair amount of disinformation. It's not just the visually unstoppable and record-breakingly coarse circle of candidates in the cityscape – it's also the still unknown voting district boundaries of three elections that simply overwhelm a large number of burgers. The current agony with the election can best be seen in the explosion in the number of brieahlwunschen. Christine feldbauer from the city of bamberg's public order office says that this year the applications are "just flying around the ears". Many people seem to want to make their decisions calmly, which is understandable, but comes at a price: "the cost of the double vote is immense", says feldbauer.

Even at the front of the information booths, political actors have to spend an unusual amount of time this year on grassroots information. For the SPD candidate for the state parliament, felix holland, the composition of the constituencies is habitual. Secretary of state melanie huml also speaks of a high need for information.

CSU defends direct mandates?
Despite the large number of direct candidates (25 in total), the excitement in the state elections in the bamberg-city and bamberg-country constituencies is limited. In view of the favorable forecasts for the CSU, it will surprise no one if the two holders of the direct mandates, state secretary melanie huml and heinrich rudrof (both CSU), were able to defend their mandates. At best the result and the relation to the second vote result of the party could be a gauge for its popularity. This was mainly because the CSU suffered heavy losses in 2008.

The result is much more unpredictable in the case of mandates awarded via the list proposals, which account for half of all seats. There is a certain likelihood that the bamberg area will gain additional strength in munich in 2013. This "third delegate according to the augurs, one of the candidates could be the greens, which would result in a head-to-head race between andreas losche and ursula sowa. Whoever comes out on top in the end will not depend on their position on the list, but on the first and second votes, which are added together in the bavarian state elections, unlike in the federal elections.

4000 students more
According to the latest forecast by the election research group, the green party's share of the vote, at ten percent, is pointing downward again. Nevertheless, both bavaria and losche are sure that even a result of nine percent for the greens in bavaria would be enough to give an additional bamberger a ticket to munich. The speculation does not seem entirely absurd: for years, the bamberg area has been considered a stronghold of the greens in upper franconia, a role that may have been further enhanced by the growth of the bamberg university by 4000 students since the last election. Whether the hopes of the alternatives will come true depends, of course, on whether the FDP passes the five-percent threshold and how well the free voters do. In an august survey of upper franconia, the hamburger institute election zumindest determined that the CSU would win all direct mandates. In addition, eight mandates were distributed in the government district via the list: four for the SPD and two each for freie wahler and the greens.

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