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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 September 2005, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
German voters' views: Marion Calvert
Marion Calvert
Name: Marion Calvert
Age: 41
Lives: Weeze
Works: Housewife
Current voting intention: Undecided

I will either vote for the FDP or the SPD.

I think the FDP is the least evil of all the parties!

But a vote for them would also be a vote for Angela Merkel and the CDU, which I am reluctant to do.

People are fed up with the current regime, but I don't think things will get any better under Merkel.

I honestly don't think she would implement much change.

I may vote for the SPD and simply hope things get better.

Unfortunately politicians in Germany don't go out and canvass people on the doorstep.

If you are lucky you get a leaflet pushed through the letterbox or they might talk to you at a stall in the High Street but that's all.

Nobody here seems to be interested in getting my vote. As a result, I'm not sure where the parties stand on the issues.


I would vote for any party that makes it easier to get a job or become self-employed.

I would like to get back to work but am finding it difficult. I am trained in accountancy and health care.

I want to see less bureaucracy when it comes to finding a job.

The government should make it possible for people like me to get back to work without the need to have all the necessary certificates or qualifications.

I would also like to see a free health service, similar to the NHS in the UK. The health service here is good, but expensive.

I will make my mind up who to vote for by polling day on Sunday.

But it's really up to the parties to convince me to vote for them.

Send us your reaction to Marion's views using the form below.

Your comments:

It is not a question of who wants Marion's vote, but who Marion wants to give her vote to. Her decision along with those taken by her fellow Germans will have an impact on the country's future and determine Germany's role in the world economy. If Germany wants to remain a economic might, it needs reform and it needs it now.

The little I know about the German economy and current political climate is enough for me agree that change must happen. If you are not interested in Merkel, and therefore the FDP, then a vote for another smaller party might be good - a protest, but also a viable alternative. The Linkspartei (PDS) are looking good for 3rd place in this election, and would probably scare the CDU and SPD into making red noises. As for the bureaucracy involved in getting a job - I suppose it depends on what job you are after, but checks and qualifications are important to make sure that you are up to the job in theory before they put it into practice. And good on you for wanting a system like the NHS! Despite the recent PFI scams, the NHS is still very good, but we have a long way to go to restore to its Bevanist routes.
Alex, Cambridge, UK

The UK makes for an interesting comparison but not necessarily a desirable one. The free NHS is free. It is also a shambles. One waits for many months for treatment which one can obtain more or less immediately in countries like France and Germany. Likewise on employment, jobs are very easy to find in the UK. If you want a job you can get one. But they buy you very little: houses are unaffordable, the streets are filled with traffic and crime makes it a pretty unsafe place to be. Much of that, both the availability of jobs and the lack of social cohesion is due to Conservative (Thatcherite) policies. If you want jobs, by all means vote Conservative. But be warned, it will be at the price of your society!
Michael Greenbaum, Strasbourg, France

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