This year will see a lot of elections in Germany, and it may be interesting to see if the weakening of the two major parties, CDU (conservatives) and SPD (social democrats) continues. First of all, there are elections for the European parliament in June. Later this year, the Bundestag (the German Parlament) will be elected. Also the state parliaments of the Bundesländer Saxony, Thuringia, Saarland and there are communal elections in 8 of the 16 Bundesländer. In Hesse there already was the election of the state parlament, re instituting Roland Koch (CDU) as prime Minister, one of the most conservative major politicians in Germany. He governs together with the FDP (libertarians), who gained a lot of votes. In fall last year CDU and FDP did not gain a majority, but the other parties SPD, the greens and the socialist party Die Linke couldn't agree on a coalition government, weakening in first instance the SPD. Currently Germany is governed by a Grand Coalition between CDU and SPD, something both parties aren't too happy with. they'd prefer to coalise with a junior partner, the CDU with the FDP and the SPD with the Greens, while die Linke is seen as a pariah in politics at the counry-level. I don't know how interesting or popular these elections are for non-Germans or Americans, but since there's a thread on the Israeli Knesset election and a shift of power could be quite big this year in the EU's biggest memberstate it may be interesting to follow the development.