When politics is only “skin-deep”


IN GERMANY, POLITICS HAS traditionally been a serious business. But this year, with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU)  expected to continue its uninspiring grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) following the September 27 election, all parties are willing to take a few more chances than usual and even show a little skin. And yet, even in this traditionally sexist society there are still a few no-go zones that one enters at one’s peril.

The new trend really got going in early August, when shapely fifty-seven year-old CDU candidate Vera Lengsfeld, a former East German dissident from the hip Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, posed for an electoral poster alongside a stock image of an equally ample Chancellor Angela Merkel above the words “We have more to offer.” Merkel’s own wildly controversial photo, showing her in a low cut dress at an opera performance in Oslo, Norway, had already hit the tabloids a year earlier…



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