Schroeder getting setup for a huge defeat this weekend.
Germany: This would be the worst in a string of election defeats and harm his run for a third term. Now if he were to take a page out of Paul Martin's book, he would have send money to the region to pay them off. But Germany is not a banana republic.
|BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats trail opposition conservatives in the run-up to Sunday's elections in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, which has been ruled by the SPD for the past 39 years. Defeat for Schroeder's party could trigger a political earthquake in Berlin and fuel battles over new directions for SPD to restore its fortunes. It would also badly damage the Chancellor's bid to win a third term in next year's national elections, analysts say. North Rhine-Westphalia is crucial for a series of reasons, not least because its government is the last copy in any of Germany's 16 Laender (federal states) of the SPD-Greens coalition which rules in Berlin.|