Hey, everyone!

The weather here in Freiburg was absolutely beautiful, so today my tandem partner and I decided to meet at the Seepark, which is basically the area surrounding Fl├╝ckigersee, a small lake in the neighborhood of Betzenhausen. Lots of people were there, and we saw lots of turtles, fish, and ducks. This is probably the nicest weather I’ve experienced in Freiburg thus far; I hope it never goes away!

Today is also Europawahl, which means that Germans have the chance to vote for the European Parliament. Citizens of Freiburg also have their local elections today! Politically, Freiburg is a very liberal city; this has a lot to do with its green surroundings (more liberal parties are likely to protect the natural environment), as well as the fact that this is a city full of university students. The Green Party and the CDU are very popular at the local level. I expect high voter turnout because Freiburg is a very politically conscious place. It’s interesting observing elections here because there are so many different parties to choose from. They practice proportional representation as opposed to First Past the Post, which means that smaller parties have a chance to get some power in the larger political system. I won’t inject my personal beliefs into this post, but I do think that Germans appreciate being able to vote for so many different parties. Polarization still occurs in German politics, but it takes the form of coalitions rather than a bipolar bloc system. I appreciate the fact that I am here for the parliamentary elections; I support democracy and enjoy seeing people who take their right to vote seriously.

I’ll also be going to Padua and Venice starting on Wednesday, so that’s something to look forward to!

Until next time!

~Derrick ­čÖé