Monday, June 14, 2010

Südspange : Nein Danke

[ South Crossing : No Thanks ]

I anticipated early on that working for two different, and generally opposite leaning, political parties would have me confront a few conflicting views on issues. This became very apparent recently as signs and stickers across Göttingen are encouraging citizens to vote in regards to a prospective south highway to be built through the city. Working for the green party, I caught a lot of the details behind this project since the Greens collectively disagree with the project. They believe that the negative aspects of increased traffic, as well as other costs including construction, noise etc. would outweigh the positive aspects of having the highway. [ they also are strong supporters of train travel over auto travel at all costs as well. ]

Working for the FDP however had me working in offices with many different viewpoints. Leaning more towards a capitalist approach to economics, the FDP would fully support a new highway, aside from its ecological setbacks, since the increased traffic and ease of interconnectivity would make Göttingen more accessible and an economic hub.

As a matter of fact, a few months ago I traveled along with my boss, Bundestag representative Dr. Knopek, to a city about an hour away from Göttingen. We were invited to see the progress of another highway currently under construction that won bids through voting just a year or two before. The experience was interesting of course, seeing the plans on the blueprint and then seeing the highway take shape around us. With the present Dorfs [villages] and hilly landscape, it was also interesting to see how the highway weaved its way through the obstacles. [ It is incredible to me as well how new highways generally are in Europe compared to the states, with Germany still in the process of creating a highways system, and Poland... well, from experience, lets say they have a long way to go]

[ May 25th - June 14th, citizen vote for the south crossing. Please participate. ]

Through both praktikums, I was able to see the pros and cons of both views on these types of projects, but it only emphasized further that my internship experiences here have provided me with very diverse views on German positions on their nation’s future, including topics such as atomic and alternative energy and social welfare to name a few.