Edna Hass, an Israeli of German descendants, in general does not think highly of politicians but Angela Merkel is different and she will vote for her. "She is touched by her past," Ms. Hass said. "We need her to stand up to Putin, Trump, Erdogan, that crazy guy in North Korea." She is an older Israeli freshly turned German and talked to friends and followed chats on Facebook before deciding how to vote in Sunday’s election. She is sickened at the prospects of the AfD – "the Nazis, I will call them what they are" – entering the Bundestag.
It's the first time Yesser Afghani has voted in an election where his choice might make a difference. Voting "is interesting and different and important," he told Handelsblatt Global. He is a politics student from Syria who moved to Germany eight years ago and became a citizen this year. He is reading the programs and still figuring out which party to pick. In Syria, there were no elections, just referendums where it didn't matter whether people wrote "yes" or "no."
British Gaby Pinkner moved to Germany in 2000 and can finally vote. "Now I have the chance, it feels like quite a responsibility. It’s not about voting for the party I want to win like it is in the UK, it’s about the kind of coalition I’d like to see," she told Handelsblatt Global. "For me personally SPD would probably be best; for my freelance husband FDP; for my kids, the Greens with their commitment to investing in education. But for Germany, I feel like Angela Merkel is still the best person to represent us in an increasingly populist world." She is reading “Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls” with her two daughters and the stories of Emily Pankhurst and Kate Sheppard remind her how important it is to use the vote those women fought for.
Samuel Drapeau is a math professor from France teaching in Shanghai, and became a German citizen four years ago, too late for the last election. This time, he'll choose based on how the parties address politics, international affairs, and specifically Brexit and China. Come Sunday, his decision will be based on knowledge of the parties gleaned from the German and English-language press available in China.
Charlotte Noblet, a French journalist based in Marseille, lived in Berlin for eight years and has voted in the German elections. She decided deliberately not to vote on Sunday, telling Handelsblatt Global, "I want to vote where I live. that is why I became a German citizen – as a Berliner, I wanted to vote in Germany. But now I live in Marseille and vote in France. For me, the right to vote should be tied to where people live, not to their nationality. That's my view as a citizen – though I'm not sure whether this is a French or a German thought!"