• Germany edition
 
Minority chancellor a 'problem' for many voters
Vice Chancellor Rösler with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Minority chancellor a 'problem' for many voters

Published: 13 Feb 2013 10:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Feb 2013 10:51 GMT+01:00

A large majority of Germans have no problem with their Asian vice-chancellor, a new survey suggests. Yet for many voters an ethnic minority or gay national leader would be a step too far.

The vast majority of Germans have no issue with Vice Chancellor and Free Democrat Party (FDP) leader Philipp Rösler's ethnic Vietnamese background, a survey by YouGov published on Tuesday suggested.

The poll comes a less than a week after FDP politician and deputy state premier of Hesse Jörg-Uwe Hahn caused a stir by questioning whether German voters would not accept a "an Asian-looking vice chancellor" for much longer.

Hahn's comments prompted a debate over latent racism in German society after several FDP politicians also said they had often heard voters make racist comments about Rösler.

Yet according to YouGov, just 11 percent of Germans surveyed would describe Finance Minister Rösler's background as "problematic", against 79 percent who said it made no difference to them.

However, for many voters the idea of being ruled by a German chancellor of foreign extraction would be a step too far, figures suggest.

Twenty nine percent said they would not like it if the top spot was given to an ethnic non-German, compared with 11 percent who would welcome it and 46 percent who said they did not mind either way.

Voters would be similarly skeptical about a gay leader, the survey suggested, with 26 percent of participants saying they would not support one. Meanwhile 14 percent said they liked the idea, whereas for the majority - 46 percent - the chancellor's sexuality did not matter.

Interestingly, though a majority said they personally did not have a problem with Rösler's ethnicity, 22 percent said they thought it had a negative effect on the FDP's chances in September's parliamentary election.

Among FDP supporters, this number was lower; with seven percent saying having a party leader of Vietnamese extraction was a problem and 15 percent believing it worsened the party's chances.

The survey polled 1,047 German voters between 8th and 12th February.

DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:04 February 13, 2013 by sonriete
These poll results don't surprise me. Like everywhere else I think the German media and political class is a lot more liberal than the general public. If anything else, people tend to not admit racism to pollsters, anyone of them who did not answer that they "welcomed" the prospect are probably in the opposed category, that is why it is useful to include the "mushy middle" option so those who are opposed but won't say so can decline to say they would welcome it, how can one not welcome it but not be to some degree be opposed?
19:38 February 13, 2013 by George16
So, come on. A nice list of minority ministers we already have: wheel chair, openly gay, women, Bavarians, East Germans, French and Polish origin names. And on top we used to have a half Scotsman as prime minister in Niedersachsen state...
22:53 February 13, 2013 by Englishted
Well they were not always so close minded, if you assume Austrian's were a ethnic minority at some point.
00:19 February 14, 2013 by pepsionice
We are probably only thirty years away from some German who was born in the US....becoming Chancellor.
10:28 February 14, 2013 by Tonne
I'm guessing that they are not so much worried about his ethnicity as they are about his competence as a leader of the FDP and a minister.
Today's headlines
Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Ecclestone bribery trial kicks off in Munich
Bernie Ecclestone in court in Munich on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone bribery trial kicks off in Munich

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Munich on Thursday facing bribery charges in a case which threatens his nearly 40-year-reign of the motor sport. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

Germany arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Advertisement:
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,069
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd