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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Das Siebensjahreitschgesetz; Or, Pauli-Wahl - nuts

'In a few years, no doubt, marriage licenses will be sold like dog licenses, good for a period of twelve months, with no law against changing dogs or keeping more than one animal at a time.' - Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932), Foreword.

Yet another "Gabriel[l][e] vs conservative politicians" news item for this week. When, oh when, will right-of-centre political parties learn that it's a bad idea to endorse twice-divorced 50-something redheads who subsequently come out with embarrassing public pronouncements, who pose for kitschy photos, who engage in tasteless media stunts, and whose names contain the letters P, A, U, L and I...?

A conservative German politician has proposed making marriage contracts expire after seven years, with the option to renew for those not feeling the proverbial itch. "I propose that marriages lapse after seven years," Gabriele Pauli told reporters in Munich, the capital of the largely Catholic southern state of Bavaria. "This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your [sic] vows if you still want to continue."

Ms Pauli, 50, has been divorced twice. The proposal is part of her manifesto as she prepares to contest the leadership of Bavaria's governing party, the ultra-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), next week. The CSU is the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the leadership is being vacated by a strategic ally of the chancellor, Edmund Stoiber, who has also been premier of Bavaria for more than a decade. Mr Stoiber in January agreed to step down at the end of September after a party rebellion led by Ms Pauli. Shortly afterward he announced his decision, Ms Pauli caused a stir by posing for magazine pictures as a dominatrix wearing long latex gloves. - AFP, "Politician proposes seven-year limit on marriages," Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News (20 September 2007)

For those who aren't au fait with Germanic politics, the Bavarian CSU is roughly the German equivalent of the Queensland National Party (down to having its own version of the failed " Joh For PM" campaign). So this would be like, say, Fiona Simpson supporting no-fault divorce (as an alternative to judicially amputating a finger or two from the at-fault spouse).

Given Ms Pauli's rather disconcerting resemblance in certain respects to Helen Buday in Alexandra's Project, dissolving her marriages every seven years might come as something of a relief to the menschvolk of Germany.

PS (1): India Knight gives her views on the proposed Pauli-ine Privilege.

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