WEST GERMANY: All Over but the Acrimony

The campaign produces more invective than serious debate

It had been billed as Das Duell (The Duel), and it was expected that the West German election campaign pitting Chancellor Helmut Schmidt against Conservative Challenger Franz Josef Strauss would be a stimulating confrontation of intellects and ideologies. Instead, halfway to the Oct. 5 election, it has been a disappointment, practically devoid of serious debate on the issues and degenerating easily into mudslinging and character assassination. The battle seems to be all over but the invective: Schmidt's coalition of Social Democrats and Free Democrats is a heavy favorite to defeat the Christian...

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