Sat. Oct 23rd, 2021

German election updates

Goodbye status quo, hello future is a funny slogan for campaigns for the Greens in Germany during this parliamentary election. Unfortunately for them, this is probably only half true.

It is likely, though not inevitable, that the environmentally conscious party will join the next federal government. If the polls are to be believed, it is on track to almost double its 2017 share of 8.4 percent of the vote.

Under the current pragmatic leadership, it is the convincing coalition partner for either the center-left Social Democrats or center-right Christian Democrats. It will claim powerful ministerial positions and express the agenda of aggressive action to combat carbon emissions, higher public investment, tax increases on the rich and a more critical attitude towards China and Russia. The party is more united and better prepared as when from 1998-2005 it shared power with the center-left. In a time of climate emergency, this should be his moment.

Similarly, the moment for the Greens of Germany will always lie in the future. And if they can not have a big impact now, after the western regions of the country were devastated this summer by floods attributed to climate change, what hope do the green parties have elsewhere in Europe?

If the Greens win 16 percent of the vote, as polls suggest, they will see it as a disappointment. In April, after the election Annalena Baerbock as their first chancellor ever, they rise to an astonishing 25-28 percent in the polls. Baerbock looked like fresh air, measured against her old opponents, Armin Laschet for the CDU and SPDs Olaf Scholz, two veteran male politicians married to the status quo.

But the bubble soon burst when the German media, sometimes with sexist overtones, began to question the suitability of a young politician with no executive experience for the chancellery. Allegations that Baerbock decorated her resume and plagiarized passages in her book contributed to the nutrition frenzy. In an unusually personalized election campaign, the Green candidate has become too big a gamble for German voters who still cherish the stable leadership of Angela Merkel. Many apparently switched their support to Scholz, who presented himself as an unashamed leader in the Merkel form.

Some Greens will regret not choosing Robert Habeck, their other, more experienced co-leader. But the choice of figurine head is an inadequate explanation for the disappearance of the fate of the greens. Habeck told the FT this month that it was ‘impossible to say’ whether it was caused by ‘Annalena’s problems’ or the fact that many voters are still deterred by the image of the Greens, which is being propagated by his opponents. , as ”ban party”, A party that wants to ban the petrol and diesel cars and short-haul flights that still haunt German hearts. Habeck’s message is that the other parties are not telling the truth about the sacrifices needed for carbon emissions. But most Germans do not want to hear.

In the final stages of the campaign, the Greens find themselves in a battle between CDU and SDP. If they want to enter the government, it will probably be in a three-party coalition involving the Liberals Free Democrats, which is strongly opposed to green plans for tax increases on the rich, regulatory action to reduce carbon emissions or change Germany’s debt rules.

A goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 55 percent in nine years will reform economic policies in Germany and across the EU. So far, green parties – absent in large parts of southern and eastern Europe and largely marginal – have failed to capitalize, although they can claim to have pulled mainstream parties in their direction. The Greens of Germany are a rare exception. But the status quo is not over yet.

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