On Saturday (August 30th), after receiving an honorary doctorate from the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in Saxony, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her wish to “return to the academic world”: “When I am no longer the Prime Minister. All the universities that have given me an honorary doctorate will receive my message. When I return, I will not have a short stay like today.”
The local elections were held on Sunday (August 31) in the former East German state of Saxony and Brandenburg. The two local elections, which were originally related to local affairs and rarely asked questions, became a key glimpse of the survival of the German Federal ruling coalition and the re-department of the German multi-party political sect under the separatist situation in German politics. The outcome will of course also affect when Merkel will return to the academic world.
This election is a major challenge for the two traditional German Democratic Commonwealth (CDU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD): Saxony has been governed by the CDU since the reunification of East and West Germany; the state of Brandenburg is also the home camp of the Social Democratic Party. . However, both parties are seriously threatened by the German Alternative Choice Party (AfD), which has risen since the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015.
CDU: An alliance with the far-right “Faust”?
In Saxony, the CDU’s support was only 29.7%, which was nearly 10% lower than the 2014 vote. The Alternative Party had 24.8% support, up nearly 15% from 2014. Even if we do not consider the factors that may be higher in the choice of party voters, the CDU will become the largest party with nearly 30% of the votes. To form a stable government, there are only two choices: one is with the Left Party (Die Linke). The Social Democratic Party, the Democratic Party and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) form a highly unstable four-party alliance; the second is a “devil trade” with the alternative party that has been crowded out in the political circles of Germany.
Although Merkel’s intentional cultivation successor, CDU President and Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has alluded to any person who is willing to cooperate with the Alternative Party is similar to the murderer, but the CDU’s Local forces have voiced their voices to say that they should be open to alternative parties: Some people say that if they insist on crowding out alternative parties, they will only make it easier for the latter to fight the “anti-establishment” propaganda war; some people say that if they choose to avoid re-election, if they choose alternatives The party is the only viable coalition ally and has to do it.
The modern German literary tradition comes from Goth’s Faust. The successive causal contradictions of “transaction with the devil” should be no stranger to the leaders of the CDU. As for how to make a choice, it seems that it will always be a political gamble.
Social Democratic Party: between alliance and self-reliance
On the other hand, in the state of Brandenburg, the support of the Social Democrats fell by nearly 11% to 20.9% compared to the results of the 2014 vote, while the support of the Alternative Party has nearly doubled to 20.7%. Although the two parties are shackled, on the one hand, the old political parties on the other side of the river, and on the other side are the emerging ultra-right forces that have pushed down the Berlin wall. The enthusiasm of the voters of both sides is naturally higher. This election campaign may make the Alternative Party become the largest party in Germany for the first time and reinvigorate the party.
Since the rise of the alternative party is no longer news, people are more concerned about the future direction of the Social Democratic Party. Since the defeat of the European Parliament election at the end of May, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party has been vacant and led by a transitional structure of three people. The biggest controversy within the Social Democratic Party is whether it should withdraw from the ruling coalition with Merkel, and rebuild its support, or stay in the alliance, so as not to lose the seats in advance elections.
Although the Social Democratic Party’s heavyweight and current finance minister, Olaf Scholz, has announced his candidacy for the party’s chairmanship, and he clearly supports the existing ruling coalition, he will review the alliance with the CDU in the latter part of this year and anticipate In December, the next Social Democratic Party will be elected. If the local elections are defeated again, the grassroots public opinion within the party will be pushed to the path of independent alliance, forcing Germany to advance in advance (and Merkel will also seek university teaching early).
However, the early election is not what Merkel wants. First, the German economy contracted by 0.1% in the second quarter of this year, and the Bundesbank has warned that the third quarter may again contract, causing the German economy to fall into recession. In this situation, the Merkel government is worried about how to avoid the German tradition of maintaining fiscal surplus on the one hand, and to revitalize the economy on the other. At this time, the general election will only create greater uncertainty for the German economic outlook, and for Merkel, who will not seek re-election, it is also a very imperfect political career.
Traditional political parties: losing to the potential rather than losing to others?
More importantly, Merkel’s successor, Karen Bauer, is still “a fight”. When she became the party chairman in December 2018, the CDU’s poll was still around 30%, and has now fallen to around 26%.
In addition to not enjoying the party’s reputation, Karen Bauer himself has repeatedly lost his words. She once ridiculed the third-sex bathroom “only for men who don’t know whether to stand or urinate”; after the European Parliament election, she accused the online video against the CDU, suggesting that it should be strictly Regulate these statements. A similar slogan can be regarded as a fuel for the CDU’s failure, and it also makes Karenbauer incapable of taking on the responsibility of “inheriting Merkel’s clothes.”
Karen Bauer succeeded Ursula von der Leyen, the next European Commission chairman, as the defense minister in July. It was Merkel’s last chance for her. She hoped that the German defense would be reorganized and expanded. The Germans proved their abilities.
However, Karenbauer’s personal political path does not seem to save the CDU’s decline. The CDU is now catching up with the Green Party on the left – the latter’s support has once surpassed the CDU in June – and there is an alternative to the party’s offensive on the right, it is difficult to break through.
Since Karenbauer served as the party chairman, he talked more about the refugee issue and hoped to regain the support of the right-wing voters. However, he was self-defeating and pushed more moderate voters to the Green Party, so that the latter’s support continued to rise. On the other hand, she represented the foundation. The Democratic League and the former head of the intelligence department who was dismissed because of racial rhetoric have drawn a line, but they have offended the right wing of the party. This kind of “two sides are not human” situation can be regarded as no one can solve for a while. In other words, the defamation of the CDU is no one can save.
The local election campaign between Saxony and Brandenburg is actually only one of the two major traditional political parties in Germany. After the reshuffle of the political arena, will there be a sudden emergence of a new middle-strength force like the French President Mark Long, or will it become a split between the two sides of the United Kingdom and the United States, or fall into the Italian-Spanish-like multi-party entanglement? Unknown number. The only thing that can be seen is that the political prospects of this largest European economy will be a major focus of the future world pattern change.