Sharper, more impatient, more unforgiving
Saxony-Anhalt will vote next Sunday, and perhaps you are now secretly thinking: What do I care? What do the 80.700.000 remaining Germans care about this election in the tenth largest federal state? What does the result mean for the federal government?
Have we asked ourselves everything and we also dare to answer: not much at first glance. In fact, this state election could be a vote without a signal for the federal government. Neither for the green candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock nor her competitors Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz, a particular boost or an overly large negative effect is to be expected.
When CDU- Top candidate Reiner Haseloff lands with his party in front of the AfD and - with whatever coalition - can continue to govern, his election goal has been achieved and Laschet is spared embarrassment.
The green can hope for a doubling of their result, but would still be only ten percent, which is great for the east, but weak in a national comparison.
The SPD may continue its political decline, but could at least end up in government again. Nothing new in the east.
And the right? The Saxony-Anhalt regional association is in AfD-Kosmos with the furthest right on the far right, nevertheless it won a whopping 2016 percent in the last state election in 24,2. Although right-wing extremists and right-wing extremists now shape the image of the party nationwide, the constitutional protection the state association under observation, the AfD is likely to do similarly well again. But this downright concrete-hard core electorate is not really surprising either, and it will not give the federal AfD a boost either.
What is interesting about this election, however, is that the discussion about the East German voters is suddenly very different: more sharply, more impatiently, more irreconcilably. Of all things, the Federal Government's Eastern Commissioner, the Saxon CDU politician Marco Wanderwitz, just caused a stirwhen he established that a not inconsiderable number of AfD voters were permanently lost to democracy. "We are dealing with people who are partially socialized by dictatorship in such a way that they have not reached democracy even after thirty years", said Wanderwitz in the podcast of the »Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung«. Wanderwitz was also there at the meeting between the East Prime Minister and the Chancellor on Wednesday afternoon - and was confronted with criticism from the East MPs.
Rostock-born sociologist Steffen Mau recently wrote in SPIEGEL that some East Germans are "exhausted from change." And further: "The departure into a more plural and diverse society with ever new demands for recognition is difficult, some simply feel overwhelmed by some changes." Means: Contrary to what Wanderwitz thinks, these people are not lost to democracy. The people in the East must be taken seriously with their experiences after 1990 - not just before.
How this fails was demonstrated by the Upper Bavarian philosopher Edmund Rüdiger Stoiber in the 2005 Bundestag election campaign. He does not accept "that in the end the East will again determine who will be Chancellor in Germany". It should not "let the frustrated determine the fate of Germany." Well Stoiber had learned three years earlier how Gerhard Schröder won the election against him in the east.
What does that mean for today? Do not underestimate the east! The state election in Saxony-Anhalt may not have a signal effect for the federal government, but at second glance the following applies: Those who can break up solidified structures can expect decisive percentage points in the fight for chancellorship.
Reconciler Laschet and the Right
These days, one can guess Armin Laschet often thinks of his predecessor in the party chairmanship, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. On that Thursday in February last year, for example, when AKK traveled to Erfurt in a company car to speak a word of power. The day before, the FDP man Thomas Kemmerich had been elected Prime Minister of Thuringia with the votes of the CDU and AfD, the CDU and FDP leaders were embarrassed and in need of explanation.
The party leader sat with the CDU parliamentary group until late at night, but in the end she was unable to assert herself. She announced her withdrawal four days later. There is an unresolved relationship between parts of the CDU and the AfD and the left, she is said to have said at the time in the presidium of her party. A sentence that resonates to this day - because it is suddenly very topical again.
The conservative values union has the CDU politician and economist Max Otte elected its new chairman, a man who loves political provocation, the interplay between flirting with the radical right-wing fringe and alleged demarcation brilliantly mastered - and therefore extremely dangerous for the CDU and its boss .
After the right-wing terrorist murder of the Hessian CDU politician Walter Lübcke, Otte tweeted that "everything looks like the murderer was a less well-off individual perpetrator, but the media are already rushing against the 'right-wing scene', whatever that is." He later deleted the tweet.
Two weeks before the 2017 federal election, Otte announced that he would vote for the AfD this time because of the German refugee policy and euro rescue. Now he announced on Deutschlandfunk that he was a "rock solid and rock solid" CDU member. Placing a provocation, then catching it again - you know this strategy. CDU right winger Hans-Georg Maaßen is also quite good at it.
Laschet will not want to get caught up in the question of how much the Union has to distance itself from right-wing thinkers as Kramp-Karrenbauer does. His slogan is therefore simple: The Values Union is not an official association of the party, he himself does not share its content, so he does not need to deal with it any further. It is a crisis strategy that Laschet cannot hold out for long without harming himself. Because the problem is bigger than Otte's personality.
Around 80 percent of the WertUnion members belong to the CDU and CSU, with initial votes from the party are already calling for an incompatibility resolution from the party leadership: Anyone who is in the CDU or CSU should not be able to be a member of the Values Union.
In addition, there are also tendencies outside of the Values Union to bring more conservative CDU politicians to the fore. The party fears that a kind of tea party could arise.
In the United States, the Republicans have learned what happens when the party leadership does not behave clearly to its internal currents. At first the tea party experienced a political high rise, and finally that radical part of the party to which Donald Trump owed his presidency became powerful. To this day, it seems as if the radicals have hijacked the Republican Party.
Laschet has started as a reconciler, he wants to try to unite all shades within the CDU - in order to keep the spectrum of voters as large as possible. If, however, he forgets to clearly delimit himself from the margins, not only in words but also in deeds, then the CDU could also be threatened with being hijacked from the right.
What is happening in the Republic of 21
How can Germany become fairer? We have this question as part of our SPIEGEL project Republic 21 discussed in May - and presented to you, dear readers, in one of our newsletters. We asked you to write us what you would change in Germany if you could only start from one point. Read here. some of your answers, which we selected at random from the many correspondence.
My colleague Marius Mestermann dedicates himself to the Voice catching podcast on Thursday morning a sensitive question: Will the German nuclear phase-out now take revenge on climate protection? On Sunday ten years ago, the federal government officially decided to say goodbye to nuclear energy, and the last German reactors will soon go offline. Other countries, however, continue to rely on the technology - and also argue with the CO2Footprint.
What the polls say
"Don't let yourself be tapped!" With this slogan, the Union raised the mood against the Greens in the 1998 federal election campaign. They had previously demanded that the price of fuel should rise to five marks. The campaign was apparently a success - the Greens fell short of expectations, even if it was enough to participate in government for the first time.
More than two decades have passed since then, and the world is discussing climate change and the future of mobility. And yet Germans still love their cars, and any campaign campaign that could reduce driving pleasure is tricky. But if you want to save the climate, you can't spare the motorists: For 16 cents, Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock recently announced it should petrol Price gradually increase.
The Germans think little of it, as the SPIEGEL survey by the opinion research institute Civey shows. According to this, almost three quarters of voters think the Greens' plans are wrong. Only 24 percent support them.
Some might forget that the Greens announcement is not as radical as it seems. Because the steadily increasing CO agreed by the Union and the SPD in the Climate Protection Act2-Prices make refueling more expensive in the coming years anyway. The ADAC has calculated that gasoline will cost around 2025 cents more in 15 than at the end of 2020.
There is little movement in the SPIEGEL Sunday issue compared to the previous week - which also means that the Union will stabilize and that the Greens will be able to keep their distance again for the time being after their temporary overtaking maneuver. At 29 percent, the pollsters from Civey see the CDU and CSU, Annalena Baerbock's party currently lands at 22 percent.
There is also little going on behind the two leading forces at the moment. The FDP can hold its slight gains of the past few weeks for now.
The constituency of the week: # 100
The Liberals have high hopes these days in the constituency with the number 100. Here, in the Rheinisch-Bergisches Kreis, FDP boss Christian Lindner is applying for a direct mandate, and suddenly there is a glimmer of hope for the FDP that Lindner could win.
The constituency 100 used to be Wolfgang-Bosbach-Country, the long-time CDU domestic politician and talk show king got a whopping 2013 percent of the votes here in his last candidacy in 58, while the FDP opponent at the time only got 1,8 percent. Bosbach's successor, Hermann-Josef Tebroke, also won the constituency in 2017 with a comfortable 40 percent, but now his lead over Lindner seems to be slowly melting. CDU gourmets also have to google who exactly Mr. Tebroke is and what he has achieved politically.
So how big is the chance that Lindner could really steal the direct mandate from this lesser-known competitor? It is exactly 33 percent! This results in an evaluation on the page Wahlkreisprognose.de, according to which Lindner's CDU opponents only got 30 percent. So Tebroke has to hope that the Laschet train will finally leave the station soon so that his own election campaign can pick up a bit of speed.
The constituency 100 is also interesting for another reason: it is currently represented in the Bundestag by two AfD members. On the one hand there is the lawyer Roland Hartwig, who is again applying for the direct mandate without much chance, and on the other hand the economist Harald Weyel, who also states the Rheinisch-Bergischen district as his political home. Both entered the Bundestag in 2017 via the AfD state list, but only Weyel is so well placed in ninth place this year that he will definitely move into the Bundestag. So he doesn't need constituency 100.
The stories of the week
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Your Sebastian Fischer
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