Image: raimond spekking / cc by-sa 4.0
In thuringia, cdu deputies are clinging to their advantage; the party must align itself not in terms of personnel but in terms of content with merkel’s pragmatic emptiness
Finally politics becomes exciting again. The therapists and commentators can live out to describe to the people what is going on in the party and with the main players so. And it is indeed interesting to see how the situation will be reorganized after the debacle in thuringia.
In thuringia, however, there is little progress. The cdu may have voted with the afd, but it seems to be much harder with the leftists. Seemingly selflessly, the cdu was offered the chance to have its former state premier, christine lieberknecht, serve again as interim president in a "technical government" to hold elections in order to be able to call for new elections. For the cdu, this is poisoned, because die linke and especially ramelow have now emerged as winners, while the cdu has been allowed to lose votes and thus deputies. That’s why the cdu in thuringia would rather not ask the people to vote again and is calling for a full transitional government to postpone the election date. A transparent game.
The surprise candidacy of norbert rottgen for the chairmanship of the cdu has created new excitement. Up to now, it seemed as if the three set top dogs would deal with the matter among themselves after akk’s announced resignation. With rottgen, a truly democratic wind is now blowing through the party, which had fallen asleep after long merkel years and since 2015 has been blinking more to the right, even if armin laschet stands rather for a continuation of merkel policies.
Laschet, spahn and merz have so far dithered over whether to apply for the party chairmanship and a chancellor candidacy right now. The prere is high that a decision must be made quickly. You can’t wait until the party conference in december, as akk has suggested. The only problem is that the person who quickly took over the party chairmanship from akk had little chance of becoming the candidate for chancellor. This depends not only on the csu and angela merkel, with whom the new party leader must get along, but also the long time until the election and the cooking in the party, which wants to get away from merkel, but which is still popular and a guarantor of stability.
With his candidacy, rottgen allegedly wants to force a discussion about the renewal of the party’s content "backroom lottery" and a purely personal decision he wants to prevent. In fact, a profiling of the political orientation of the cdu, which was omitted under merkel, could be helpful to re-establish something like an identity of the parties, which the spd still has not really succeeded in doing, but at the same time this would make the political rivals strong and not lift the cdu to a winning position.
In the meantime, the burgerliche mitte, i.E. Both burgerlichkeit and mitte, has been occupied and devalued by the afd. The "center", where all the other parties have been until now, has been shifted to the right. Question now is, after thuringia, what will take the place of the "center" the cdu can no longer stand as an orientation, especially since the middle class is being crushed economically and in terms of tax policy.
It is to be expected that the "center" will no longer produce majorities, let alone rough coalitions. It will be a matter of steering fragile coalitions or minority governments – with the problem that directional decisions are hardly ever made anymore. Rottgen does not stand for renewal, but for the cdu establishment, even if he probably does in environmental and climate policy "gruner" is. Even with rottgen, the candidate curve looks tired, perhaps as tired as the cdu. It has allowed the werteunion to grow, but it is exhausting itself in backwardness and merkel aversion. It’s not about coalitions against or with the left or the afd, but about a forward-looking profile for the party. This is nowhere to be seen, not even at rottgen.