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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

“Mother remains” are there alternatives to Merkel in the elections in Germany


Two days before parliamentary elections in Germany, scheduled for 24 September, public opinion polls still tipped the victory of the Christian democratic Union (CDU) led by Angela Merkel. Apparently, the conservatives will secure a majority of seats under the glass dome of the Bundestag and the German Chancellor will remain at the helm of German democracy for another four years. The head of government looks ahead of Sunday’s vote more than relaxed – the Christian Democrats caught “the wind” last spring, won the elections to the land parliaments of Germany. Not scared of them and the flourishing of right-wing radicalism. As they say the Germans, “Mutti bleibt” (it. “Mommy [that is, the Merkel – “MK” is not”).


photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

Parliamentary elections in Germany will take place on Sunday, September 24: the results of the vote are allocated seats in the Bundestag will be chosen head of government.

Recent public opinion polls deprive Germans of hope for intrigue. The block of conservative parties – the CDU and the Christian social Union (CSU) ahead of its main rival – the Social democratic party of Germany (SPD) by 14%. An impressive margin leaves no doubt: the head of the conservative 63-year-old Angela Merkel will remain Federal Chancellor’s Office at Willy-Brandt-straße and will ensure his party a majority of seats in located in the heart of the Bundestag.

Political apathy during the election campaign has not been overcome. Apparently, the main cause of stagnation – the absence of significant ideological differences in the political programmes of the main opponents: conservatives and social Democrats stand for a United Europe and a tolerant society, and with the arrival at the head of the SPD, Martin Schulz, the former head of the European Parliament and, like Merkel, a supporter of anti-Russian sanctions – the positions of the parties coincide in the issue of relations between Moscow and Berlin.

Hope bored in the political stage of the voters were deceived. The figure was triple the loss of the social Democrats in the spring elections to the land parliaments of Germany. “The Schulz effect”, which allowed in February the ratings of the SPD and the CDU/CSU to catch up was short-term due to the prolonged silence of former head of the European Parliament, too long meliucheva with a political agenda.

Bezalternativno was keenly felt during the only televised debate Merkel and Schulz in early September: three weeks before the election ostensibly irreconcilable opponents have demonstrated surprising unanimity, but on the hand it played Merkel, supported by the majority of viewers.

The lack of diversity has led to the fact that German society has increased the interest in radicals: in 2013, the political deck in Germany supplemented by an ultra right-wing party “Alternative for Germany” (ADH), which is now steadily gaining points. The skeptics of ADH are opposed to the “dictates of Brussels” and the European hegemony of the West and urged to cooperate with Moscow. In the rankings, they occupy the third row, ahead of party “the Union 90/Green”. However, according to experts, to win ADG can not count.

High chances of getting seats and the liberals of the Free democratic party of Germany (FDP), entering into ruling coalition with the CDU/CSU with the SPD, for decades, was in power. As assumed in conversation with “MK” Vladislav BELOV, head of the Center for German studies Institute of Europe RAS, “if the CDU/CSU will rack up 39-40% of the vote and the free Democrats – about 11% will form black-yellow ruling coalition, which was already in power in 2009-2013 (black is the traditional colour of conservatives, yellow for the FDP – “MK”.). By the way, favored by many Germans. This situation guarantees the realization of those reforms which are so essential for Germany.”

The lack of dynamism in the domestic political life of the country, apparently, could affect voter turnout. According to Vladislav Belov, she in any case will be above 70%. “Many argue that the turnout could exceed the figures of 2013 (71,5%). On elections, most likely, will come even the so-called Nichtwähler (it. “leisurely”) – those who because of the lack of the column “against all” traditionally, the voting as such is not involved. So already in a state election 2016-2017 years” – said the expert.

It is worth mentioning that, exposing his candidacy for the post of Prime Minister for the fourth time, the current Chancellor of Germany doubted whether it is able to win the hearts of hungry for change the Germans. During the election campaign counterbalance somewhat detached from the people, Merkel could become the leader of the SPD, Martin Schulz. However, the Prime Minister unexpectedly changed the format of communication with the population, focusing on its natural charm. “Novice” on the German domestic political scene, Shultz tried to play this card: even “patrimonial” for the SPD Federal land, where the victory of the SPD have become a tradition, the ratings of the party in the spring elections to the land parliaments were historically low.

The Prime Minister was able to create an image close to the people leader. In the tour to Schleswig-Holstein Merkel in the company of the main candidate of the CDU, Daniel Gunther visited a caramel factory in eckernförde, where he took part in cooking and tasting sweets. The Chancellor for his resourcefulness was awarded for the first time since 2005 the party CDU won the elections to the local diet.

Were there any changes in the format of communication of the current Chancellor of Germany with a population of subtle calculation – is unclear. Recently in the rhythm of the Blues sang Merkel herself at the festival, organized for the party ahead of the elections, “Strange things happen every day” (eng. “Strange things happen every day”). It is important that fatigue from the established party system finally felt not only in the people.

In 2015, Merkel had only three words to make the split in German society. “Wir schaffen das” (it. “We’ll get through this”), – said the Chancellor about the migration crisis. With a light hand of journalists and politicians, this slogan turned into a stamp, just annoying the public. By September 2016, shortly before the elections to the municipal chamber of deputies in Berlin, the head of the Cabinet had to separate from it: the negative consequences of the policy of “open doors” was particularly pronounced in the German capital, took the greatest in Germany, the number of migrants. Dividends from the current situation got radicals: ADG, known for its anti-immigrant rhetoric, took place in the capital’s Parliament, seriously surpassing the CDU.

Ahead of the elections to the Bundestag migration policy Merkel again criticized. The decision to open its borders to refugees, adopted by the Prime Minister almost single-handedly, called error and Schultz. The negative consequences of this decision across the European Union, and, according to policy, the price for the stubbornness Merkel.

The population looks at this issue somewhat differently: choosing the right populist “Alternatives” – a tribute to the mood of protest in General, but not the answer to immigration policy of Germany. The views of the experts agree on one thing: the expected high ADH results in the elections of 24 September should be viewed as a relapse of the deep crisis in the country.

The main result of the forthcoming elections can be considered a foregone conclusion. Most likely, the most powerful woman of Europe will repeat the record of Helmut Kohl, who stood at the head of the German government 16 years (Merkel has been since 2005). The only intrigue is with whom the CDU will form a ruling coalition.

source

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