Could we get a CDU/Green Government in Germany?

February 1st, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Economist reports:

THE incumbent is the leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), rules in coalition with the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), and is more popular than opposition challengers from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens. The only worry is the fate of the FDP. Polls say it may get less than 5% of the votes, the threshold to enter parliament. If the CDU loses its coalition partner, the SPD and Greens combined could be stronger. The CDU’s supporters understand this dilemma and tactically “lend” their votes to the FDP to keep it in parliament. So the FDP surges at the last minute—but entirely at the expense of the CDU. By the narrowest of margins, the centre-left parties then win, and form the new government.

This describes the situation in Lower Saxony, a state in northern that held an election on January 20th. A well-liked CDU premier, David McAllister, and his FDP partners lost power to Stephan Weil, the SPD’s candidate, and his Green allies. The margin decided just before midnight, in what a moist-eyed Mr McAllister called a “heart-stopping finale”, was a single seat (69-68). “We are all very sad,” said Angela Merkel, the chancellor and CDU national leader, who campaigned hard for Mr McAllister (they are pictured above).

Sounds like NZ somewhat!

But it is Mrs Merkel who must make the subtlest recalculations. So far, she has governed and campaigned with a style that German boffins call “asymmetric demobilisation,” meaning that she has tactically stolen issues from the centre-left opposition by enacting them pre-emptively or signalling that she might. The latest example is a minimum wage, which the left demands and to which she (but not the FDP) seems open. This may make supporters of the SPD and Greens stay at home on polling day, she believes.

The risk is that CDU voters stay at home as well. But she may be showing ideological flexibility for another reason. As the FDP becomes a wild card, and the coalition arithmetic of an SPD-Green majority is so uncertain, the odds rise of an alliance between the CDU and either the Greens or the SPD. She knows it can be done, having spent her first term in a “grand coalition” with the SPD (and Mr Steinbrück as finance minister). “One thing is for sure,” says Uwe Alschner of Poliethics.com, a strategy consultancy. “Germany’s political system will shift left.”

I think a CDU/Green Government in Germany could well occur.

Tags:

14 Responses to “Could we get a CDU/Green Government in Germany?”

  1. tvb (4,240 comments) says:

    I think the greens will dangle the prospect they may do a deal with national to put pressure on Labour. But i think labour will call their bluff.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. pq (728 comments) says:

    no green Government NZ, secret for you Mr Farrar, just out today, Winston he will never go with Green. more later

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. ChardonnayGuy (1,179 comments) says:

    Possibly, as there have been German state governments that have consisted of CDU/Green coalitions. However, it does seem certain that Germany’s former classical liberal centre-right satellite party, the Free Democrats, are going to fall out of the Bundestag in September’s federal German elections, or else survive but cannibalise the CDU vote.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. ChardonnayGuy (1,179 comments) says:

    And one assumes that New Zealand First might lose its parliamentary foothold as Labour recovers its voter share.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    So far, she has governed and campaigned with a style that German boffins call “asymmetric demobilisation,” meaning that she has tactically stolen issues from the centre-left opposition by enacting them pre-emptively or signalling that she might.

    In other words, hoodwinking the public just long enough to secure a few extra votes. No principles, just platitudes guided by focus groups. No wonder politicians are so distrusted.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    A green government in germany – or any where overseas – would be good – it would show the stupidity of their crazy ideas to tax us back into the caves.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. ChardonnayGuy (1,179 comments) says:

    So Merkel’s a pragmatist. It’s done her well in the past.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. eszett (2,353 comments) says:

    Possibly, as there have been German state governments that have consisted of CDU/Green coalitions

    I believe only one was on state level, in Hamburg 2008-10 until the Greens left.
    Everything else was only on council level.

    It is quite possible that it may happen on federal elvel, but it probably would be the “last cab of the rank”

    The major differnce between the Greens in Germany and the Greens in NZ is that the Greens had the opportunity to grow and learn what being in government means in the councils and more importantly in the state governments.

    They had to shed a lot of their more radical positions, a process which nearly tore the party apart.

    If the Greens ever make it into a government here, it will be a very hard lesson to learn. In order to get some of your policies through you have to be able to compromise and swallow a few dead rats.

    It will be interesting to see what happens here in NZ when green idealism meets realpolitik head-on.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Naturesong (23 comments) says:

    … So far, she has governed and campaigned with a style that German boffins call “asymmetric demobilisation,” meaning that she has tactically stolen issues from the centre-left opposition by enacting them pre-emptively or signalling that she might.

    This is not how the National party are governing though. They have dusted off Labours policies … from 1984.
    The results of which we are seeing with
    – record numbers of people fleeing New Zealand (180,000, the main reason for working is lack of work)
    – record unemployment (7.3% – and you can add most of the folks that have led to that number)
    – public debt approaching 40% of GDP (was low 20′s when the reins were handed over in 2008)
    – stagnating or falling wages.
    – increase of GST, to give a real kick in the knees to those who are now earning less, or have lost their jobs and are relying on the dole to keep afloat while they look for jobs (or pack up their stuff to leave for Australia)
    – Causing serious damage to our 100% pure brand, upon which our entire tourism industry relies.

    This is in stark contrast to Angela Merkel who has governed with intelligence and prudence leading to positive outcomes; falling unemployment, reduction of public debt, rising wages and standard of living.

    Credit should be given however to National for implemeting the Greens Heatsmart policy, the success of which Phil Heatley waxes lyrical about here: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/8/2/2/50HansQ_20121129_00000007-7-Warm-Up-New-Zealand-Heat-Smart-Number.htm

    If the National party loses the next election it is because of the following reasons;
    – slavish adherence to ideological policies (and willfully ignoring, or suppressing evidence which shows the flaws in said policies)
    – gross incompetence across a number of ministries
    – Epsom have finally had enough of John Banks. When I returned to New Zealand a few years ago, I was shocked that my fellow Aucklanders had voted this incompetent in again, after the vandalism he had inflicted on Auckland CBD in his first term as Mayor.
    – The Maori Party losing its base – largely because of their support for this government
    – United Future finally past its used by date – Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Peter Dunne somehow survives

    The only thing standing in the way of a National Party defeat in the next election …is Labour

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. ChardonnayGuy (1,179 comments) says:

    A quick check reveals that you’re correct, Eszett. Well spotted. Here’s a backgrounder link on that coalition… http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20101128-31465.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. eszett (2,353 comments) says:

    barry (1,145) Says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 10:08 am
    A green government in germany – or any where overseas – would be good – it would show the stupidity of their crazy ideas to tax us back into the caves.

    Very funny, given that the tax regime in Germany that CDU/FDP have would make a Greenie here blush.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. AJP (19 comments) says:

    Merkel will never go with the Greens as the Bavarian CSU will never allow this to happen.

    So my prediction is a Grand Coalition between CDU/CSU and SPD.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. ChardonnayGuy (1,179 comments) says:

    Much depends on whether the Alliancoid “Left” bloc is represented in the Bundestag after September. As well as Germany’s cyberlibertarian Pirate Party, it crashed out of the Lower Saxony state parliament after their recent state election, but it’s still strong in the former East Germany, so it may make it. In which case, will it support an SPD/Green coalition over a lone CDU/CSU centre-right party in the Bundestag? Still, I acknowledge that a grand coalition is another possibility.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. pq (728 comments) says:

    Question to people, not Green Europe but NZ, following from Eszett above February 1st, 2013 at 10:28
    Would a Green Labour Government NZ introduce a Capital gains tax,or even a version of Capital tax, It seems to come and go from the agenda. Also devaluation of $NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.