Friday, September 22, 2017

Will the Minority that Merkel forms be Nationalist or Socialist?

Angela Merkel will continue to be the German Chancellor after the federal election of the 19th Bundestag Sunday night, however with an estimated higher turnout projected and a surge from sixth to second of the populist and nationalist Alternative for Germany as the past opposition party of the Social Democrats drops down, the Christian Democrats can safely believe they will go from less than half the vote to a little more than one third from 41 and 238 seats to 35 for 241 seats while the Social Democrats lose about five points from 25 and 193 seats to 20 for 149 seats thus allowing the Alternative to go from less than five points with zero seats to 17 for 131 seats. So, as you can see both the former opposition Social Democrats and the so to be opposition Alternative for Germany will be almost equal in percentage of votes and seats in the Bundestag with Merkel and the Christian Democrats falling and failing to not only gain a majority, but gain enough vote and seats in this projected minority to be a strong partner in any kind of government without a kingmaker looking over their shoulder likely in the form of the SDP or AFG. Yet, the CDU and CSU union made it clear in this election they would not cede to either the far left to centre demands to end the coordinated social market economic miracle and expand the welfare state bureaucracy while rejecting the far right to centre demands to oppose to Islam and open door refugee immigration via reasonable accommodation and stop financial support and loss of national sovereignty to the European Union via continental integration.

For the first time during the seventeen year Merkel era, German Christian Democrats must now decide which part of their balanced centrist grand coalition program gets tilted over towards, do they move rightward towards the Nationalists or leftward towards the Socialists?

Germany might see neither of these in that Merkel nor the CDU and CSU union wish to lose their fiscally conservative and socially progressive agenda for the sake of holding grand power, rather cobbling together minor concessions with pro EU fringe parties like the classically liberal Free Democrats and environmentally responsible Greens trading give or take 150 seats they gain for major cabinet posts seems to be the more realistic path forward to stable governance as they come together with give or take 390 seats in a Bundestag of 630. With the math now aside, the real question is does Merkel start emphasizing real Christian Democratic third way politics in the radical centrist spirit of Konrad Adenauer and its traditional values of life, liberty, and leadership both strong and solid which could easily counter the grassroots democratic populism of the AFG and the labour union cries of economic inequality coming from the SDP along with a Soziale Marktwirtschaft Wirtschaftswunder solution for the FDP and environmental free enterprise marketeering solution for the BDG, while still leaving the open centrist position to get back to a more principled conservative right to centre as we move from her fourth to fifth term. Whether to choose identity or ideology, both Christian Democracy and Merkel need to figure out who they are now before their small timeframe of power to make change disappears into the infinity of space and beyond, leaving a very confused Germany that knows less of what it stands for after her chancellorship than even before it.