I was in favor of a Grand Coalition (Government supported by the two largest parties in parliament) in 2013 (the year of the previous election in Germany), and the fact that in 2018 it is soon to take shape again doesn’t appear to me to be a much worse alternative to snap elections; and these would have been unavoidable if ‘Alpha-Kevin’ from the ranks of the youth organization of the Social Democrats (SPD) had succeeded in bringing the leader of the future Great European Empire (Martin Schulz), and subsequently perhaps even the ‘world chancellor’ herself, into a fix.
It’s not a question of trusting the CDU/CSU or SPD to change anything in this country for the better. Anyone who seriously does this is either boundlessly naive, has not spent the last 50 years in Germany or raises serious doubts about their own sanity. Of course, the leaders of both the old and the expected new government continue to be a negative selection, and we cannot expect any more of them than a winding down of the German community in a slower and more bureaucratic manner than would be the case if the Greens were part of the government.
On the other hand, I have thus touched on one of the few but decisive advantages of a Grand Coalition: The fact that the Greens continue to determine the country's general political direction only through their power in the media, and not again directly as part of the executive, could disillusion some voters of this political sect, because the impression is growing that this party is becoming an eternal opposition. The fact that the CDU and SPD are now simply green parties with built-in catalytic converters is not enough for all those who had hoped that Green Party leaders Anton Hofreiter, Cem Özdemir and Claudia Roth as top administrators could finally get rid of Germany before even more citizens wake up.
The CDU and their Bavarian sister party CSU, in turn, will not benefit from the new Grand Coalition. They can’t lead the population to believe in a change of policy or a new beginning simply by changing some people round. They must also accommodate the SPD far enough to enable it to form a coalition without any further loss of face, and that will put off even more CDU/CSU supporters.
At the same time, the SPD's special party congress last weekend left behind an even more damaged party that will inevitably move down to the ten percent mark in the future. After 76 percent in the membership's vote in 2013, Schulz was this time only able to secure the necessary majority for coalition negotiations by the skin of his teeth, and theoretically the membership survey could this time once again become a test of strength.
The fact that attempts by the SPD youth organisation to throw a wrench in the works were more successful than they have been for a long time, illustrates how aimless and disunited the party will be as it goes into the new legislative term. This could lead to further distortions on the left of the political center.
After all, Oskar Lafontaine and Sahra Wagenknecht are already in the starting blocks to found a new left-wing party – in addition to the existing leftist elitists from the ex-East German SED to the CDU, this would after all be the first left-wing populist force in Germany to join Corbyn’s Labour Party, Varoufakis, Podemos, the Pilz list in Austria, the Catalan left-wing nationalist party and similar stone-age Marxists formations.
Due to its gruesome ideological foundation, it would hardly be a danger to the AfD, but it could weaken the existing leftist forces to such an extent that it could potentially plunge the far left party Die Linke into an existential crisis. Parts of the SPD would also migrate in this direction without being considered as alternative majority providers for the CDU.
For the AfD, however, it is irrelevant in which form which establishment party continues to participate in the decline of Germany. Their task is to avoid exhausting internal party struggles and to invest their own energies in communicating with voters and exposing the hypocritical mechanisms of the dominating discourse.
The new Grand Coalition will make it clear to further sections of the population that the established political cartel not only has no new ideas and no new proposals for solutions to offer, but not even any new people. The increasingly obvious trend towards Gerontocracy 50 years after the students’ revolt of 1968 also brings back memories of the final phase of the GDR, when an SED politburo with an average age beyond the current statutory retirement age showed the regime ageing with its ideas and no longer even able to renew itself in terms of personnel.
Snap elections at this point might have shifted the AfD to the 15 percent mark or even higher. Maybe they would have overthrown Merkel. But even a Spahn or zu Guttenberg, which the CDU and CSU might have pulled out of the hat, would not have been a guarantor for a renewal of this opportunistically leftist cartel party, for whom the Greens are now regarded as the preferred coalition partner.
Even a CDU without Merkel would not have provided any new impulses in terms of content, and would definitely not have had the courage to bring about a turnaround, and work with the FDP and AfD. In order to make such a major change ripe for debate, the CDU must implode and the AfD must achieve a strength that it already has in large parts of eastern Germany. Since this Sunday the chance of getting closer to this goal in the next four years is greater than ever.
Translated from eigentümlich frei, where the original article was published on 22nd January 2018.