It’s over for Angela Merkel and her winning coalition

JULIET SAMUEL. 16 January 2021 • 6:00am

The Merkel era is ending – no really, this time, it is. It was meant to be winding up already, but Angela Merkel’s chosen successor, installed as her party’s leader in 2018, never really stepped up to the plate, and the pandemic has sent Mrs Merkel’s approval rating back up to all-time highs. “Mutti” has promised to retire, however, and today her CDU party will choose a new replacement, who will have a strong chance of becoming the new German chancellor after national elections in September.

There are three candidates and they are all middle-aged men from North Rhine-Westphalia. Armin Laschet is Ms Merkel’s preferred successor and the continuity candidate, but he polls appallingly with voters. Friedrich Merz, a German Mitt Romney-type and former BlackRock executive who blew his chance in 2018, is running again. He tends to be the preferred candidate of non-German rightists, who like his pro-business, non-CDU establishment vibe, but having seen the guy speak, I’d say he has about as much appeal as a wooden ice lolly.

The third is Norbert Röttgen, chair of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, who is a centrist domestically and sound on foreign policy (pragmatic on Brexit, tough on China and Russia). In theory, the winner could still be pushed out of the race for the chancellorship by the victor of a parallel contest being held by the CDU’s Bavarian allied party, the CSU, but the opportunity will be theirs to lose.

In the end, as with most leadership contests, the individuals’ policy differences are likely to be blunted by the exigencies of being in power. The biggest change could instead be the fragmentation of the impregnable electoral coalition built by Ms Merkel during her 16 years at the top. As the Centre for European Reform points out, the chancellor has simultaneously managed to draw outsized support from conservatives, centrists, greens, women and descendants of migrants. But her successor will not be given the benefit of the doubt by most of these groups and will have to prioritise.

With the anti-nuke, pro-EU Green Party now the CDU’s main rival, Ms Merkel’s party has to decide whether to keep up her strategy of hogging the centre ground or move rightwards. Either way, the net result will be a less stable German chancellor relying on a narrower political base at home.

23 comments

  • Schadenfreude!

    In the comments section I managed to get some harsh criticism in of the corpulent quisling without (at least so far) attracting the attention of the mods. :-

    ‘Merkel, like almost all German post war leaders, is anti-British, grovels to fascist Russia and fanatically pro-EU (at least for as long as Germany is allowed to dominate it). For her replacement; expect more of the same.’

    It got 21 likes . Replies :

    ‘Isn’t this underlying thread in German politics why their national anthem was changed after the second world war? Wasn’t it originally ‘Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles.’

    2nd Reply;
    ‘It still is, which is quite telling’.

    One or two comments from other posters :

    ‘She has finally established the German empire of Europe initially conceived by Bismarck. Brexit will ultimately prove to be the nail in it’s coffin as national sovereignty takes precedence over handouts and cheap BMWs in the colonized countries.’

    ‘I recall in the late 1980’s , the Communist Government in East Germany was deliberately facilitating the passage of illegals to West Germany in the hope that this would destabilise the West.
    Merkel was from East Germany.  Was she some sort of “DDR sleeper”?  If so she has been successful and the DDR’s plan has worked !!!!’

    ‘Merkel may have ruined Germany, but at least her madness was directly responsible for the Brexit victory in the 2016 referendum & our liberation from the EU, so DANKE FRAU MERKEL !!!!’

    ‘The German system of democracy is about as close as you can get to a dictatorship but never be pointed out as a dictatorship.’

    One more :

    ‘Mutti is leaving just as many chickens come home. She has cheated the EU system. By demanding ‘EU solidarity’ which means support for German policy. While shafting the rest of the EU, especially the U.K.
    She pauperised the EU getting German banks who made risky loans to Greece, bailed out by EU taxpayers, instead of paying the price.
    She tricked the EU to get Russian gas at a 25% discount to prices paid by the rest of the EU. Then she shafted the environment with a vast new coal fired power station. While demanding the U.K. and others obey EU environment rules.
    She betrayed the EU by getting in 1.3 million refugees as Germany needs 500,000 new workers each year. Only 360,000 have got jobs so Germany is discarding the rest – welfare cases, dumping them on the rest of the EU. Any EU state refusing an allocated refugee faced a £250,000 EU fine!
    Germany, with France, has pauperised the rest of the EU. Stripping their best labour. Borrowing cheaply to lend at high rates forcing EU states to buy German goods including arms. Busting each EU state then buying up national assets at fire sale prices.
    German banks are broken and manufacturing sinking as Asia takes business with costs at 10% EU levels.
    Mutti leaves a wrecked EU and Germany running on fumes.’

    Liked by 4 people

    • Very well said, sir Scradge. Virtually every German that I know considers her the worst thing that happened to Germany since Hitler. How this creature has managed to cling on to power for 16 years. The only thing that can explain this is Germany’s continued wealth as a nation and of the average citizen, although this facet for both entities is decreasing. It’s decreasing because the only thing that she can do is political maneuvering and spending money and this with champion-like effectivity. Albeit, this has brought Germany no benefits in the long run. She and her minions have less economic competence than the average high-school student (the same can be said about every other political department like the military and etc.) The country is being run and kept alive by a horde of well-paid “Beamten” and an advanced industrial sector. She has driven a wedge into the country’s people, starting with the “refugee crisis” and the EU too. The EU has been silenced by Germany’s billions, handed-out abundantly (hence, her affinity to spend the country’s money).
      Merkel is leaving behind a pile of shards and the person to follow her as chancellor will have a superhuman task to fix the damage that she has caused.
      Oh, yes, she did provide a good reason for you Brits to exit this circus. Well done!

      Liked by 2 people

  • “The third is Norbert Röttgen, chair of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, who is a centrist domestically and sound on foreign policy (pragmatic on Brexit, tough on China and Russia).”

    This guy seems to be the best out of the bunch.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Agreed! I’d be delighted if he makes me eat my words!
      From wiki:
      ‘Röttgen is considered as an advocate of a more assertive German foreign policy. In an editorial for the Financial Times in March 2014, he argued that the only people who seemed not to realize that Germany was at the center of the Crimean crisis were “the Germans themselves.”[24] When Russian state-run energy group Gazprom conducted an asset swap with its long-term German partner BASF, under which it increased its stake in Wingas, Röttgen raised concerns about the deal.[25] In his opinion, expanding Gazprom activities in Germany are “deepening our dependence on Russia.”[25] In late 2015, Röttgen called for a review of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, saying it was a “highly-political subject which carried the risk of splitting Europe” and may “contradict the aims of the agreed European energy policy.”

      Liked by 4 people

    • Forget it. I live here. He’s an idiot. Friedrich Merz is a way better choice in my view. But i’m leaving it everone’s judgement. We need Merz for the economy. I have no intention to go bankrupt. I wanted to buy a house in Denmark or Norway, but with these left-leaning suckers i will rot here at the border for i donno how long.

      Liked by 3 people

  • A Trump Party? That would ruin the GOP forever.

    Liked by 4 people

  • “…and the pandemic has sent Mrs Merkel’s approval rating back up to all-time highs.”
    There is not a spark of doubt in me that the krauts are sadomasochists.
    And, now they have Laschet as the leader of the semi-left CDU. He was Muslima Merkel’s lapdoggy all along and that’s why the eunuchs of the CDU voted for him instead of the more conservative and far more competent Merz or Roettgen. Either one of the latter politicians could get the CDU back on track where it belongs; the center-right.
    In all the years as semi-dictator of Germanystan, Merkel has been disposing of all competent politicians that got too dangerous to her politically. She has, bit-by-bit, maneuvered the CDU into the left position of politics, where the forlorn SPD used to be. For sure, she will pull Laschet’s strings from backstage. Germany is fucked. But, that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that Biden doesn’t ruin the US like Merkel ruined Germany … AND the EU.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was touted to be Merkel’s successor as chancellor by many, but soon as she said she was against Nord Stream II, and stricter immigration policies she was soon removed from the race.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You cannot be against Muslim Merkel’s dictatorial concepts if you want to survive politically in Germanystan even if you replace her. This is what the krauts call “democracy”. It’s a farce like so many other aspects of this once great country. Some Germans I know call Germany Absurdistan or Dummland. Right they are.

        Liked by 2 people

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