The first horror is digested and the various parties are trying to work out the result of the Thuringia election. This shows once again that many have not (yet) understood the result. The election result allows a government only with the participation of the LINKEN or the AfD. Otherwise, minority governments, led by the LINKEN or the CDU, would still be possible.
A coalition with the LINKEN categorically excludes the CDU, but at least seems willing to talk. CDU parliamentary group vice-president Heym repeatedly calls for talks with the AfD, even seeing it as a possible part of a “bourgeois coalition.” There was harsh criticism for this. The FDP refuses to form an R2G2 coalition. The Greens, in turn, have a CDU-led minority government.
After the 2017 Bundestag election, the SPD was asked to face up to its political responsibility and – despite statements to the contrary on election night – to become a member of a GroKo again. She followed suit, but was not thanked. This was demanded by the CDU and CSU, which needed a government partner, and the FDP, which, after weeks of negotiations, has slammed itself into the bushes of the “constructive opposition”, as it announced in Thuringia – only this time without even holding talks. These calls still ring in my ears today.
The silence is all the more unmistakable now when it comes to one’s own possible responsibility. One lesson that could have been learned is not to rule out coalitions before the election, so as not to be accused of breaking the word. Cooperation between the CDU and LINKEN would be difficult and, above all, a dramatic process for the CSU, given that it would spoil the classic of its election campaigns, the “Red Socks Campaign” for the future. In the Bundestag election, the CSU warned in a way against red-red-green, that one had to think that the red tanks were already a few hundred meters in front of the Bundestag.
We must warn against alliances or cooperation with the AfD. There are voices who say that the populists will have to take responsibility and prove what they can do. This will not work. The AfD would push to implement its national-liberal or conservative agenda, repeatedly threatening to break the coalition. Cuts in the social sphere would be blamed on the previous red-red-green government or Merkel’s refugee policy, and reports from the media that portray it as false and debunked it as a populist strategy would be defamed as fake news of the “system-controlled lying press”. It should not detract from the AfD’s popularity. On the other hand, however, the party would also take advantage of gridlock and blockades of possible minority governments and continue to generate itself as an alternative. This shows the great responsibility on LINKEN, CDU, SPD, Greens and FDP.
Against this background, the “friendly fire” of Merz and Co. against AKK and Angela Merkel is counterproductive, since it weakens the appearance of the Union to the outside world. But it also shows that the CDU has now reached a stage in which the SPD has been for some time. Suddenly, nervousness and unrest are also spreading in the Union, in the face of declining election results. The Union thus follows the SPD and faces the same problems and challenges, albeit at a (still) higher level.
This will also be decided by what happens next in Thuringia: the credibility and reliability of the parties. I would like the actors to be aware of this.