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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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    Merz is tackling it – isn’t it?

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    When a government gets in its own way, the opposition has an easy time. The traffic light coalition has made it easy for the Union to practice its new role in its short time in office. The inner contradictions in the alliance quickly became clear, between the parties and between slogans and reality. At the moment, the opposition does not need to do anything other than ask the chancellor for leadership, and the contrast to Olaf’s election poster, “Scholz is getting on with it,” becomes obvious.

    But of course it doesn’t just go on like this forever. Germans are patient with their rulers, especially when they have just been elected. They don’t go straight back to the opposition just because a chancellor is largely silent or a finance minister uses the same tricks to take on debt that he condemned during the election campaign.

    The CDU will soon find out that they are not praised for justified criticism, but are asked the opposite question: Yes, what would you do instead about the pandemic, climate change, dilapidated bridges? Where would you get the money that is obviously needed?

    Team hin, Team her

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    Your answers in the election campaign have not convinced anyone. So it needs others. Friedrich Merz has to deliver it. On Saturday, the CDU party congress will officially elect him as chairman. From then on he is – team or team – in the full limelight. This will be bundled even more sharply if, as is generally expected, he soon also claims the chairmanship of the parliamentary group.

    Within the party, Merz is starting with better conditions than its unfortunate predecessors. The members have clearly legitimized him. In addition, the inferior liberal wing tends less than Merz’s old fans to react offended to his defeat.

    However, these old fans now expect their favorite to deliver. That’s where his problems start. Because Merz has always been much less sharply defined in terms of content than his followers wanted to perceive him. His image was mainly based on the way in which he pushed Angela Merkel in for years. In the last presidency campaign, he attracted attention because of his almost Scholzian tendency not to commit himself to controversial issues.

    Even if that was a tactic, it only shows how little the new leader considers a conservative profile to be capable of winning a majority, even in his own party. That applies all the more to voters, threefold against a traffic light government.

    It differs significantly from the red-green coalition that Merz himself experienced as an opposition politician after 2002. At that time, the SPD and the Greens wanted to do a lot of things differently, especially in socio-political terms. This offered a target for attack in the country, which was still heavily influenced by Helmut Kohl.

    New move urgently needed

    At that time, just six months after Kohl’s election defeat, Roland Koch won the state elections in Hesse with the signature campaign against dual citizenship. That brought the CDU back into play early on and even carried on beyond the donation affair.

    Merz now has to fear that the next state elections will perpetuate the trend against his party. Today, on top of that, there is agreement on the major goals – with some reservations even in migration policy. There are differences in the choice of means, i.e. not in ideology, but in craftsmanship.

    So far, Merz’s strength has not been there. For years he was more of a know-it-all than a do-it-yourselfer. That was useful to him back then. It’s not enough for the new role. The opposition, as the saying goes, is the government on hold. But that presupposes that she seems capable of governing at all – in terms of content, personnel, style. At the moment, the CDU can annoy the coalition members quite well. But the party and its future leader are still a long way from getting the spirit of the times better.

    Source From: Tagesspiegel

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