Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, some will say the most powerful woman in the world, is now facing the greatest challenge in her stunning career. Who would have thought? Her dynamics of being a leader of progress went too far as Germany’s open arms for war-torn refugees created a stampede. Part of the controversy is whether or not she had a choice. She may have also become overly complacent with her conviction that she is THE representative voice of Germany. The so-called “Jamaica” Coalition negotiations have failed with the FDP (Liberals) walking out. The CDU/CSU and Greens struggled to make it work, but to no avail. If Merkel is to survive this debacle, she will truly have to come out of her comfort zone as it looks like there may be a new election in Spring of 2018 and her party will have to make a dramatic turnaround to win–will she bend in a more conservative direction and displace both the FDP and populists AfD? Will she position herself as the new attraction for the protest voter? Or as the survey below indicates, go left? AND some wonder if she will even be the CDU’s candidate?!?
According to the latest polls (Forsa for the RTL/n-tv ‘Trend Barometer” yesterday), 45pct of Germans polled would like new elections, 27pct would like a Grand Coalition (CDU/CSU & SPD), and 24pct for a minority rule not specifying which combination. In case of new elections, most would vote as before with the Greens gaining the most benefit (12pct vs. 8.9pct in Sept.) to the CDU losses (31pct vs. 33pct), the SPD, 21 pct (20,5), the FDP, 10 pct (10,7), Die Linke, 9 pct (9,2) and the AfD, 12 Prozent (12,6). Keep in mind that there is a very strict parliamentary procedure managed by the President (Steinmeier) making calling for new elections complicating.
IAV published the following after the September election results:
As we all know, there is so much controversy these days surrounding the role of women. The following links were published in July as Americans were still trying to grasp what happened in the November 2016 Presidential Elections.
This might be the boldest advice for Merkel!
“So let’s free our inner bitch and knock down a few backroom doors. It’s time to let our id out.
“We could ask the incomparable Julia Louis-Dreyfus for lessons in how to play someone who is sure she deserves a place at the table even after a humiliating defeat. At one point in the most recent season of Veep, Meyer finds out that all the other ex-Presidents are posing for a group photo without her. Sure, she wasn’t actually elected President. She assumed the office when her predecessor was forced to resign and then lost the election. A lot of women would be too embarrassed to insist on being in the picture. It would seem presumptuous, arrogant, unfeminine. Not Meyer–she’s determined to push right up front in a Trumpian way. She believes she belongs, even if her dead-chic sleeveless dresses are barred from the House. (Yes, that’s a rule: Speaker Paul Ryan recently chose to enforce a dress code that forbids women from baring their shoulders on the floor and the adjacent Speaker’s lobby.)”
July 21, 2017 (Time): Majority of Women Say Their Interest in Politics Has Increased Since Election
“A Pew Research Center poll released Thursday found that 58 percent of women say they are more interested in politics since November, compared to 46 percent of men. Overall, 52 percent of Americans say their interest in politics has spiked since the election.
“Trump won the election by strong support from male voters, winning men by 12 points. According to exit polls, the 2016 election was decided by the largest gender gap in recorded history.”
“The widespread concern in business circles about the slow progress of women to the top has spawned a virtual cottage industry of recent initiatives, from Paradigm for Parity, of which Ms. Kullman is a co-chairwoman, to 100×25, a Rockefeller Foundation initiative aiming for 100 female chief executives in the Fortune 500 by 2025. That number now stands at 32 — an all-time high and spurt from last year, when there were 21.”
One rightful criticism of this current situation in Germany is that the CDU/CSU are the only parties that want to assume the responsibility of leadership while the others seem to prefer to be in opposition. Maybe in this case, a minority government is the best solution! BUT there is the danger of it being Red Red Green (like Berlin: IAV – Berlin Germany – Red Red Green).
This thought alone may convince Merkel (perhaps with German President Steinmeier’s advice) to leave her comfort zone and team up with Greens and form a minority coalition. It is working in Baden Wuerttemberg, home of Daimler, Porsche, Bosch and many great “Mittelstand” companies. Why not at the Federal level?