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German Parties After The Elections: FDP

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German Parties After The Elections: FDP

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German Parties After The Elections: FDP

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German Parties After The Elections: FDP
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The Free Democratic Party (FDP) is in high spirits, and not without reason. The long-term strategy of party chairman Christian Lindner has paid off. In 2013, the party had to accept a crashing election defeat, was thrown out of the Bundestag and seemed to be finished for good. Now it is on the verge of joining a government coalition that is largely shaped by its wishes.

The party has been so elated once before. That was in the 2009 Bundestag elections, when it achieved the best election result in its history with 14.6%. At that time, many voters were disappointed with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and dissatisfied with the soft policy of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). Freedom and democracy, as they are part of the name of the FDP, seemed tempting for many. The party was in a power frenzy.

But as with any intoxication, the hangover quickly comes afterwards. The first setback came when the party distributed gifts to sponsors and donors after it entered government. The majority of the FDP voters, however, went away empty-handed and saw their hopes for a voice against paternalism and bureaucracy and against rising taxes and levies disappointed.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the careerists in the FDP believed that the time had come to take a bigger bite of the larger piece of cake that the FDP had got hold of. A power struggle broke out, everyone against everyone, which made it clear even to the staunchest supporters of the party that real political work for the benefit of the electorate is impossible with this bunch.

The previously successful party leader and respected Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was dismantled by his own party and one scandal was followed by another. In polls, the party fell from around 15% to just over 4% still within the election year.

Anyone who has observed the fate of the CDU before the 2021 election will notice the astonishing parallels. The CDU did not stumble over its own policy either, but over the uninhibited internal power struggle. Looking back at the FDP in 2009, they could have known and done better, but greed for power knows no bounds and does not shy away from the wolves to rather tear each other apart than to back off.

The FDP’s loss of reputation in 2009 did not lead to an abatement of internal struggles, but to an amplification, because every careerist wanted to be one of the few who survived the foreseeable catastrophe. After leaving the Bundestag in 2013, however, there were no survivors. There were no parliamentary mandates or ministerial posts to haggle over. And the rats quickly left the sinking ship to look elsewhere for sources of money.

What was left was the relatively young Christian Lindner, supported by people like Wolfgang Kubicki, who had previously called for a radical new beginning. And finally, there it came.

The new party leadership, practically a one-man show by Christian Lindner, demanded strict loyalty and categorically rejected election gifts for donors. Instead, the party should concentrate on its political competencies such as economy, freedom and modernization, especially in the internet area. There should be no more lazy compromises to the advantage of ministerial posts and to the detriment of the party.

Against all predictions, the miracle happened. In 2017 the FDP won 10.7% of the vote and more than doubled its result. Even in a historical comparison, the party was better than seldom before. Another government participation was in the air and negotiations with the Union parties and the Greens began immediately.

About four weeks after the election, however, Christian Lindner dropped a political bomb and broke off negotiations. The FDP renounced participation in the government and went back into opposition. In many commentators and voters this caused incredulous amazement or even anger. In polls the FDP lost again because it was accused of having prevented the change in government that many wanted.

For Christian Lindner, however, the step was only logical and corresponded to his strategy of not allowing himself to be bent. The voters gradually recognized this, which in 2021 meant that the party was able to make up for its in-between losses and even increased to 11.5%.

Now again, the FDP is in coalition negotiations, as it was four years earlier with the Greens, but now with the SPD as a senior partner. This time, however, government participation seems to become a reality. So, what’s different than four years ago?

The fact that the SPD and no longer the CDU is now functioning as the future Chancellor’s party is irrelevant in terms of content; both parties are now politically too similar. The difference lies rather in the political style of the candidates for chancellor.

Angela Merkel of the CDU always forced a compromise whenever possible, on which all sides had to agree, but none of the sides could be satisfied with the result. This led to the situation that in the long term all parties involved suffered a loss in reputation, as nobody could advertise the implementation of their goals, a lose-lose situation.

Olaf Scholz from the SPD, on the other hand, is willing to barter deals. Each partner is given a free hand with certain demands and in return does not interfere in the hobbyhorses of the other parties, a win-win situation. Christian Lindner had recognized this already in 2017 and did not let his party be used by Angela Merkel.

Four additional years of opposition now seem to be paying off. The FDP can presumably enforce a number of demands and redeem election promises. The real challenge is yet to come, however.

So far, the FDP has been able to score with a balancing act of approval and criticism. For example, in the corona crisis, the party basically sided with the government, but sharply criticized the specific measures. On the one hand, it adopted the narrative of the dangerous epidemic, which must be fought with decisive measures, and on the other hand, it condemned the massive restriction of fundamental rights. In doing so, however, it never went so far as to denote the breach of the basic law and always remained state-supporting.

Once in government, such an as-well-as-attitude will no longer be possible. Then the party must take a clear stand and show how serious its demand for freedom really is. It remains to be seen whether, with an FDP in government, there will really be fewer taxes and duties, no new debts, more civil liberty, less bureaucracy and a digitization of the administration. It seems almost too good to be true.


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camera obscura

The pic – Beta Republik Deutschland, lol. That basically sums it up perfectly. Beta male Germany, completely emasculated, occupied and controlled by US agenda, definitely no Alpha male Germany allowed!

Last edited 20 days ago by camera obscura
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