Originally appeared at DWN, translated by John T. Sumner exclusively for SouthFront
The Berlin Group of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) is demanding a radical change of policy from Angela Merkel. In that spectacular paper the MPs urge the CDU to break with almost all political positioning, Merkel stands for.
The Berlin district of the CDU calls for a radical change of Angela Merkel´s policy. The politicians write, that they do not want a shift to the right, but an end of the drift to the left instead. The paper demonstrates how profound the uncertainty within the party has become due to recent electoral successes of the AFD. The FAZ was the first paper to give an account of the statement, which was also received by the “Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten”.
The statement in the wording:
After catastrophic election results for the CDU on 13 March 2016, mainly in Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz, a further political course of “business as usual” will inevitably lead to a continued break away of electoral votes. A relentless, honest and self-critical analysis was and will be essential! Those, who try to euphemize the election results, are failing to recognize the difficult situation, the Union is in right now, and are giving the impression of unwillingness to bear the resulting political consequences, or at least to seriously discuss possible consequences. The historically worst election results in Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz, both traditional strongholds of the CDU, are bitter medicine for the entire Union and its most serious setback so far. The reasons are not only resulting from the refugee policy, but also from the fact, that by its sociopolitical orientation the CDU has created enough space for a party to its right.
The election results are a dramatic continuation of a downward trend, which has become apparent in the course of the last years. During that period the CDU lost half a dozen state governments (in Thuringia, Baden-Württemberg, Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia), without recapturing even a single position or gaining any new addition. Furthermore, compared to 2013 the Union has lost an estimated quarter of its supporters in the polls. Although it might be encouraging that after many years the CDU is representing the mayors of Essen and Bonn again, this should not obscure the fact that in total only a few German cities are ruled by a CDU mayor. Through the elimination of numerous parliamentary mandates, mainly in Baden-Württemberg, the Union is losing political presence on the spot and is further weakened in its structure and ability to work.
At the same time, a new party, the AfD, has emerged right from the Union, who with predominantly double-digit results meanwhile has conquered seats in the parliaments of six different states (Baden-Württemberg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thuringia, Brandenburg and Saxony), and in case of national elections by tomorrow, the AfD presumably would even enter the Federal Parliament with double-digit results. Possible consequences of these developments or even the question of a course correction are not properly discussed in the party leadership of the CDU. At the same time there are significant contradictions between the two sister parties CDU and CSU – at least regarding the refugee policy.
It is also worrying, that due to its exceptional path tackling the refugee crisis, the federal government is already losing influence at the European level. This became evident, when in recent months more and more EU member states with regards to their own legitimate interests began to pursue a more restrictive refugee policy. So the Federal Government runs the risk of isolating itself.
For years the Berlin district is suggesting that the Union may not neglect their economic- liberal and social conservative voters. The suggestion pointed out to the Berlin district, that conservative supporters would have no alternative to the Union anyway, has proven as a serious mistake. Although this was often claimed, it was never our goal to conduct a swing of the entire party to the right, but instead to prevent any further drift to the left. Evidently the Union is losing more voters from its middle and on the right than it is winning floating voters on the left. So in reality, it will not win any new voters, but is losing old ones. The Union always was the party of the center, the social committees and of the conservatives. So it became the political home of broad conditions of the population. This was its recipe for success as a people’s party. The change of course, nowadays often called “modernization”, of the CDU is creating permanent political space to its right, which is about to be filled by a new party. For decades it was a declared objective for the Union, to undertake every political effort in order to prevent any new party from being established to its right.
Decisions of far-reaching significance and possible policy adjustments in particular must be discussed in detail with the party base first, before final decisions can be taken. If the trend of Union and SPD not even together holding a majority any more, will continue, this would jeopardize the stability of our democracy.
The election results, being more than just disappointing, are resulting from the fact, that many voters can´t perceive a clear profile of the Union. The programmatic perceptibility of the Union has decreased in recent years. The preamble of the CDU policy program states: “The CDU is the People’s Party of the center. Even today, the political currents are still alive, from which the party emerged in 1945: The Christian-social, the liberal and the social conservative current.” These three traditional pillars, who were criminally neglected, are the” brand essence “of the CDU. Hence even the traditional voters have increasingly disappeared from sight in recent years.
Refugee policy (migration and asylum):
According to a recent INSA-survey, 64% of respondents and half of the Union followers do not agree with the refugee policy. If especially members of the Green Party and the left wing of the SPD are applauding on this subject of the German government, the CDU leadership has to wonder whether they still reach their own followers with this course. When it is even claimed, that supporters of the Federal Government´s refugee policy would indeed have won the elections (Malu Dreyer, SPD in Rheinland-Pfalz, Winfried Kretschmann, Green Party, in Baden-Württemberg), this is turning upside down the real situation. From a CDU being by far the strongest political force in the German Bundestag and filling the position of Chancellor, we might expect, to take serious the needs and concerns of its own voters especially.
Germany is a country of cooperativeness and hospitality. It is also a country, where people from more than a hundred nations and different cultures usually are getting on well with each other. Never before in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany the German society was insecure and divided to such an extent by the influx of refugees. Concerns about the loss of identity and an alienation of the country has seized many citizens.
The currently declining numbers of refugees and illegal immigrants to Germany are mainly due to the closure of the borders of the Balkans, much less due to the agreement between the EU and Turkey. It is neither in our interest to criticize the Balkan states for the border closure, nor was it conducive for the election campaign of the CDU, to advocate keeping open the Balkan route a few days before March 13.
The abolition of internal border controls in the Schengen area was combined with the promise to secure the external borders of the EU. It is the prime responsibility of all EU members to ensure an effective protection of the EU’s external borders. The EU must not become dependent on other states when it comes to securing of the external borders. The agreement between the EU and Turkey, with all its advantages, – involves the danger of a permanent political consideration for the Turkish government, even in case of evident violations of fundamental and human rights.
Apart from the entrance of groups clearly being in need of protection, the vast majority of citizens sees more risks than opportunities in the face of an uncontrolled influx of hundreds of thousands. Opportunities arise when it is guaranteed, that new citizens are successfully integrating into society and labor market and in case of an unconditional acceptance of our laws and values.
It is completely incomprehensible, if those, who criticize the practice of refugee policy, are accused of being responsible for the electoral defeat on 13 March. This is absolutely absurd. Because not the one revealing errors, makes a mistake, but the one who committed it in the first place.
Of all the parties, the CDU lost most of its voters to the AFD. The second largest share of AFD voters came from the camp of non-voters, many of whom had elected the Union before. One of the reasons for the occurrence of AFD is the fact, that the CDU has created political space to its right. Moreover, the AFD was politically finished in summer 2015 after its split. Only the controversial refugee policy gave it significant inflow again. Moreover, it is foolish to insult the AFD voters. The Union’s aim must be to regain these voters. Quite rightly former President. D. Roman Herzog and Minister A.D. Erwin Teufel are saying: “You cannot regain voters from successful new competition parties by ostracizing them as populist and racist.” You win them back “by conducting controversial debates and by positioning oneself towards topics that have been turned under the carpet during years of misconceived political correctness. ”
The Berlin district raises the following demands:
The CDU Federal Board urgently has to discuss the causes of the alarming election results and draw the necessary conclusions for a future course of the Union. Constructive self-criticism is the foundation of new successes. Only an unadorned representation of reality has the potential to create consent. Simply going back to business as usual, will lead to an additional loss of electoral votes in the state elections of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin in the fall of 2016, in the state elections of Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia in 2017 as well as in the upcoming federal election of 2017. Then AfD and FDP could benefit from the weakness of the CDU.
The CDU again has to visualize the principles of Christian democratic values still valid in its policy. We need to address our voters based on a recognizable Christian orientation together with messages concerning mainstream culture, the importance of responsibility and freedom, the social market economy, concerning internal security, to family, to protection of life and concerning patriotism.
Our goals are:
- To effectively protect Germany against the dangers posed by returning jihadist fighters. Therefore, the legal conditions have to be created, to withdraw the German nationality from people who were fighting abroad for a terrorist militia and who are possessing another citizenship next to the German.
- The reintroduction of the culpability of advertising for a terrorist organization.
- A family policy, moving marriage and the family to the center, equally recognizing that values are practiced in other cohabitations as well.
- Renunciation of gender ideology
- Continuation of the sound fiscal policy, which is an undoubted merit of the Union; low interest rates and rising tax revenues are its favorable circumstances
- Fighting a further regulation of the labor market; Time work and work contracts are important flexible building blocks that lead to job and wealth creation
- Promotion of the middle class, where, for example, concerning the minimum wage regulation large parts of the middle class aren´t burdened and criminalized any more. This doesn´t refer to the level of the minimum wage, but to unnecessary restrictions and to the way of the inspections. Furthermore, for example, an SME-friendly design of the inheritance tax law should be respected.
- Protection against left demands for tax increases
- Urgent tax simplifications
- Theming of the reckless monetary policy of the European Central Bank, abandoning savers and investors as the losers of the zero interest rate policy
- The prevention of left redistribution intentions; Germany has by international standards one of the most balanced income and asset structures with a broad middle class
- A European Union where nations remain recognizable and the UK continues to be part of.
Concerning the refugee policy, the responsibility for the common good in our country must not fall by the wayside. Therefore, it will be necessary to give a widely audible signal to the effect that even the forces of Germany regarding the influx of refugees are limited. Now we will have to decide, which refugees we will allow to enter Germany. Sweden and other countries have already stated that their capacities are exhausted. For these countries, there is a limit of their capacity, for Germany certainly too. Moreover, we must ensure that people don´t feel strange in their own country. Prime Minister Volker Bouffier is right by stating: “. We are not an Islamic country and we will be none!”
Veronika Bellmann, MP
Wolfgang Bosbach, MP
Klaus Brähmig, MP
Thomas Doerflinger, MdB
Mark Hauptmann, MP
Stefan Stern, MP
Silke Launert, MP
Philipp Lengsfeld, MP
Tim Ostermann, MP
John ropes, MdB
Patrick Sensburg, MP
Christian von Stetten, MP
Erika Steinbach, MP
Barbara Woltmann, MP
Hans-Peter Uhl, MP
Christian Wagner, Minister of State A.D.