German politics | Merkel to step down as party leader

Carolina Red

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This story just broke on the news over here.

How do folks expect this will effect the CDU and German government going forward?
(CNN) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced she will give up leadership of her center-right Christian Democrat Union (CDU) party after 18 years in the post, German media has reported.
Merkel announced during a meeting with officials that she will not seek to run for re-election at the party's convention in December. But she made clear that she wanted to remain as chancellor, a position she has held since 2005, CNN affiliate RTL reported, citing party sources.
https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/10/29/europe/angela-merkel-germany-election-intl/index.html?utm_content=2018-10-29T10:30:06&utm_term=link&utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbCNN&r=https://m.facebook.com/
 

Arruda

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She will remain chancellor though. Just giving up party leadership shenannigans.
 

legolegs

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Will her coalition hold together... And will she stand for chancellor again if not?
It's definitely going to be her last term as chancellor. Will the coalition hold? Hard to say but I expect it to hold.
 

JuveGER

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Will her coalition hold together... And will she stand for chancellor again if not?
She won't stand for reelection in 2021, she said. If the coalition breaks and there are early elections I cannot see her give it another go, but there has not been any formal announcement.

The coalition is in trouble, but it may hold, because neither party will benefit from new elections.
 

KirkDuyt

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Had been coming for a while honestly. Hope she isn't replaced by some right wing loon.

Lot of admiration for her from people I'd expect to still hold it against her that she supporter the invasion of Iraq.
 

JuveGER

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Hope she isn't replaced by some right wing loon.
It's unlikely. There are three serious candidates for her succession as party leader and neither is a full on right wing loon.

One is her right-hand woman, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (very German name...), who is more socially conservative, but she would probably let Merkel continue her final period as chancellor and broadly be a continuation of Merkel politics (for good and bad). The other two candidates are more to the right of Merkel and may want to dispose of her as chancellor before the scheduled end of her reign, but they are far from right wing loons in the mould of Trump, Farrage, Wilders etc.

One, Jens Spahn, is the current secretary of health under Merkel, but has been pretty much forced into the cabinet against Merkel's will. He is more conservative than her with a tougher stance on migration, but despite some flirts with the Kurz/Orban/etc. politics he has not (yet) crossed over to the far right and as secretary of health he has softened his rhetoric. While he would want to be different to Merkel, I doubt he will be another Kurz/Orban/etc. He will inbetween. More center-right than center compared to Merkel.

The more curious candidate is Friedrich Merz. He used to be the CDU/CSU leader in parliament until he lost a vote against Merkel in 2002, when she wanted to consolidate her power in the CDU by adding the parliament leadership to her party leadership before running for chancellor. He left public politics soon after and has since worked in the private sector as lawyer, supervisory board member and lobbyist. His return is a bit of a surprise. He is more market-liberal than Merkel and more conservative, but again far from a right wing loon. He made his name in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Germany's economy was doing poorly and profound market-liberalism was very much en vogue on the center-right. Merkel herself ran on a very market-based campaign in 2005 before she moved to the center after she almost lost the election despite a massive headstart. Merz is one of the symbols of that time and may revitalise the left. He has also been associated with BlackRock (leading their supervisory board in Germany) and other financial institutions, which makes him a bogey man for the left. On the other hand, he is very popular, including working and middle class people, for his clear and concise rhetoric. His election would be the most interesting choice. He is often considered an enemy of Merkel, but has downplayed the rivalry, granting that she made the right move in 2002. He could win back voters from the far right that did not agree with Merkel pivoting her party to far into the center.

While it's likely that the CDU will move a bit more to the right, it is highly unlikely that it will follow the right wing loons in Europe and the US. Spahn is probably closest, but he is the least likely to win IMO and still fairly moderate compared to many of the loons we see elsewhere. The CDU has a very strong pro-EU, pro-Euro legacy and none of the leaders is climate change denier etc. In terms of migration, the CDU has already become more restrictive under Merkel, but for the far right she continues to be a symbol of free migration. If one of her "enemies", Spahn or Merz, win, they may attract voters who moved to the far right due to Merkel's strong move into the center and her migration policy. They wouldn't even have to change much, the fact alone that they are perceived as "anti-Merkel" would be enough.

There is a good chance that Geman politics won't change much and that the far right may actually become weaker.


I am lying, the Panzers are already on their way to Paris and Amsterdam.