by Katja Hoyer
Tuesday, 20
April 2021
Explainer
17:09

In Germany, the Greens are headed for Government

The election of Annalena Baerbock is a sign of the party’s new confidence
by Katja Hoyer
Germanys greens are on the rise (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

Germany’s Green Party means business. Now only single digits behind the conservative CDU/CSU in the polls (but ahead of all parties in this poll), there is a real chance that the federal elections in September might bring about the country’s first Green leader. It is a sign of the party’s new confidence that it has on Monday picked its first-ever chancellor candidate: Annalena Baerbock.

Only 40 years old, she is the youngest of the candidates for Germany’s central political office. This befits a party that is trying to win over voters on a reform ticket. But make no mistake, Baerbock is an experienced career politician with the potential to convince even risk-averse voters that she would be a safe pair of hands.

The Greens’ consistent course of ‘constructive opposition’ during Merkel’s long tenure in government, and particularly during the pandemic, allowed Baerbock to cultivate a friendly image, devoid of the whiff of corruption and ambition that surrounds the candidates of the ruling coalition parties, the CDU/CSU and SPD. It helps that she speaks with the neutral accent of her North-German home region, avoiding the sometimes divisive regional inflections of her competitors. Her career path has been steep but without scandal: from her middle-class upbringing (which included a brief sporting career as a successful trampolinist, winning her three national bronze medals) to her professional development in journalism and politics at EU level and in Germany. She is a personable and modern politician without rough edges.

The decision this week to choose Baerbock over her colleague and co-leader of the Green Party, Robert Habeck, has not been an obvious one. The latter has long been hailed as the more likely chancellor candidate. While polls have Baerbock slightly ahead of her male colleague internally, the German public still see Habeck as the more capable candidate.

One could take the view that there isn’t much between the two Green leaders. Both have unfailingly sung from the same hymn sheet. Both are also members of the so-called ‘realo’-wing of the Green Party, the pragmatic faction willing to compromise and work with mainstream political parties.

But while both Green leaders are happy to drive a friendly, consensus-driven, centre course, Baerbock is the more Left-leaning of the two. Habeck has in the past worked on programmes with conservative politicians against radical Islamist influences in Germany, while Baerbock has been engaged in groups that furthered the course of Syrian refugees. Her instincts certainly lean a little further Left than his.

The choice to opt for the female, younger and more Left-leaning candidate over the one still favoured by the electorate, shows how confident the German Greens are going into the September elections. They know they don’t need to come first to provide the chancellor. The political system might well see them become the second largest party and pick coalition partners other than the CDU/CSU, even if the latter win the most votes.

Whatever the outcome of the election in September the German Greens are more likely to sit on the government benches than opposite.

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  • Don’t believe that the Greens are rational. There are only 2 Green individuals in Germany, who are fairly rational: the Mayor of Tübingen, Palmer, often very much in conflict with his party’s Green leaders. He is competent and therefore people voted for him as an individual. The same goes for Kretschmann, “Minister President” of Baden Württemberg. But A.Baerbock would be a disaster for Germany‘s industry. She is a political melon, outside green, but deeply red inside. Her experience in life was only in politics, from being part of the Greens at the EU and later in German Parliament. She is loved by most of the German MSM, but even she can‘t hide her total ignorance, when it comes to green energy. Recently she mixed up the chemical “Kobalt(=cobalt)” in batteries with Kobolds(goblins). People were falling over each other laughing at so much ignorance. Germany’s automotive industry will suffer enormously and eventually people will wake up to the destruction of their own country. She wants to increase corporate and individual taxes, which would destroy many “MittelStand” Companies in Germany. Also like the Democrats in the US, the Greens believe in open borders and the refugee crisis will become even worse. The hidden green streak in Angela Merkel will finally become open German policy. Angela Merkel will delight in having her “Wunsch” Candidate.

  • As I mentioned above, they are not the lovable and acceptable Greens as the German Middle Class wants to believe. People should just take a look at the disaster which is Berlin Politics. A city totally destroyed by Green- Left politicians. Migrants and Antifa occupying houses, rent control introduced by the Berlin government, which just recently was declared unconstitutional by the German Federal Court of Justice. Parks are overrun by drug gangs , Arab Clans rule supreme and soft policing everywhere. Reminds me of what’s happening in LA and CA right now, where middle sized companies are leaving in droves. So far in CA they still have the woke Tech Cooperations.

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