How did German politics get so messy? Chancellor Angela Merkel was supposed to be Europe’s “steady hand”. Election observers thought she was almost guaranteed to win; she was supposed to be the classic, comfortable option that German voters would support.

The myth will need to be revisited. Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party did indeed emerge victorious in the Bundestag elections, yet she has so far been unable to form a government. German politics demands coalitions, and seemingly nobody is willing to work with Merkel. Whenever parties have gone into coalition with her in the past they have invariably been punished at the polls.

After a bruising at the ballot box, Martin Schulz’ Social Democratic Party (SPD) initially rejected another “grand coalition”. Attention then turned to a green-black-yellow “Jamaica” coalition (so-named because of the colours of the Jamaican flag) between the CDU, the Greens, and the liberal FDP. However, those talks broke down when the liberals walked out (having previously been burned after governing with Merkel). What happens next?

  • Option 1: Grand Coalition. Despite the social democrats publicly rejecting the idea, it’s gained new ground recently. Mathematically, such a coalition would be possible. Politically? Even a week ago, it seemed unlikely. However, public opinion seems to be moving in favour of such a deal. “Exploratory” talks between the CDU and SPD are ongoing.

Option 2: New elections. The radical left Die Linke party has already demanded new elections. That would only be possible if no candidate for chancellor can cobble together a working solution. Then the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, can dissolve the Bundestag and call new elections. The new Bundestag would then have to be re-elected within 60 days. However, recent polls suggest that new elections would not necessarily deliver new results.

Option 3: Minority Government. This would be a novelty for German politics, but not a very stable model. A government made up of the CDU and the FDP, or the CDU and the Greens, would have to work with opposition parties in order to win every single vote in the Bundestag. For this option to be viable, a chancellor would first have to achieve a simple majority of votes in their favour in the Bundestag and be confirmed by President Steinmeier.

Can Merkel fix Germany’s political chaos? None of the available options seem particularly stable, but ultimately one will have to be chosen. What happens next? Should there be new German elections in 2018? Should there be another “grand coalition”? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Image Credits: (c) palinchak

68 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Franck Legon

    On purpose “chaos” to be reelected as the only “far right rising” alternative, just like in France, the manipulation is obvious. She’s very strong in managing her political career, but doesn’t give a damn about what her decisions consequences are for the peoples of Europe or Germany. A shame.

  2. Max Berre

    Why don’t we wait and see how the coalition negotiations will turn out before speculating? It’s clear that SPD is going to have demands after the electoral beat-down they just received.

  3. Dietmar Hartmann

    The biggest mistake of Orbán was to bulid a fence: without fence Merkel would be history now since a year or more. And then it would be time for border defence payed by EU-liberals :D

    • Jan Kowalski

      Bullshit. Without fence she would be a clear winner and stronger now than she really is.

    • Jan Kowalski

      You are right but not in the sense You intended. The moment she resigns the opportunity window for fixing much of what she broke will open.

  4. catherine benning

    Can Merkel fix Germany’s political chaos?

    In all the years as leader, has she been able to give the German people a country they are happy to live in and be part of? Do they want to continue with the society she has been the creator of for many years? If yes, then, how did she not win the general election?

    The answer therefore has to be, no, the German people are not happy with what Germany has become under her leadership. Why on earth would they now believe a coalition with her as the obvious front runner on policy will give them a German future they will feel good with and ready to accept?

    Only people without a brain can possibly back an idea of endlessly following the same path will eventually lead them to a different destination. Any coalition will be too easy to manipulate by the Globalists she is supported by.

    Remember, she won the Charlemagne Prize for her working efforts to follow the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan for EU population integration. She is unable to alter her position on that policy as it is backed by her supporters.

    What is the aim of the Charlemagne Prize.

    Richard Coudehove-Kalergi was the first to win this prize. He was one of the main founders of the EU. He wrote a book on his ideas, aims and values for Europe, which is followed diligently by leaders of that organisation today. Merkel one of them. The book is unfortunately not available in English but can be found in German and Italian. And is titled, Practical Idealism, by Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi.

    Germans wanting to know the beliefs of their leaders should read it.

  5. Bódis Kata

    She has caused this chaos. CDU had lost lots of support because Merkel turned it into a liberal party. She overdid it, the consequences are palpable.

    • Jan Kowalski

      Dont You call her and her kin policy liberal ever. euro lefties have as much to do with liberalism as I do with designing space rockets. Im ultra sensitive about this term, please excuse.

  6. Malte Rathje

    There simply is no chaos! Study out democratic system and you’ll soon realize that finding coalitions is the essence of democratic processes here.

  7. EU Reform- Proactive

    Merkel’s Germany- “Wir schaffen das”! Who knows? Watch & wait!

    Is that the price of solo, arrogant, naive & non collective decision making within a highly priced and apparent treaty bound community, called “EUnion”?

    Seems Merkel might meet her Waterloo!

    Nowadays, “abdication” by politicians is rewarded with a golden handshake and a hefty pension- not a St. Helena option.

    • Rémi Martin

      And logical after 2 months!

    • Carlos Branco

      Rémi Martin will help AFD. we need to help AFD at all coasts.

    • Rémi Martin

      Germans will revote as we say them what to revote! :)

  8. Jez Boulton

    No chaos. A coalition cobbled together in two days between the Tories and Libdems in the UK 2010….Thats Chaos

  9. Jez Boulton

    No chaos. A coalition cobbled together in two days between the Tories and Libdems in the UK 2010….Thats Chaos

  10. Jez Boulton

    No chaos. A coalition cobbled together in two days between the Tories and Libdems in the UK 2010….Thats Chaos

  11. Jez Boulton

    No chaos. A coalition cobbled together in two days between the Tories and Libdems in the UK 2010….Thats Chaos

  12. Barbara Szela Lesniak

    Well, as long as she keeps her hands away from Poland and Germans can still tolerate the chaos she created, I don’t give a damn.

    • Jan Kowalski

      True that, sister on one hand, on the other to assure her not meddling with our issues having her go is stronger option.

  13. Ivan Burrows

    It got messy because of the idiotic dogma of Schengen, the Euro and empire building by crazed Europeans like merkel.

    • Tamás Kovács

      i desagree.. problem is countries puting their nose where they should not have.. like Iraq etc.. The UK also took a huge part with the US.. the UK and Euro ate two different things.. dont mess up. Apthough wht you are debating EU issues when your country voted to leave.. you and Nigel so need the EU otherwise you will be bored.. this why he wants second referendum..

    • Ivan Burrows

      Tamás Kovács The EU has plenty of disasters to come before it assuredly breaks up so there will be plenty for us to talk about after we leave. The rest of your post was just the usual ‘lets blame the Brit’s’ BS so was ignored.

  14. Andrew Potts

    She should stop trying to hold on to power, she should resign, its the progressive thing to do.

  15. Gaotu Davids

    No we need fresh leadership in Germany, She is stale & has a different face behind closed doors.

    • Gaotu Davids

      She’s one of the very worst though she works a second job at night & most people don’t know.

  16. Vicente Silva Tavares

    I believe the political mess is due to the huge influx of Muslim migrants and their terrorist attacks. The Germans felt threatened and voted on the far right. Europe is going to dire straits. I hope my children migrate to safer places.

  17. Sari Bruno

    I think she should have retired. The EU is changing and she presents the past.

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