Have we overestimated Chancellor Merkel? Her Christian democratic party, the CDU, came first in the 2017 German elections and were handed a mandate to form a government. The result, however, was not as strong as some had anticipated. Furthermore, she’s been struggling to find a junior partner willing to go into coalition with her.
What does that mean for the so-called “Teflon Chancellor”? Some are already predicting this moment will be the “beginning of the end” for Merkel. The chancellor, after 12 years in power, has to answer for a historically bad election result, and the subsequent failure of coalition negotiations has been interpreted as a personal failure for her.
Is her party still backing her? So far, the party leadership has expressed its confidence in Merkel. But what about the party base? We recently spoke to Ulrich Wensel. He’s the district chairman of the Junge Union Düsseldorf, the CDU youth organisation in Düsseldorf, which has publicly called for Merkel’s resignation.
Many of our readers have also demanded the resignation of Mrs. Merkel. What does Mr. Wensel hope for?
We, as the Junge Union Dusseldorf, have demanded the resignation of Angela Merkel as party leader and, in the case of new elections, her deselection as top candidate. Our reason for this is the increasing weakening of the party in terms of substance. The failure of the coalition talks has clearly underlined this again. While the CSU, FDP and Greens were able to identify priorities and thus determine the course of the negotiations until the end, the CDU and its negotiator, Angela Merkel, were noticeably lacking here.
I expect a party leader to not limit herself to the role of mediator, but also set her own priorities. Our party must become discernible from the others again. We need a strong program that is clearly distinguishable from other parties and that we can offer to citizens in the next elections. People want answers to the questions that concern them, not empty talk.
I therefore hope that the resignation of the party’s president will bring about a reorganisation of the party within the framework of a program and personality which once again emphasises the CDU’s origins, along the lines of its liberal, Christian-social and conservative roots.
From a personal point of view, I would like to see much greater participation of the younger generation within the government and party. Because the future belongs to the youth.
We also received a comment from Thomas. He calls for new elections without Mrs. Merkel. However, he can’t see any clear successors. Who could replace Mrs. Merkel? What are the options?
Jens Spahn is a potential successor for me. With him, a real generational change would be possible, with the focus on policies friendly to younger people. He is brave, and sometimes he expresses uncomfortable truths, even if that does not appeal to everyone. In addition, he also serves the conservative electoral base, whom we have criminally neglected…
Friedrich Merz should once again play a bigger role in the party. His detailed knowledge of economic policy, and not least of all his varied experience in the private sector, would enrich the party…
Julia Klöckner has been important in the debate over refugee policy, which was the main reason behind the miserable election results for the CDU… With her pro-life views she could also help offer a clear identity for the CDU.
Is this the beginning of the end for Angela Merkel? Could Germany’s political crisis topple the “Teflon Chancellor”? Should she take the blame for poor election results and the failure of coalition negotiations? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!