Radicalization of Germany: Political Center Melts

-edited

The demise of Merkel's "Grand Coalition" is now so complete no one can possibly deny what's happened.

German elections last weekend, in the East German state of Thuringia, confirmed what what Mish readers knew years ago: There is absolutely nothing left of Angela Merkel's grand coalition.

Merkel’s CDU conservatives were blasted down from first to third place .

The Guardian reports Far-right AfD surges to second place in German state election.

Anti-immigrant populists beat Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) to second place in an election in the east German state of Thuringia yesterday, building spectacularly on their steady momentum since first entering the Bundestag two years ago.

Politico reports Far left and Right Outflank Center in Regional German Vote

Center Collapse

What follows is through the eyes of Eurointelligence who views a center meltdown as a bad thing.

Something happened there that we feared would happen at some point: for the first time, the extreme parties on the left and the right managed to get a majority between them. Without wishing to over-stretch the parallels, we note this is how the Weimar Republic ended.

Thuringia is the only state in Germany where the Left Party heads a government. It managed to increase its share of the vote to 31%. The AfD, with 23.4%, was the other big winner. What is particularly galling is that the AfD's leader in the state is Bernd Hocke, a man on the far right of the party who has taken part in neo-Nazi marches.

We predicted some time ago that eventually the only way for the German centrist parties - CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP and Greens - to form a government would be through a mega-coalition between all them.

Since the 2017 elections, polls are registering declining vote shares for both CDU/CSU and SPD. They would longer have a majority nationwide. In Thuringia the situation went even further. If you add the seats of CDU, SPD, FDP and Greens, they are short of a majority together. The most likely scenario in Thuringia is for Bodo Ramelow of the Left Party, the current state premier, to form a minority government.

The over-arching story is the continuing meltdown of the political centre.

And finally, here is a story that encapsulates the SPD's problem more than anything else: the former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel is about to be appointed chief lobbyist for the car industry. With Gerhard Schröder lobbying for Russian gas the SPD is now clearly the party supporting the industries of the past. The declining car industry and the declining SPD are perfect mirror images.

More Europe?!

If "more Europe" was the answer, this meltdown would not be happening.

On October 18, 2015 I wrote Swamped By Stupidity; Peak Merkel.

Her open arms "We can do this" welcome of millions of Syrian refugees was the final straw.

Merkel managed to stay in power because SPD would not pull the plug on the alleged "Grand Coalition".

Why?

That's easy.

SPD leaders would have lost the next election and more importantly cushy jobs, free limos, and other perks for as long as they stayed in power.

It is no accident that the long-time elders (those with perks), elected to keep the coalition in place while younger members got thoroughly disgusted and drifted to the Greens, the radical Left, or the radical Right.

Escape Plans

SPDs position in the "Grand" coalition is finally dead along with it the cushy jobs and limos.

What to do? What to do?

  1. The former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel is about to be appointed chief lobbyist for the car industry.
  2. Gerhard Schröder will lobby for the Russian gas industry.

It's a fitting ending that proves what the Grand Coalition was really ever about: Political Perks.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (47)
No. 1-14
Je'Ri
Je'Ri

Oddly enough, the mainline parties will do a coalition with Die Linke long before they do one with AfD. They seem to fail to grasp that they can coopt the AfD, but they'd rather run the risk of the Left coopting them.

ElPendejoGrande
ElPendejoGrande

Who knew people wouldn't like their towns being flooded with refugees?

Harry-Ireland
Harry-Ireland

I haven't recognized Germany for years now. It's a totally different society and not in a good way. The country has changed, people have changed, a sense of community, trust and respect are completely wiped out in some areas. Propertyprices have skyrocketed, including rentalprices, hence the Berlin rentcontrol of late. This isn't a surprise or unique to Germany. Everywhere you look in Western Europe, massimmigration has led to an enormous change in society. Perhaps someone should visualize the correlation between mass-immigration, the changes in GDP, rise in debt, stagnation of wagegrowth,lower interestrates and the shift in power between leftwing and rightwing political parties. It's not rocketscience, people. It's competition between the people who were born in an area, worked their whole lives to achieve an average quality of life at best (which for the past decade has seen a clear decline), and newcomers (who are sometimes even hostile and extremely ungreatful or violent) being given everything, for free and if you question this narrative, you're bombarded with isms and basically forced into silence. Wow, what a surprise that this doesn't work. How very unexpected that you'll eventually pay the price in every sense of the word, financially, socially and politically.

Onni4me
Onni4me

All the cliches seem to have been mentioned, far right, end of Weimar republic and the rise of you-know-who, blah blah blah...

People even in my country are fed up for exactly the same reason that Harry-Ireland mentions above. We have been a small and poor country that rose to the current level through hard work and sacrifice and now we simply should shoulder the bill of never-ending migrants given free housing and all the social benefits that our grandparents could just dream about.

And at the same time things on the street level are degrading rapidly. One can just dream about permanent monthly job and benefits. Job renting is the New Black of the job market.

An average young person sees all this and he is given the role of the slave. In the end someone has to pay for all this richness the EUSSR is giving us.

More and more people say no to the offer.

JonSellers
JonSellers

Interesting to me is that it is only certain aspects of the left and right that are gaining prominence. Rightist economic policies are being jettisoned, while rightist nationalism is on the upswing. On the other hand, leftist economic policies are on the upswing while leftist social policies are languishing.

Trump represents that well in the US. The world is turning away from traditional liberalism, and more towards communitarianism, emphasizing community standards in culture and economic obligations.

JanNL
JanNL

The 'political center' has been doing expensive crazy stuff like the "Energiewende" and "Wir schaffen das" for years and years. No wonder some Germans are finally waking up.

Country Bob
Country Bob

In their selfish quests to be seen as socialist "heroes", both Obama and Merkel (and Macron and...) instead managed to stoke racism. Obama set race relations in the USA backward by several generations. Merkel pulled the AfD from the dustbin and made it a major political power in Germany.

Stealing from one group to give to a more politically favored group is bound to piss off the group being robbed. Its not charity when the politicians "donate" other people's money; its theft. And it immediately sets the different sub-groups against each other, an easily foreseen outcome -- and by that I mean Obama and Merkel both did it on purpose.

abend237-04
abend237-04

When Samuel P. Huntington published Clash of Civilizations in 1996, I thought it pessimistic and a bit far fetched. I no longer do. In fact, one can now almost use it as a playbook for what's happening in Europe, especially Germany. Anyone remember what happened at the Cologne City Center on New Year's eve, 2015? Mass sexual assaults, rapes and theft of Germans by Syrian and north African refugees, one civilization casually assaulting another. That had to profoundly impact the average German's sense of security. I think it just showed up in the latest elections.

Curious-Cat
Curious-Cat

"We wanted workers. Instead we go people." Don't recall who said that, but it's a mouthful.

RobinBanks
RobinBanks

Time to stock up on popcorn for when the Eurozone and the "Extreme Centre" implodes.

Latkes
Latkes

The political "center" has been moving to the left for a long time. What used to be normal just 2 - 3 decades ago is now "far-right". There is nothing extreme about the AfD or the League once you realize that the so called "center" is now firmly in the batshit crazy territory.

MaxBnb
MaxBnb

Mish you have bunch of winers commenting here.

It is them .. they did it to us…

Sorry people it is You who did it to yourself going back to Otto von Bismarck and his socialist policies, State Socialism Staatssozialismus.

From then on, German problem started and never ended.

English problem go back to 19 century as well, imperialism and Fabians go hand in hand.
 French problem go to revolution of 1789.

less socialism, less warfare, less welfare. more freedom

Herkie
Herkie

Speaking of the RADICAL right:

Missouri Has Been Tracking the Menstrual Cycles of Planned Parenthood Patients, Top Health Official Admits The news comes as the state weighs whether to shut down its last remaining abortion clinic.

I just do not want to hear any more crap from republicans at this point about how wasteful democrats are, I mean WTeverlovingF is this? GOP says there is no money for school lunches for poor kids, but they found the money to track women's MENSTRUAL CYCLES? I wonder if they know, even a shred of a clue, how inhumane and flat out stupid they look to normal people?