Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: The language of German politics.
It’s been a turbulent few months for Mrs Merkel and result the local elections in the federal state of Hesse is probably the straw to break the camel’s back and prompted her to announce that she would go and as such taking the wind out of the sails of those would call for resignation – go before you are pushed!!! Wise move!!!
There’s been an incredible shift in politics the world over and Germany is certainly feeling the shift too especially if the last General Election and the recent local elections, with the smaller parties becoming seemingly more popular (or not if they are just protest votes) and stealing voters away from the traditional main parties of the centre right party Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre left party the Social Democratic Party (of Germany) (SPD). Both of which have recorded the worse election results ever, and their once powerful position at local and federal are being undermined by the surging parties, the left learning Greens and the far right called Alternative Party for Germany. The far left ‘Linke’ (Left) party is also gaining ground especially in the eastern federal states of the former GDR.
All three of the parties are tapping into the frustration of the electorate of the shenanigans going on in Berlin and disquiet at the Grand Coalition (made up by the two main parties), a marriage, which was doomed to fail from the start.
I would even go as far as to say that the German never really wanted another Grand Coalition but the power hungry politicians didn’t want to lose their grip on their little scraps of power they have left. I say bold move Mr Lindner , who refused to join a coalition that he saw would go against his party’s principles – the FDP ( Free Democratic Party)
Obviously Merkel has got the message, I wonder when the others will wake up and smell the beans. By stepping down as Head of the CDU party and announcing that she will not stand for election in 2021, she has at least given herself some breathing space, at best rescued her leadership as Chancellor of Germany.
However, as they say “a week in politics is a long time” so what can happen between now and 2021 is anyone’s guess!
For the BBC take, check out the article “Angela Merkel to step down as German Chancellor in 2021.” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46020745
to break the camel’s back (der Tropfen, der das Fass zum überlaufen bringt), to prompt sb to do sth (veranlassen), to announce sth (bekannt geben), to take the wind out of the sails (jdm zuvorkommen), to call for sth (aufforden), resignation (Rücktritt) , wise move (kluger Zug), shift in sth (Veränderung), General Election (Bundestagswahlen), recent (neuste), seemingly (scheinbar), centre right (mitterechts), to recorded results (Ergebnisse einfahren), to undermine sth/sb (etw untergraben), to surge (hier: schnell stark werden), left-learning (nach links tendierend), far-right (rechtsaußen), to gain ground (Boden gutmachen), former GDR (ehemaliger DDR), to tap into sth (etw anzapfen), electorate (Wählerschaft), the shenanigans (Tricks), disquiet (Unbehagen an etw), marriage (Ehe), to be doomed to fail (zum Scheitern verdammt), to lose their grip on sth (den Halt verlieren), scraps of sth (Fetze), bold move (Kühner Schachzug), to refuse to do sth (verweigern etw zu tun), to wake up and smell the coffee (den Tatsachen in Auge Auge sehen), to step down (zurücktreten), to stand for election (für eine Wahl kandidieren), give oneself breathing space (eine Atempause verschaffen), Chancellor (Kanzlerin).
2 Gedanken zu „The language of German politics.“
As I said before: you should write for a newspaper! Great article with both eloquence and wit.
I’m not only following your thoughts, but I’m also sharing them.
Lindner was criticized for refusing a Jamaica coalition and was called selfish – why selfish? No ministerial office, no minister salary and all the other benefits like car and flight service that would have come with the position… doing without that instead of sacrificing one’s principles is selfish? Ok… As he admitted, the only mistake was to negotiate for such a long time, they should have ended the whole thing way earlier.
Yeah, and then GroKo as marriage of convenience and (quick and dirty) emergency solution… quarreling with themselves and the partner all the time, mainly focusing on one topic instead of discussing issues of real worth and broad interest for Germans.
So, I agree: respect Mrs Merkel – for all you’ve done, endured (kindergarten Horst etc), achieved and the way you leave the political scene with your head held high.
Nevertheless, until 2021 is still a long time. Let’s see what’s gonna happen…
I’m still waiting for the phone call. I wouldn’t be surprised if Merkel sits it out until they have chosen and new CDU leader and then step down with, as you rightly said, her head held high. Watch this space.