Thursday, September 28, 2017


"Angela Merkel has won her fourth term as German chancellor but saw a sharp fall in support for her conservative Christian Democrat-led alliance and advances by the country’s far-right populist party. Her win was marred by her party’s worst election result since 1949 and a bigger-than-expected success for her nationalist opponents — the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany. The AfD capitalised on Germany’s refugee crisis and will surge into the Bundestag as the first substantial rightwing populist party since the second world war. Turnout was more than 76 per cent compared with 71.5 per cent in 2013. Ms Merkel put a brave face on the result, saying she had wanted “a better” outcome but that her CDU bloc remained “the strongest force” and would lead the next government. AfD supporters were jubilant. Alexander Gauland, a party leader, pledged to “hunt” Ms Merkel in parliament and said: “We will take our people and our country back.” The Social Democrats, Ms Merkel’s coalition partner, suffered their worst defeat and said they would go into opposition. Martin Schulz, the SPD leader, said it was “a difficult and bitter day for German social democracy”. Official results published on Monday by the federal returning officer gave Ms Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc 33 per cent of the vote. The Social Democrats won just 20.5 per cent. The AfD secured 12.6 per cent. Under Germany’s election system, the parliament will have 709 members compared with 631 during the last session. The AfD is set for 94 seats".
Stefan Wagstyl, Guy Chazan & Tobias Buck, "Merkel wins fourth term but far-right populists make gains". The Financial Times. 25 September 2017, in
"For you, Frau Merkel, ze war is over. Or, to put it another way, the endgame is just beginning. The most crassly inflated reputation in global politics took a beating in the German elections just concluded, as Angela Merkel’s CDU/SPD was punished by voters. Merkel is now so toxic that Martin Schulz, leader of the spectacularly humiliated SPD, claims he wants to go into opposition rather than rejoin the Grand Coalition that led Germany into cultural and demographic meltdown".
Gerald Warner, "Even Germany has now joined the populist revolt against the political class". Reaction. 25 September 2017, in
As predicted and written up here back in 2015, Angela Merkel's folly in re the refugee crisis has been (inevitably) followed by Merkel's electoral debacle. Pur et simple. That of course and in general her noticeable drift to the left of the ideological prism in the past four years. However it is doubtful that the CDU-CSU bloc would have suffered its greatest electoral results in the history of the Federal Republic sans Merkel's insane refugee policy 1. A policy which was and is completely senseless and illogical. And which the German Chancellor still defends against all reason and rationality 2. Au fond, Merkel of course is not a conservative and that fact explains her flight of fancy which lead to her disaster of a refugee policy. What seemed both at the time and in retrospect particularly egregious is that while she has for the most part been willing to keep in step with German public opinion as per how to resolve the financial crisis. Something which has been millstone around the necks of most countries in the Eurozone, she has been as we see completely willing to buck German public opinion as per her refugee policy. Were that it were otherwise: courage in combating the financial crisis and realism and intelligence in handling the refugee crisis. As per the latter: to argue (as many of our bien-pensant commentators would have us believe), that German (or British or American) public opinion on such highly emotional matters can be ignored is the height of irrealism. As Ludwig von Rochau, the inventor of the concept of Realpolitik once aptly put it in his opus:
"Even if stupid prejudice or blindfold error weigh heavier than truth in the stable of public opinion [government], may if it is reasonable, not exactly follow prejudice and error blindfold, but give in at least a little and as much as possible so as to not make enemies of these forces" 3.
1. Judy Dempsey, "Merkel’s Bittersweet Victory". Carnegie Europe. 25 September 2017, in
2. For this see: Stefan Wagstyl,"Merkel admits she has ‘polarised’ Germany as grip on power weakens". The Financial Times. 25 September 2017, in
2. Rochau quoted in: John Bew. Realpolitik: A history. (2016), pp. 40-41.


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