Weekend Reads CDU party congress: It's enough

22:20  26 october  2020
22:20  26 october  2020 Source:   xml.zeit.de

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For months, three who are not enthusiastic about the CDU have been in an unhappy race for the presidency. Now it should go into extension. A terrible idea.

Die drei Kandidaten für den Bundesvorsitz der CDU, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz und Norbert Röttgen © Michael Kappeler / dpa The three candidates for the federal chairmanship of the CDU, Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen

There are literally tens of thousands of good reasons for currently considering major events such as concerts, festivals, trade fairs and party conferences as inappropriate . These reasons are human lives. Nobody should brush that off the table.

In the case of the CDU party congress in December, too, at least ostensibly , the epidemiological argument has prevailed. In any case, so far the only one who openly argues against the presidium decision to postpone the election, Friedrich Merz , who senses an attempt by the "party establishment" to deprive him of the victory he believed to be certain.

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 If the numbers continue to rise, as is currently the case: SPD health expert Lauterbach warns of local shutdowns In view of the increasing number of corona cases in Germany, the warning voices from politics are increasing. It depends on the behavior of each individual. © Photo: imago Local lockdowns would hit the economy hard, says SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach. SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach counts on people's behavior in the fight against the corona virus - less on containment measures. "It will depend on how the population behaves. That is more important than individual measures.

Yes, that's right, Merz is always an issue for itself. Even his brief statement on this decision raises the question of whether a former CDU parliamentary group leader who speaks of the "party establishment" of the CDU really cares as much about the Federal Republican democracy as he always claims. Or whether he is only one of the last naive who try to integrate Trumpist right-wing radicalism into a conservative party, only to then observe helplessly that these forces hijack and distort the party.

Nevertheless, Merz is right at this point. Indeed, it is high time this spectacle came to an end. The candidate race between Armin Laschet , Norbert Röttgen and Merz has been exhausting for everyone and helpful for no one for some time.

Wrestling for the chairmanship: Laschet for postponement of the CDU election party convention

 Wrestling for the chairmanship: Laschet for postponement of the CDU election party convention The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, who is running for the CDU chairmanship, has spoken out in favor of postponing the planned election party conference at the beginning of December because of the corona pandemic. What parties expect from the citizens, they have to do themselves: reduce contacts wherever possible. © picture alliance / dpa Berlin: Armin Laschet takes part in an online talk with the Junge Union.

All three candidates seem to come more or less from another time. And not just because they are all men. You can also see North Rhine-Westphalia, the old Federal Republic with its trade union bosses, broadcasting councils and carnival clubs, which is oriented towards equalization.

They all know little about the East, and to them the new social conflicts over identity and representation are evidently a book with seven seals. None of them really give the impression that they are ready for a major international crisis. And would any of them stand up strategically and personally against someone like Russian President Vladimir Putin? Logically, all three also satisfy the ideas of CDU membership so inadequately that even before the election of the new boss there is open speculation that should not take over the candidacy for Chancellor Markus Söder (CSU).

The internal CDU election campaign is a rather unsightly spectacle. But the more important problem is that this fruitless race attracts attention when it is now time for society as a whole to discuss Germany after Corona. But as long as the CDU has not decided whether it wants to be led by a hardliner in the style of Roland Koch or by a green-friendly uncle, it is not really foreseeable which alternatives the voters will have in the next election. The spectrum of the conceivable CDU 2021 ranges from a party that approaches the AfD with a culture-fighting gesture to one that wants to join forces with the Greens with a message of compensation and climate protection.

Pudding alternatives

CDU: The show should come to an end

 CDU: The show should come to an end The election of a new party leader will be followed by the difficult free choice of the candidate for chancellor next year. But now the CDU party conference in Stuttgart is on the brink. © Michael Kappeler / dpa Norbert Röttgen (left), Armin Laschet (center) and Friedrich Merz (right) are the three candidates for the federal chairmanship of the CDU. The show should come to an end.

As long as it is not clear which option the delegates will opt for, no one knows how the Greens will behave towards the CDU. This in turn has a decisive influence on the question of whether there is a conceivable green-red-red alternative or not. The whole structure of political possibilities has something pudding-like about it, as long as the CDU cannot decide how right-wing or moderate it would like to be. Election campaigns are the fashion shows of political fantasies. Voters can imagine people in office, play with weird or inspiring thoughts about the future and then discard them again. This spectacle, an open contest for the social majority, could be an important stabilizing experience right now, in this looming winter of powerlessness. We have to stay at home, but at least we can discuss what will happen afterwards. Are we now ready for the great climate change or are we facing a nostalgic phase? Is an era of new cohesion or restorative demarcation beginning?

It is a phrase that may really be true in the first election after Angela Merkel and Corona: We, the citizens, decide more than we have for a long time about the direction of the country.

Should this election campaign really only begin when the CDU has decided at some point in March what it would like to be? It could take that long if the party does not decide in January about the form in which it wants to hold the party congress. The party should now find a way to decide on its direction this year if possible, be it through postal voting or decentralized events. The voters inside and outside the CDU have seen enough. Now is the time to argue with the others.

Only “for a short moment” ?: Armin Laschet seen on the plane without a mask .
A photo that shows Armin Laschet in an airplane without a mask sparked controversy about the political credibility of the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia. A passenger who was sitting near the CDU politician on a flight from Dusseldorf to Berlin had photographed Laschet in conversation with his spokesman without mouth and nose protection and forwarded the recording to the Bild newspaper. © picture alliance / dpa A picture shows Armin Laschet sitting in an airplane without a mask.

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