After saying “nein” to a grand black-red CDU/CSU + SPD coalition led by CDU (Angela Merkel), SPD party candidate Peer Steinbrück changed his mind and said he was willing to form such a coalition.
Political Poker Revisited
I discussed the reasons for the switch in Political Poker in Germany.
Was Steinbrück lying then, or now? Or both? Is this a game to win votes? Or a real change of heart? Or no change of heart, just a lie the entire time?
Quite frankly, I do not know. What I do know is that, in general, politicians will lie cheat and steal to stay in power.
Should the opportunity present itself, would Steinbrück enter a coalition with Die Linke even though he said he wouldn’t?
Why not? He said he would not enter one with CDU/CSU and changed his mind. Might not he do so again? Might this all be a game of political poker?
Grand Coalition or Grand Opposition?
Today, Der Spiegel discussed the power play in Possible SPD coalition with Merkel: Gabriel’s power issue. The translation is particularly difficult, but this is what I have.
Here Steinbrück, There Steinbrück, Everywhere Steinbrück
In the last days before the election, the SPD chancellor candidate has switched to ubiquity. Radio, market places, and the “Halli Galli circus”. The point is to organize as many votes as possible for his party.
Then Steinbrück will be gone. What’s next falls on SPD Chairman Sigmar Gabriel.
“We fight for red-green, nothing else,” Gabriel says. however, some party members think, recognize a certain sympathy for a black-red alliance with him to.
Not Quite So Simple
Gabriel is facing difficult weeks. After the election, the SPD leader may need to lead his party into a grand coalition. But this variant is hated by many party members. How will this all go well?
In many parts of the SPD-Black Red is hated. Gabriel knows this, he has a good feel for the party spirit.
Internally, SPD announced it will involve members in some form on a decision on the next coalition. But how? Gabriel runs the risk that the party makes him a spanner in the works. [Mish note: a spanner is a German instrument for widening springs].
No less complicated is the question of how a new edition of the grand coalition would actually look like four years later. A grand coalition would shift the center of power of the SPD to a cabinet post in Merkel’s administration, but the Chancellor outshines everything. How does a puppet role help the party in the next election?
And what talents does Gabriel have? He is not qualified for finance minister and does not find Merkel’s stance on many issues appealing in the first place.
So it’s foreign minister? In the the Foreign Office, he’s out of the domestic political debate. Germans might be able to sleep a little quieter, but the party without him would have more difficulty distinguishing themselves from the Union. No optimal conditions for the next election.
In general, a grand coalition would make the next election problematic with a Red-Red-Green (SPD + Greens + Left) coalition even less conceivable than now. Can Gabriel afford that?
Grand Coalition or Grand Discontent, Mistrust and Disrespect?
Reader Bernd, who sent me the above link wrote…
An interesting article by “Der Spiegel” about the possible power struggle within SPD regarding a Grand Coalition (CDU/CSU/SPD).
Der Spiegel is usually extremely well informed about SPD and the parties’ inner feelings and structure.
Der Spiegel article finds it difficult to fathom a Grand Coalition, because the majority of SPD leaders, members and Parlamentarians dislike the possibilty immensely and dislike Mm Merkel so intensely.
The article does not show a way out, but tells the reader: if a grand coalition comes about at all, it will be one of discontent, mistrust and disrespect. Not a good omen for the work that lies ahead in Europe.
Grand Coalition More Complicated Than It Looks
Everything is more complicated than it looks. If a “Grand Coalition” is in the works, don’t expect it to be very stable.
And this is why CDU/CSU hopes to attain a majority without depending on any alliances.
If AfD and FDP do not make the 5% threshold, CDU/CSU can get an outright majority. But if AfD totals 7% or more it is going to be very difficult if not impossible.
CDU/CSU will then have to form a coalition with someone. What poison will it be?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock