"Merkel Gets Biggest Victory Since Kohl’s Reunification Vote" - this was the news headline of Bloomberg. And at the first glance it seems correct: Angela Merkel's party – the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – got 41.5% of the votes. The Social Democrats with their candidate Peer Steinbrück only received 25.7%, not even close to Merkel´s tally. The Greens took 8.4%, and the post-communist Left Party 8.6%. Merkel´s former coalition partner, the liberal FDP failed to reach the 5% threshold needed to gain representation in the Bundestag, getting just under the "magic number" with 4.8% of the vote. The new Eurosceptic party "Alternative für Deutschland" didn't manage to get 5 percent either.
On the night of the election, we witnessed kafkaesque scenes at the victory party of Merkel´s CDU, with the leading staff of an outfit, typically described as “conservative”in the international media, clapping hands and singing along to a song of the left-wing band “Die Toten Hosen” (the Dead Trousers). The general secretary of the CDU, Hermann Gröhe, in particular was afflicted with an embarrassing case of "dad dancing."
German and international media have been referring to the "great victory" of Angela Merkel, both celebrating it and expressing concern about her "new power." Some international journalists have asked the question why "the Germans" love Angela Merkel so much. Others have started analyzing how conservative the Germans are – after all they voted for the "conservative party." To say it frankly, everything, from the "conservativeness" of the CDU to its "great victory," is not quite what it seems to be.
Despite the party name, Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats do not stand for any idea or ideology – except that of collecting votes for Angela Merkel. The CDU has simply became her political-machine. In Bavaria the CDU's sister party, the CSU, is at least partly conservative, but elsewhere CDU-politicians campaign for multiculturalist and liberalist aims. It has now become the party where you find the old, stubborn traditional catholic alongside the gay rights activist, and the pro-life activist sharing space with the feminist. Above all, Angela Merkel and her dancing team on the stage are completely "liberated" from any ideological foundation.
Merkel´s party is everything and nothing at the same time: Social Democratic, ecologist, liberal, sometimes Christian, sometimes Muslim or Jewish, feminist, transatlanticist, pro-EU, pro-Euro currency, pro-Israel, pro-"Human Rights"... It is hard for any other political party to compete with this all-embracing political machine.
Do all those things make Angela Merkel special? Not at all. She and her party represent in a perfect way the understanding of governance in the Western world. As ever, the key question is: What would change for Europe and the World if the government in Germany changed from CDU/CSU to SPD? The answer is short and simple: Nothing.
It has became a sort of "nice tradition" for any new government to declare that policies towards the EU and foreign policies in general will not change. These things are somehow magically "fixed" without any alternative, according to German establishment politicians. At the end of the day, the German citizen can decide whether taxes here or there are increased or decreased a bit, if driving a car becomes more expensive, or if our secret service has more or fewer undercover agents. But, even in these marginal areas, who knows if the new government really keeps its promise?
In all important questions, the vote merely influences the speed at which the big political direction is pursued, but not the direction itself. This is, of course, a common thing in the Western world. In the UK it doesn't matter what party the actual warmonger prime minister belongs to. A "New Labour" Blair and a "Conservative" Cameron seem like political twins in terms of foreign politics. In France the "conservative" Sarkozy loved "humanitarian interventions" just as much as his "socialist" successor Hollande. In the Western motherland, the USA, it is hard for a foreigner to recognize any difference whether it is a Republican or a Democrat ordering the drone attacks. There is this joke circulating: A US general is delivering a speech in front of his troops in Vietnam. He talks about the great mission of the US-army in bringing freedom and democracy. The general gives an example: He mentions that there is now a McDonald's and a Burger King in Saigon. "This is the freedom of choice, this is democracy!"
During the election campaign we Germans saw at street intersections huge posters with Merkel's frowsty face with the following words written nesxt to it: "Kanzlerin für Deutschland" (Chancellor for Germany). No political content, just those three words! Nothing made it clearer that it is all about collecting votes, nothing else.
In her speeches she repeated over and over again, "We are the most successful government since the reunification!" as if engaged in some moronic mind-control experiment. Even on the night of her victory, she didn't waste time with political positions. She said: "I see the next four years in front of me and I can promise that we will face many tasks, at home, in Europe and in the world." A big round of applause, no questions asked.
Some foreign journalists were confused. Why didn't the NSA scandal play any role in the elections? Why was the discussion about the future of the EU and the Euro currency so measly? Why was there no discussion about the German participation in international NATO-operations? And why didn't the parties discuss the demographic decline in our country?
The answer is easy. There is no dissent between the established parties on all these existential questions. They are all pro-Western, "friends of the US," pro-Euro, pro-NATO, and dedicated to solving the demographic problem simply by more immigration. Just one example: Some top figures of the former "pacifist" Greens were calling for military aggression against Syria. And how could the Social Democrats use the revelation that the US has been spying on Germany as a campaign issue when they themselves have collaborated with Washington when in government? And how could the Liberals be credible criticizing Germany's role as the paymaster of Europe when they have supported all those "Euro rescue measures"? Only the Left Party plays a small oppositional role here and there when it comes to the international military operations. But now already some top figures of the party are trying to "reform" those aspects in order to become "capable of forming a coalition."
How glorious is the victory of the CDU really? Almost one third of eligible voters don't participate anymore in the federal elections for many reasons. Only 71.5% voted. The "party of the nonvoters" became the second biggest in Germany. And around 15% of the votes cast will not be represented in parliament: This is the result of the 5% hurdle, designed to stifle support for smaller parties closely aligned with people's actual interests. When we take into account all these facts, the CDU/CSU got around 30% of the eligible vote, with nonvoters at 29%, Social Democrats 18%, Left and Greens with 6%, and 11 percent for the non-represented parties.
What is wrong with a country where more and more people are losing interest in participating in the elections? Are these all lazy idiots or are these citizens "arrogant" as the German news magazine Der Spiegel wanted to make us believe one week before the elections? Or is it maybe the sign of a serious crisis of the political system?
This article was published on Alternative Right.