New Coalition Deal—A Way Out for Germany?
Germany has a new coalition option. On Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel sat down with Martin Schulz, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (spd), along with Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union.
Merkel’s first attempt at forming a coalition after the 2017 federal elections collapsed. But her Christian Democratic Union has governed with the Social Democrats even before the September election, so she has experience leading coalitions with them.
Will a partnership with the Social Democrats solve Germany’s coalition quandary? No. To see why, we have to recognize three things.
Germany Is Still a Long Way From a Coalition Deal
These parties are merely discussing the possibility of beginning exploratory coalition negotiations. At this point, they are not even close to actual coalition negotiations, let alone an actual coalition and a functioning coalition government. Most politicians and commentators agree that these negotiations will extend into early 2018. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said that he doesn’t expect formal negotiations to even begin until January.
The Social Democrats Are Under Unprecedented Pressure
Merkel’s Christian Democrats have formed a coalition with the Social Democrats twice before, which has led many to think these negotiations will be easy.
I don’t think they will be. The spd just suffered its worst election result in post-World War ii history. If it loses just a few more percentage points, it will lose its status as one of Germany’s major parties—demoted to the same league as the Free Democrats and the Greens.
The spd’s survival as Germany’s main left-wing party is on the line. It has to avoid the perception of “vote for the spd, get Angela Merkel.” It will have to prove that it makes a difference. This means it will have to take a stand and refuse to compromise in some areas. Merkel will find the spd difficult to negotiate with, and even if her Christian Democrats can compromise with the Social Democrats, the governing coalition they form will be unstable.
The Election Result Is Only a Symptom of the Dissatisfaction in Germany
Germany is in this situation not because of the complexities of political coalition machinations. It is in this situation because of the voters. This difficult coalition negotiation process is a symptom of a deeper problem.
Combined, Germany’s two main parties received 53 percent of the vote—the smallest percentage in postwar history. Contrast that to the 1990s, when they received at least 75 percent of the vote.
In 2017, voters have abandoned mainstream parties and turned to fringe parties. Fringe groups oppose not just political parties but traditional politics as well. They don’t just want new leaders, they want a new political system. This is a reflection of a growing anxiety and dissatisfaction among German voters.
A cdu-spd coalition may not even happen, but if it does, it cannot and will not be the solution to Germany’s problems as it ignores these underlying causes. Geopolitical Futures founder George Freidman wrote:
There is in fact a great debate in Germany over the country’s future on issues from the role of German culture to the welfare state. A grand coalition brushes these matters aside, and the more it does that, the more the political system and social reality will diverge, until the earthquake inevitably arrives.
The Bible prophesies of a great change coming to German politics. Now even experts around the world are warning about the growing crisis. Daniel 8 prophesies that a strong leader will rise to power. The mounting dissatisfaction in Germany is creating the perfect environment for that to happen.
For more on what the Bible prophesies for Germany and where this is leading, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent.