Life after Merkel

The CDU has no vision, and no viable successor.

The countdown should be in full flow: in eight months, or 37 weeks, Germans will be asked to vote for a new chancellor. We should be eagerly debating each parties’ programmes and hearing the candidates’ speeches. Yet, nothing of the sort is happening. Angela Merkel will resign, after nearly 15 years in office, but whatever excitement there might have been for a post-Merkel future, it seems to have vanished…

Meanwhile, Merkel is still in charge. She used her New Year’s address to lecture the public about the dangers of Covid conspiracy theories and populism. Yet her own party is doing more to foster cynicism and political apathy than any conspiracy theorist possibly could. The truth is, the CDU is stuck. There are three candidates who have so far emerged as possible successors to Merkel. But all of them are conspicuously weak. None can secure majority support among the party delegates.

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