Broken parties and “subjugated” thuringians? Seven lessons from the election in thuringia

Broken parties and 'subjugated' thuringians? Seven lessons from the election in thuringia

It was only a few days ago that thomas kemmerich (FDP) was elected prime minister of thuringia with the votes of the afd. Not only was he the second FDP minister president ever, he will also go down in history as the minister president with the shortest term in office – assuming he doesn’t stay in office as managing minister president for too much longer.

In thuringia, it quickly became clear that there was really only one way out. However, the minister-president election in thuringia’s state parliament triggered a political quake that caused a stir far beyond the state’s borders – and is still claiming political victims: on monday, annegret kramp-karrenbauer announced her renunciation of her candidacy for chancellor and her withdrawal from the party chairmanship.

But the election has shown even more: what conclusions can be drawn from the election in thuringia?? What impact will the election have on franconia and the rest of germany?? We have collected seven points that stood out in our dealings with thuringia:

1. The political elite is astonishingly unprofessional – or insensitive

Kemmerich’s election was only a few minutes away – and frankin dorothee bar loved to send a congratulatory tweet. A shitstorm followed, a little later bar deleted the tweet. Markus soder spoke up again a few minutes later – and called kemmerich’s election a gross mistake.

Dorothee bar is one of a whole series of well-known politicians who lack any political intuition whatsoever. Even merkel’s eastern commissioner christian hirte (CDU) must vacate his seat after his praise for the election in thuringia. The case of wolfgang kubicki (FDP) shows that many politicians are currently having to row (backwards) in order not to go under politically. Kubicki, too, was initially pleased with the election results in thuringia.

2. Media scolding and east-west problems

What applies to politicians also applies to the media: here, too, there were a few examples of media houses that initially failed to recognize the scope of the developments in erfurt – or completely misjudged them. A particularly striking example of this is helmut markwort: the co-editor of focus sits for the FDP in the bavarian state parliament and grew up, at least for a time, in coburg – not far from the thuringian border. Markwort attracted attention over the weekend with his thesis that the left (as a continuation of the SED) had "subjugated" thuringia.

Apart from the fact that this is nonsense and contributes to the trivialization of hockes afd (see point 6), it must be a slap in the face for all the people in thuringia who were actually victims of oppression and surveillance in the GDR. You can find ramelow’s politics wrong, but anyone who sees him as a communist ghost has obviously lost touch with reality altogether.

3. The people in the country have a fine political sense

Political disenchantment – a word that has been and continues to be used to describe the state of german society. But while the political elite was still congratulating kemmerich on his election success (see point 1), people in many german cities took to the streets to protest against the "taboo-breaking" – the collaboration with hocke’s afd – to protest. In franconia, too, many citizens took a stand against the right-wing.

It seems that people are not at all disenchanted with politics, but that other problems and issues are more important to them than those of the political elite. Instead of talking about disenchantment with politics, we should perhaps talk about "disenchantment with politics" speak.

4. Democrats on the streets – fridays for future wants to be more than an eco-movement

The streets belong to the democrats: in many parts of germany, people went to the streets in the days after kemmerich’s election. In franconia, too, many people protested. While hate speech and right-wing ideas are spreading in the social media, it is mainly democratic forces that are appearing on the streets and in the public space.

Fridays for future also belong to these democratic forces. The young and youthful organization participated in many places in the organization and execution of demonstrations against the developments in thuringia. This shows that in addition to climate policy issues, other social and political problems are also taken seriously – and that the movement has the potential to develop from a one-dimensional protest movement into a comprehensive political movement and perhaps eventually into a successful political party, just like the green movement in the 1980s.

5. The afd is only interested in political destabilization

After kemmerich’s election, happy faces and sneering laughter could be seen in the afd ranks. The election of the FDP man was a political success – or was sold that way. Without question: from a political tactical perspective hockes manover was a coup. While now the "bourgeois middle" in order to tear the cdu and the fdp apart, the fascist hocke laughs to himself and looks forward to new votes.

But he could swap. First polls after the election show: the FDP loses votes, but the CDU remains stable. While the CDU remains stable, the afd is also losing support. The parties that won were those that had committed themselves to a minority government in thuringia at the beginning of last week: the left, the green party and the SPD.

So it seems that hocke’s maneuver to sell out his own prime ministerial candidate for political tactics didn’t pay off: people seem to want more than blobe’s "being against".

6. The equation of afd and left is wrong and above all dangerous

Once again: you can think what you want about bodo ramelow and the left. But those who do not distinguish between the "extremism" and the "political elitism" are the ones who are the most important of ramelow and hocke can recognize, or wants, is blind at least on an eye. With bjorn hocke, the afd in thuringia is headed by a man who had pleased adolf hitler. A man who is legally entitled to be called a fascist and who has made this clear himself time and again with numerous rallies.

If democratic parties, such as the CDU, now exclude cooperation with the left and the afd, that is their right. But: then you should make clear that you exclude cooperation with the one (the left) because of differences in content, but cooperation with the afd not only because of differences, but because it has left the ground of the democratic constitutional state (at least in parts).

7. We are living in a period of upheaval: the party base is seething – the parties are breaking up?

Christian lindner just survived the election success of his party colleague kemmerich – irony of fate – in political terms. For annegret kramp-karrenbauer, on the other hand, the stumbling block was too rough – she clears the way for others. In other parties, too, a clear political line is hardly discernible any more. The differences between individual camps within the parties are sometimes greater than the differences between the parties (especially in the CDU and SPD).

This seems to be an indication that the classic answers of the political system to modern questions are failing. There is a lack of creativity and not least the courage to respond to new challenges with new concepts. This is also becoming a problem in the parties – and some parties, above all the SPD, are threatening to break up completely as a result.