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2005-09-19

Dreadlock Joschka? 

Ol' Green Soldier, Dreadlock Joschka
There was a little Green Soldier
In the heart of Germania
Stolen from Kreuzbergia, brought to Bavaria
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival
Will this be the new song from Germany? After the German elections last night, the battered winners CDU/CSU have publicly set their eyes on the German Green party, until yesterday coalition partners of the SPD and a narrow survivor of these upsetting elections. Usually described as "extremely unlikely", the mentioning of a CDU/CSU/FDP/Greens coalition may well be a mere tactical device used by CDU/CSU to be able to exert at least some kind of pressure on the otherwise untameable SPD. In turn, the FDP credibly excludes any collaboration with the SPD, but seems slightly less strict about the Greens. No wonder, how could the Greens as the smallest partner in Jamaica dictate its generally leftist policies on the two bigger conservative partners?

For the Greens, this would be quite a fight - and as such an interesting challenge. It becomes a fight for survival however if one considers the constituency of the Green party, which is socialised politically clearly left of the center. In addition, the Greens always blocked any discussions about a possible Jamaica coalition before the election, although they could now say this was for purely tactical reasons, to make them look like a reliable coalition partner of the SPD to the numerous SPD-Green swing voters.

In terms of political contents, CDU-representative Roland Pofalla has said [DE] that the differences in economic policy between CDU and the Greens may be smaller than they seem. There is a grain of truth in this, I believe. Unlike social-democracy, Green economic policy is not tied by old ideological roots to state-interventionist approaches. Rather, it is broadly defined by a strong priority given to social justice, as well as the consideration of ecological implications. In the latter field, it seems conceivable that CDU/CSU/FDP might "sacrifice" their desire to roll-back ecologically sound policies of the previous government as a concession to the Greens. Such a concession might make the Jamaica scenario more digestible for ecology-inspired Green-supporters. Interesting times.

See also Uncool runnings at afoe, and Schwampeln die Grünen in eine Koalition? at Christoph Chorherr's blog.


2 comments:

Personally I think the "Jamaican option" is ridiculous. The Greens simply have no incentive to join a CDU-FDP government - just what would survive from their policy platform? Mülltrennung? The CDSU would have to reverse their entire energy/environment position, and unhinge their budget plan too, to meet credible Green minimal terms. One side would have to cave in on EU expansion and NATO.

And what about the question of identity? The Greens were created in embittered opposition to a CDU ruled by grey old Catholic bourgeois men from Bavaria and Wurttemberg, by people steeped in as much feminism as environmentalism. The CDU hierarchy (and this goes double for the CSU) found it hard enough to put up with Angela Merkel - it wasn't that long ago they could barely distinguish Claudia Roth from Ulrike Meinhof!
 

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