The Zeitgeist Podcast #53: The Changing Dynamics of German Politics – AICGS
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens, and the Liberal FDP has just passed 100 days in office, faced with Russia’s war on Ukraine and an increasingly uncertain economic situation. How is their new “traffic light” coalition capturing the public imagination? The state election in Saarland on March 27, 2022 saw a huge victory for the SPD and big loss for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The SPD’s coalition partners the Greens and the FDP appear to have fallen short of the threshold to enter the Saarland state legislature.
On this episode of The Zeitgeist, AICGS President Jeff Rathke, AICGS Senior Fellow and Director of Society, Culture, and Politics Program Eric Langenbacher and AICGS Non-Resident Senior Fellow Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger discuss the national significance of this election and its implications for German political parties as well as Germany’s foreign and domestic policies. Does the victory for SPD reflect public approval for Olaf Scholz’s handling of the war in Ukraine and the government’s COVID policies? How does the CDU’s historically bad result in Saarland reflect on Friedrich Merz’s leadership of the party? What can we take away from the performances of smaller parties, especially the collapse of The Left party (Die Linke)? Is this election a bellwether for the upcoming elections in North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein? Join us to keep your finger on the pulse of German politics!
Jeff Rathke, President, AICGS