In Bavaria’s state elections, German voters sent a powerful message to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been harshly criticized for opening up Germany’s borders to the free flow of migration. But strangely enough the pro-immigrant Green Party took a solid second place.
Merkel and her fragile coalition, comprised of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Social Democrats Party (SPD) and Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffered staggering losses in Bavaria on Sunday, losses not experienced by the two powerhouse conservative parties for many decades.
The CSU won just 37.3 percent of the vote, down 12.1 percent from 2013, thus failing to secure an absolute majority. It marked the worst showing conservative Christian Bavaria, where the CSU has ruled practically unilaterally since 1957. But the political mood in Germany has changed, and Merkel’s so-called sister party will now be forced to seek a coalition to cover its losses.
Meanwhile, the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), in an awkward alliance with their conservative allies, secured just 9.5 percent of the Bavarian vote, down almost 10.9 percent from its 2013 showing.
The dismal results were not altogether unexpected. CSU leader Horst Seehofer has regularly clashed with Angela Merkel over the question of her loose refugee policies, which saw 1.5 million migrants pour into Germany unmolested in 2015 alone. In January 2016, when the number of arrivals had peaked, Bavaria grabbed headlines as Peter Dreier, mayor of the district of Landshut, sent a busload of refugees to Berlin, saying his city could not handle any more new arrivals.
Yet, despite such expressions of frustration, and even anger, Germany, perhaps out of some fear of reverting back to atavistic nationalistic tendencies that forever lurks in the background of the German psyche, has not come out in full force against the migrant invasion, which seems to have been forced upon the nation without their approval. As with the young girl in the video below, however, some Germans have come forward to express their strong reservations with the trend.
In general, however, the German people, in direct contradiction to the stereotype of them being an orderly and logical people, do not seem overly concerned with the prospects of their tidy country being overrun by the chaos of undocumented and illegal migrants. This much seemed to be confirmed by the strong showing of the pro-immigration Green Party, which took second place with 18.3 percent of the votes, a 9 percent increase since the last elections.
Katharina Schulze, the 33-year old co-leader of the Bavarian Greens, told reporters “Bavaria needs a political party that solves the problems of the people and not create new ones over and over again.”
However, a political platform that seems fine with open borders seems to contradict Schulze’s claim to not creating new problems “over and over again.” Today, thanks to Merkel’s disastrous refugee non-plan, which the Greens applaud, every fifth person in Germany comes from immigration, a figure that will naturally increase over time, placing immense pressure on the country’s already overloaded social welfare programs, not to mention disrupting the country’s social cohesiveness.
Thus Schulze may find it an impossible challenge “solving the problems of the people,” one of the vaguest campaign pledges I have ever heard, while embracing a staunchly refugee-friendly platform that seems doomed to ultimate disaster.
Indeed, Germany appears to be on a collision course between those who accept the idea of being the world’s welcome center for refugees, and those who think Germany must not only close its borders, but perhaps even send back many refugees. After all, it has been proven that many of these new arrivals are in reality ‘economic migrants’ who arrived in Europe not due to any persecution back home, but rather from the hope of improving their lot in life. While it’s certainly no crime to seek out economic opportunities, it becomes a real problem when it comes at the expense of the domestic population.
From an outsider’s perspective, I cannot fathom how it is possible that Angela Merkel is still in power. Although there is no term limit on the chancellorship, people must still go to the polls and vote for this woman and the CDU, which the majority continues to do – despite everything.
In a search for answers, I found an explanation by one Arne Trautmann, a German lawyer from Munich.
“I think the answer lies in German psychology. We do not like instability. We had our experience with it (hyperinflation, wars and such) and it did not work very well. Angela Merkel offers such stability. Simply because she has been around for so long.”
Still, that answer just drags up more questions that perhaps only the Germans can answer. After all, if the German people “do not like instability,” then the specter of their borders being violated on a daily basis such be simply unacceptable to them. Perhaps I am missing something.
In any case, there was a consolation prize of sorts in the Bavarian elections, as the anti-immigrant AfD party took fourth place (behind the Free Voters) with 10.2 percent of the votes, an increase of 10 percent from their 2013 performance.
This will give the AfD parliamentary power in the state assembly for the first time, which should work to put the brakes on illegal migrants entering the country. For the future of Germany, it may be the last hope.