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Germany Has Become Less Governable after ‘Super Sunday’ Elections

March 13, 2016 (EIRNS)—In all three elections for state parliament today (Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt), the strong vote results for the extreme rightwing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party did not come unexpected—the party did have a windfall profit from the mainstream media's anti-refugee propaganda. The AFD came in third in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg, with 11% and 14% respectively, and even second in Saxony-Anhalt with 22%, and this development makes the continuation of the coalition governments in all three states impossible, because the coalitions (SPD-Green in Rhineland-Palatinate, Green-SPD in Baden-Württemberg, CDU-SPD in Saxony-Anhalt) lost their majorities in the parliament (Landtag). Whereas a Grand Coalition of SPD and CDU is still possible in Rhineland-Palatinate, the other two states will definitely see a three-party combination as the only option—with the AfD being in the opposition in all three states, since none of the other parties wants a coalition with them. The fact that the Greens came out as the strongest party in Baden-Württemberg, leaving both CDU and SPD far behind, is a shame for the German political system in and of itself.

It is worth noting that the CDU, led by politicians in the three states who distanced themselves from their own Chancellor's position on the refugees, lost votes, dramatically even in Baden-Württemberg with -12%. But that will not really benefit Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has lost precious time to solve the refugee crisis with several strategic mistakes: in continuing her pro-euro position, which is loyal to the failed trans-Atlantic monetarism, she has bet on an illusory "European solution" to the refugee crisis for almost a year now, thereby missing the chance for a policy shift in the genuine national interest of Germany. Such a shift would have involved an exit from Atlanticism and NATO confrontationizm, and a clear "yes" to the New Silk Road and the BRICS; such a shift would have involved exiting the sanctions against Russia and revitalizing cooperation with the Russians, which would have contributed to a real improvement of the situations in Syria and Ukraine. And, Merkel has failed to scrap the rigid budget-balancing "black zero" policy of her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, which has helped the private banks but blocked state intervention to mobilize the German economy and has driven municipalities into high debt. This has been to the disadvantage of the average German citizens and voters, more and more of whom have been alienated from the established parties and become non-voters in recent years. Now, many of them have become voters for the AfD, with no programmatic perspective but only rage at the established parties and hatred against the refugees and other foreigners.

Whether Merkel can remain as chair of the CDU, as her Chancellor and continue her candidacy for the national elections in September 2017, remains to be seen. Her intra-party adversaries have posed ultimatums to Merkel for the days immediately after the three "Super Sunday" elections, which, together with the polarization that media propaganda against the refugees has fueled, will increase Germany's political instability, including the outbreak of political violence between supporters of the "election winner AfD" and its opponents.

Although options are more and more running out, Merkel could still turn things around and move Germany back into confidence for the future, but in order to do so, she would have to fire her advisors and instead begin listening to Helga Zepp-LaRouche who has repeatedly called for a drastic paradigm shift in German policies along the New Silk Road orientation.

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