Today Bavarians went to the polls in elections for the Landtag, or state parliament. By all accounts, the ruling CSU (Christian Social Union) led by Horst Seehofer nationally, and Markus Söder at the state level, has haemorrhaged votes on a large scale. According to the first exit polls, its share of the vote fell from 48% to 34%. For only the second time since the 1960s, the CSU has lost its absolute majority in the state parliament, requiring a coalition with another, smaller party.
In the face of declines by both the CSU and the left-wing SPD, support for smaller parties has surged, including the new-style patriotic AfD or Alternative for Germany, the Greens and the Free Voters. There is some talk that the SPD, which had almost 21% in the last state election in 2013, might have slipped below 10%, lower than the three smaller parties. After Angela Merkel’s catastrophic refugee policy, Germany is almost experiencing a return of the instability of the Weimar Republic, as voters cast about for alternatives to the traditional Left and Right. Hence the sudden rise in support for the Greens that have no real policy except wanting to ban diesel engines from cities and being even more pro-immigration than Merkel’s CDU. In Bavaria, they fielded a 33-year old blonde woman, Katharina Schulze, who tried her best to pass herself off as a “typical Bavarian” with a love of beer, traditional costumes and her heimat. However, in some of her videos and TV appearances she has held starkly leftist views, including denigrating the AfD as “Nazis”.
Evidently, the Bavarian Greens ran a slick campaign with good graphics and a good-looking female candidate, giving them 18% of the vote, according to the exit polls and contributing to the collapse of the SPD. But marketing and appearances can only go so far in politics; at some point voters demand substance too, especially in the face of the rising violence and disorder unleashed by Merkel’s immigration policy.
In a gesture reminiscent of the “cordon sanitaire” policies practised elsewhere in Europe towards patriotic or anti-immigration parties, the CSU has already stated that it would not enter into a coalition with the AfD. At the time of writing this, Markus Söder was hinting that he would like to govern in a coalition with the Free Voters, and maintain an amicable relationship with the Greens.
It is said that Bismarck initiated the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 in order to unify Germany, thereby altering the balance of power in Europe that had held since the Congress of Vienna in 1815. It would not be far-fetched to imagine that Germany could break up in the twenty-first century as pro-Muslim Leftists seek an alliance with Turkey, and conservative voters proud of their local state-based identity could prefer independence, declining the immigration-poisoned chalice that Merkel is offering them.
Already the chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, suggested on the eve of the election that there could one day be an independent Bavaria which would be his country’s “second biggest economic partner”. Culturally and politically, Bavaria is far closer to Austria than to the old Prussian and northern parts of Germany where decadence and leftism are far more pronounced, except for the former East German länder where opposition to third-world immigration and support for the AfD are strongest.
Until recently, Germany had attained a degree of domination in Europe reminiscent of the Bismarck era at the end of the nineteenth century. The economic boom in Germany created conditions of almost full employment, as well as a balanced budget. It is certainly ironic that Merkel herself should have dealt the heaviest blow against the most successful and powerful European state from within. Not only did she embrace her ill-fated immigration policy, but also American-style multiculturalism. It is as if she wanted Germany to become America, replete with race riots, ethnic clashes and crime. In so doing, she undermined the pan-German identity so carefully constructed by Bismarck in the nineteenth century and which has even survived the two World Wars.
The outcome of the Bavarian election is testimony to the failure of mainstream politics in Germany, with both the so-called Volksparteien or “People’s parties” taking a drubbing. The Greens’ utter rejection and hostility towards the AfD do not bode well for democratic tolerance in Bavaria, nor in the rest of Germany. Polarisation between the two parties and their respective support bases are bound to increase.
The AfD might do well to examine some of the methods used by the Dutch Freedom Party or the French Rassemblement National to overcome publicity barriers thrown up by the MSM, if the party wants to grow faster.