There is this odd bit of political news out of Germany this week. Political talks over in the eastern side of Germany (the state of Thuringia) led to a newly formed government....consisting of SPD and Linke Party members.
Since they were formed in 2007, the Linke Party has been this political group that most political parties in Germany felt were too different, too connected to the old Communist Party of DDR, and too much to accept within the public or the news media. Forming a government with them? It was simply out of the question for a partnership of any kind.
A couple of years ago here in Hessen, the Linke Party got a fair percentage of the votes and there was this brief talk of a partnership between the SPD Party and Linke Party for the state legislature here. The minute this talk got public....several of the key SPD members stood up and said they'd resign rather than accept the Linke Party into the mix. We aren't talking of dozens, but just the sheer thought of a couple of ranking members leaving....tossed the SPD guys here locally into a media pit. The idea was stopped and it was a brief embarrassment for the SPD.
As for the Linke Party? They came out of a merger of sorts.....with the former Communist Party membership, and a second smaller grouping of people who belonged to the SPD but were far-left in nature. If you went back to the starting period....what you found was public support amounting to roughly five to eight percent of the German public. Union members liked their stance on public policy.....former communists from the eastern side of the country liked their stance on controls and regulations....and those on minimum wage felt that the Linke Party was the only party listening to them.
So, with this one state partnership with the SPD.....things are finally looking up for the Linke Party. It might open doors over the next five years, and maybe the Linke Party will find other partnerships.
Affecting the national election in 2017? Presently, the SPD is suffering a good bit on national votes and it's going to be impossible to break the thirty-percent point unless some major stumble by Merkel or the CDU occurs. The SPD might find one great candidate.....push on a campaign with only three factors in the election...and then just barely beat the CDU but be sitting there with only thirty-five percent of the national vote. They'd have to partner with the CDU under all normal expectations....but with the Linke Party option.....they might be able to partner with them and the Greens.....thus getting the fifty-percent number to control the Bundestag.
That's basically what this excitement is mostly about. A previously forbidden partner on anything, now accepted to some degree. As for some SPD members disliking this scenario? Yeah, I could see a dozen national-level folks just saying they've had enough and just retire. As they say.....we will cross this bridge when we come to it.