I sat and watched the Channel One's (ARD) political chat show last night (Jauch, at 9:45). The topic? Pegida....up close, with the AfD spokesperson and the Pegida public media person on one side, two political guys (one each from the SPD and CDU), and one guy who seemed to be more of a journalist than anything else. The moderator....Jauch.....did a fair job but I think he wanted to simply get everyone through the evening and avoid an epic discussion on the big topic.
This gal from Dresden (Pegida).....Oertel? I think until the last ten minutes of the debate....she carried her weight well (being her first national TV episode). At some point, she pulled out notes and went off onto three or four non-debate sentences and I think she knocked herself down a point with that act.
What came out of the episode is simply some words that the political machine (the Bundestag and Chancellor's office) probably need some open debate and reasonable discussions. As Frau Oertel put it on at least one point....the public doesn't think the news media or the politicians are listening. Pegida and it's marches are the only way to draw such attention.
At some point, one of the anti-Pegida talkers wanted to drag in the subject of criminal backgrounds of some Pegida members....which drew an odd response. Frau Oertel brought up the fact that everyone has 'mistakes'....then noting that one of the top Green political figures was seen on his apartment balcony with a fully-grown marijuana plant. She didn't mention the child-sex guy with the SPD or the recent Bundestag guy busted for buying meth.....but they both easily fit into the 'mistakes' column, and the Bundestag seems to survive with them.
At some point, someone from the panel tried to dump on Pegida a bit by asking why only protests or marches occur in Dresden to a significant degree? The response came in an interesting detail.....as Frau Oertel noted....people in Germany get pumped up rain-forests and child-labor in India....which is fair but you could say they are also 'outside of the box'.
All in all? A fair talk session. The key point I think for the evening was some comeback where it was noted.....if you have to cancel a protest march because of threats....what does it say about the safety and stability of Germany in itself?
No one notes this morning of the audience....how many watched and what it impact it has on the public.
I noticed off of Bild though this morning....an info page with the note of 43,190 potential Islamic fundamentalists in Germany. The source of the number? Unknown....Bild didn't cite their source and you can only suspect it's from the state police. Bild also cites 585 Germans (mostly men), who've gone off to Syria and actively work for ISIS now. Again, no citing of the source and you'd have to think it was the state police number.
The likely path coming out of this whole thing? The CDU/CSU folks have to worry over 2017, no Merkel as candidate, and possible growth of AfD voters. Continuing down the current path won't be the plan. I'd also suspect that SPD has some worries that some of their voters might cross the line and vote AfD as a protest vote. There's some type of strategy change coming in 2015 to immigration, refugees, and Islamic political activity in Germany.