Baden-Wurttemberg is one of the three states in March of 2016 holding a state election. Prior to this immigration crisis going on....no one much would have cared about the election. Now? Folks are paying attention and there's more rhetoric going on than one would expect.
The prime candidate for the CDU? Guido Wolff.
If you were to write totally opposite character to Chancellor Merkel on immigration....I think this guy would be it.
Yesterday, Guido Wolff came out to say part of his platform for the election is a burqa ban. He didn't indicate the wording but I would suspect the French wording and effect would be the target choice.
It's hard to say how this would be taken by the general public. My humble guess is that roughly sixty-percent of Germany would readily support some ban on the burqa or niqab....leaving the facial open style (hijab) acceptable. At least twenty percent would strongly go against the ban and it'd be dragged up to the German Constitutional Court in short order. The Basic Law has elements to protect religious persuasion....but it's very simply worded and garments of the faith isn't listed. The fact that well over half of all Muslims would declare that the niqab or burqa is NOT within the religion....would likely leave the judges in a mess.
Guido Wolff also noted that there has to be a limit to immigration, with real numbers....something that the Berlin crowd probably doesn't want to hear.
Guido Wolff spoke to the issue of Muslim men who require their wives to wear a burqa....are not really integrating into German society. Pressure penalties should be utilized as he suggests.....to bring change....possibly even imprisonment if the guy can't cooperate.
Naturally, in this interview with Bild....Wolf noted that he is for 'transit-zones'....which got brought up over the weekend in meetings between the CDU, the CSU and SPD.
To explain the transit-zone concept.....it's basically an entry point (you'd only have a limited number of such points) and you as a refugee would come to that point and enter some 'gate'. There would be an administrative guy standing there and enter your case into the database. There would be a determination about your visa. No one says days, weeks, or months.....but you get the impression that this might be completed in a matter of week or two....maybe a month max.
Then, if you fail.....you get sent back across the border from where you came from. Now.....a logical guy would immediately say....well, what if Austria doesn't want the refugee? By letting the refugee pass through Austria's landscape.....they would have set up problem number one for themselves and be stuck with the clean-up mess.
Naturally, Austria would immediately want to have their own transit-zone, and repeat the same process. Hungry, Czech, etc......would all repeat the process. And in some white-paper world where reality and fantasy hardly ever meet.....this would all result in halting the immigration wave going through Germany today.
Generally, I'd say that such a transit zone....ought to be a complete failure. You'd have to set up huge camp-like operations along the German-Austrian border....probably capable of handling 100,000 people minimum. You would have tens of thousands of asylum-seekers who simply enter through another path and try to avoid the German zone concept.
Some people would say that it goes beyond the EU regulations and is simply not acceptable (the SPD for example, says this). The weekend meeting between the three key German parties ended with such a discussion and it's apparent that the SPD will never agree to the zone idea.
Where does this put Wolfe in terms of votes in March? This is an interesting discussion, which I will try to limit. For March of 2011....the Baden-Wurttemberg election was strictly about Stuttgart-21 (a major rail project in Stuttgart which the Greens and SPD found something to engage the public upon and suggest that opposition leadership could help stop the project).
Roughly sixty-two percent of the voting public showed up, and the Greens and SPD Party had a major win. The Greens picked up almost a quarter of all votes cast....shocking most everyone.
Oddly, other than a couple of pieces of Stuttgart-21 modified or changed....it continue right on track. No one says much over this....except they grin when they tell this whole election gimmick and how the Greens came to power in the state.
For 2016? I think the CDU woke up in the state and decided to use the immigration gimmick for their campaign, and putting the Greens and SPD Party apparatus in the state in conflict with the general public. If you bring up transit zones, limiting immigration numbers, and burqa bans.....it's something that the Greens and SPD Party absolutely can't support because of their current platforms.
We are still more than a hundred days away from the election, and plenty of things might occur. My best guess is that the CDU will draw a fair amount of interest, and might go higher than 40-percent in the state election. As for influencing Merkel's policy? The attempt by one single state (of the sixteen) to bring up banning the burqa would influence other states to discuss the same ban, and it'd be dragged into Berlin for some long-winded discussion....accomplishing little to nothing in the end. It'll end up being a state issue....not a federal issue.
Interesting election? Yes, it might actually be an enticing chat forum for weeks and weeks.