Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Reil Story

The name Guido Reil won't register with most Germans.....unless you live in the Essen area and recognize the guy as a SPD Party member and city council member.

For over twenty-five years....Reil had been a member of the SPD and was fairly respected in the region of Essen.

This week, Reil stood up and resigned from the Party (he's still on the council, but a non-party member).

Reason?  This comes to be an item of discussion among Germans over the next couple of weeks.  Reil says that the SPD.....always and forever a political entity that represented the common worker of longer represents that.  The immigrant and refugee policy?  Unfair.  He points at the distribution tool used to allocate asylum folks and immigrants....into the Essen region, and how it's overflowing at present.

This was not a 10,000 word speech or essay, and he kinda limited his resignation from the party to some simple but blunt comments.  The party doesn't represent the core of its membership.  So, Guido Reil walked away.

When you go and look at diminishing numbers for the SPD polling across Germany, it's not just a stagnation issue or a blame-issue that you can lay onto one central political figure of the party.  It goes across various lines and represents a party that is spiraling downward and has no real representation among it's traditional membership.  In the last month, polling shows the national numbers for the SPD Part at 19.5 percent.  No one is really hopefull that it'll swing back by Oct/Nov when the two state elections in the eastern side of Germany will occur.

All of this leads to more internal discussions.  Guys who grew up in a household where Mom and Dad were solid contemplating not voting along the standard lines of their past.  People trying to find some party platform that they'd agree with, but there really isn't any liberal party in existence which has a closed-door policy on immigration.  These aren't people who'd typically buy off on the AfD anti-immigration situation.

In a way, Reil will trigger pub, cafe and bar discussions among Germans.  But after you've had a few beers and spent two hours with a couple of associates talking over Reil, the SPD, the immigration slant of things.....then what?  Plan B?  What?  Another political association?  Where?

The SPD Party is a political association in serious need of renovation and rejuvenation.   They need some character to walk out....deliver a five-star speech....and find some stamina to pump the party back into enthusiasm.  But there just isn't such a character.

1 comment:


Hierarchies everywhere are breaking down. Just look at the presidential primaries in the United States—an upheaval from below for which the political establishment has no answer. Vulgar, populist anarchy that elites at places like Aspen and Davos will struggle to influence or even comprehend will help define the twenty-first century. The multinational empires of the early-modern and modern past, as well as the ideological divisions of the Cold War, will then be viewed almost as much with nostalgia as with disdain.