On Friday, one of the retired members of the Bavarian CSU Party (the junior sister party of Merkel's national CDU Party).....came out to suggest that in 2017.....they might mount an effort to get their 'pick' as chancellor.
How would this work?
In a German election....the public is voting for a political party, and their choice to lead the party. The CDU knows that Merkel won't run.....so they have to go through a phrase of picking the replacement. Right now....there's probably a dozen people on the list.
Six months ago.....the chief name mentioned was the Pfalz CDU chief....Julie Klockner. She had style.....great speeches....tough in public debate....and charisma. On the unfortunate side, she lost the election in the Pfalz. That reset her chances at the national level......leaving a dozen people without great public enthusiasm.
The CSU sitting in Bavaria have come to grasp that lack of public enthusiasm, and probably added up the numbers. For the 15-state player of the CDU Party.....they might only carve out 22-percent of a national vote. For the CSU one-state player? They could carry 9-percent. Combined, it's a great position and likely to be enough.
Well....the CSU wants to play tough and push the national leadership of the CDU into a corner.....so that their guy is the Chancellor in the end.
Who would this be? Unknown. Presently there are five or six people from Bavaria that might be on the final list, but again.....none of them really take great enthusiasm with the public.
How often does a junior partner demand the position of Chancellor over the winner of the election? It would be highly unusual but the rules allow for it.
The odds that the CDU would kick the CSU to the side and skip them? That's a big possibility. But then they'd have to partner up with the SPD folks as a minimum, and that might not be enough to get up to the 50-percent-plus point on votes.
My guess is that the numbers for the election have been reviewed and deep within the Bavarian thought process......they think that the AfD Party will take 18-to-20 percent and push both the CDU and SPD down a fair amount. The CDU might still win but it'll be a marginal win and if you were playing the game to get increased power, this is your one opportunity.
What's this all add up to? A public that might be hyped up for change in 2017, and parties lined up to deliver a different sort of election.